Spike Lee Calls out the Coens and Eastwood

22 Comments

Wow, here’s a shocker: Spike Lee is not happy with a couple of his fellow Hollywood directors, and one reason involves race. The latest targets of the perennially wronged director is Clint Eastwood and the Coen Brothers. Lee took the opportunity to insult the award-winning directors during his news conference in Cannes, where he arrived to promote his WWII movie “Miracle at St. Anna”, the true story of black soldiers in Italy during World War II.

Reuters has the nitty gritty:

Speaking about his World War II drama “Miracle at St. Anna,” Lee said that, unlike the Coens, he was respectful in the way he portrayed death.

“I always treat life and death with respect, but most people don’t,” Lee said at a news conference Tuesday. “Look, I love the Coen brothers; we all studied at NYU. But they treat life like a joke. Ha ha ha. A joke. It’s like, ‘Look how they killed that guy! Look how blood squirts out the side of his head!’ I see things different than that.”

Speaking about the casting for his tale of four black American soldiers in Tuscany, Lee said that black actors appear in war films too infrequently.

“Clint Eastwood made two films about Iwo Jima that ran for more than four hours total, and there was not one Negro actor on the screen,” he said. “If you reporters had any balls you’d ask him why. There’s no way I know why he did that — that was his vision, not mine. But I know it was pointed out to him and that he could have changed it. It’s not like he didn’t know.”

I had originally thought that because of segregation, all the black soldiers during WWII were limited to the European theater. This isn’t the case, apparently, because according to this Guardian article, there were 900 black soldiers at Iwo Jima. So maybe Lee does have a point about Eastwood not even including one single black soldier in his two movies about Iwo Jima.

But about the Coens — seriously, Spike, it’s the movies, man, are you really going to quibble about stylish deaths?

Spike Lee and Michael Jordon

Author: Nix

Editor/Writer at BeyondHollywood.com. Likes: long walks on the beach and Kevin Costner post-apocalyptic movies. Dislikes: 3D, shaky cam, and shaky cam in 3D. Got a site issue? Wanna submit Movie/TV news? Or to email me in regards to anything on the site, you can do so at nix (at) beyondhollywood.com.
  • Mutant29

    Spike Lee is Racist!

  • Mutant29

    Spike Lee is Racist!

  • Alex

    Our Father is the same as saying our History. I can not change who is my Father nor his History.

  • Alex

    Our Father is the same as saying our History. I can not change who is my Father nor his History.

  • Melissa

    To the author of this article, Nix.

    Spike Lee does not have A POINT about the blacks on Iwo Jima.
    The all-black batallion was a munitions supply outfit which were only on the beach and were not involved in any combat. If they were 900 or less I do not know, but compared to the vast tens of thousands of non-blacks who fought on Iwo Jima, I’m sure they an insignifical number. Eastwood was no doubt aware of this fact.

    To Tyrone,
    ” If you want to make a movie seem real then at least scatter a handful of black people around.”
    I’m not sure if you are directing your attention towards the movie ‘Iwo Jima’ or all movies in general. But I must say that with the agenda of making historical movies seem REAL that it would be wise to only add people of a certain ethnicity which were actually THERE in any given location at any given time – and in order to not drum things up too heavily, I would limit appearances to contributing events of importance.

    If in fact, you are adressing that “scatter a handful of black people around” in any movie in general would contribute to making a movie look real, I must again, beg to differ. I come from a small European country where there are mostly white, arabic and asian people. We all find it amusing that in American movies there are mostly only white and black people, it is very seldom we see asians or people of arabic appearance in American productions. So scattering “a handful of of black people around” as to add realism would not have a working effect on people where I live as we hardly ever see black people on our streets. Some of us could even consider it extremely racist not to “scatter a bunch of ” asians or arabic people around. But Asians and Arabs don’t bitch about this – do they? – only Spike and his fellows bitch about such matters.

    Think about it – how often do you see Asians and Arabic looking people in movies and TV shows conmpared to how often you see black people? And how often have you heard Asians or Arbabic people bitch about it?

    Not all countries have the same ethnic mix, so scattering “a bunch of black people” into movies will make it seem very distant and unrealistic to a very large percentage of the world’s population.

  • Melissa

    To the author of this article, Nix.

    Spike Lee does not have A POINT about the blacks on Iwo Jima.
    The all-black batallion was a munitions supply outfit which were only on the beach and were not involved in any combat. If they were 900 or less I do not know, but compared to the vast tens of thousands of non-blacks who fought on Iwo Jima, I’m sure they an insignifical number. Eastwood was no doubt aware of this fact.

    To Tyrone,
    ” If you want to make a movie seem real then at least scatter a handful of black people around.”
    I’m not sure if you are directing your attention towards the movie ‘Iwo Jima’ or all movies in general. But I must say that with the agenda of making historical movies seem REAL that it would be wise to only add people of a certain ethnicity which were actually THERE in any given location at any given time – and in order to not drum things up too heavily, I would limit appearances to contributing events of importance.

    If in fact, you are adressing that “scatter a handful of black people around” in any movie in general would contribute to making a movie look real, I must again, beg to differ. I come from a small European country where there are mostly white, arabic and asian people. We all find it amusing that in American movies there are mostly only white and black people, it is very seldom we see asians or people of arabic appearance in American productions. So scattering “a handful of of black people around” as to add realism would not have a working effect on people where I live as we hardly ever see black people on our streets. Some of us could even consider it extremely racist not to “scatter a bunch of ” asians or arabic people around. But Asians and Arabs don’t bitch about this – do they? – only Spike and his fellows bitch about such matters.

    Think about it – how often do you see Asians and Arabic looking people in movies and TV shows conmpared to how often you see black people? And how often have you heard Asians or Arbabic people bitch about it?

    Not all countries have the same ethnic mix, so scattering “a bunch of black people” into movies will make it seem very distant and unrealistic to a very large percentage of the world’s population.

  • michael your Master

    fuckin honkys hopefully all of you will burn in hell sooner if not later silly white trash.

  • michael your Master

    fuckin honkys hopefully all of you will burn in hell sooner if not later silly white trash.

  • Rachel

    Spike Lee sounds like another person who saw The Big Lebowski and believes that is all the Coens are about. He should perhaps watch more of their body of work before making a judgment on them like that. Hmmmmm, Spike Lee judging someone before he has all the facts? That sounds like exactly the sort of thing he has a problem with – or maybe – as long as ignorance isn’t affecting the black community who cares, right?

  • Rachel

    Spike Lee sounds like another person who saw The Big Lebowski and believes that is all the Coens are about. He should perhaps watch more of their body of work before making a judgment on them like that. Hmmmmm, Spike Lee judging someone before he has all the facts? That sounds like exactly the sort of thing he has a problem with – or maybe – as long as ignorance isn’t affecting the black community who cares, right?