Spike Lee - Auteur

1077 words 5 pages
An auteur is a director who personal creative vision and style is expressed through films. The term auteur is originated in France and is French for author. There are different ways in which a director can express their vision in films and show who they are. There are many directors that are considered to be a auteur such as: Quentin Tarintino, Tim Burton, Kathryn Bigelow, Stanley Kubrick and Woody Allen. The director I have chosen as an auteur is Spike Lee.
Lee’s Life:
Spike Lee is an American film director who has directed, produced, written and acted in Spike Lee films such as Malcolm X, Jungle Fever, Inside Man and Love & Basketball. Spike Lee was born in Atlanta, Georgia where he attended Morehouse College and made his first
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Use of actors:
Spike frequently casts himself, John Turturro, Samuel L. Jackson, Delroy Lindo, Roger Spike as Mars Blackmon a character from his film
Guenveur Smith, Michael Imperioli and Denzel Washington in his films. I think it’s because he knows exactly what he wants in a film and if he see a person who could portray the character they are given in a certain way then that is who he will choose, plus these actors are professional actors and know what they are doing.
Lee often cast real life families in his films. In Do The Right Thing (1989) he casts Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee (who are real life husband and wife), Joie Lee (Spike’s real life sister), Danny Aiello and Rick Aiello (who are real life father and son). He has done this in other films such as School Daze (1998), Jungle Fever (1991), Mo’ Better Blues (1990) and Malcolm X (1992)
His Signature shot:
Spike has a signature shot which he likes to use in his films. It is named “The Double- Dolly Shot”. The camera is placed on a dolly and moves along a track, the movement of the camera is smooth and makes the subject in the scene look like its floating or gliding.
Here is an example of Spike’s Double Dolly Shot being used in his films:
Another thing which is common in Lee’s films is the way the characters addresses the camera. Spike prefers the characters to address the camera directly when filming.
Narrative Structure in films:
Lee calls his films “A Spike Lee Joint”. In the ending of his