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Spike Lee Research Papers

Film courses often require research papers on famous directors such as Spike Lee. Have the film experts at Paper Masters custom write your research paper on Spike Lee or any of his films.

In 1983, NYU film student Shelton Jackson Lee’s thesis film, Joe’s Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads, began to garner critical interest and awards. Now well known by his childhood nickname Spike, Lee’s films have continued to captivate critics. In the last fifteen years, Spike Lee has produced a number of feature-length films that, although not always uniformly critically lauded, have not failed to engage audiences and promote public dialogue on a number of controversial topics.

In a thorough research paper on Spike Lee, you will want to present an in-depth examination of the following:

  • Spike Lee, his personal background and motivations, the path from his humble upbringing to his current high-profile position as one of the premiere avatars of contemporary African-American cultuSpike Leere, and the political significance of Lee’s unique cinematic vision.
  • Present a biographical overview of Lee’s background, education, and family life.
  • Discuss his body of work, including a synopsis and a survey of critical reaction of each of his films. 
  • Discuss the political controversy that has surrounded much of Lee’s oeuvre, focusing on the overarching significance of Lee’s films within the cultural context of contemporary American society, especially in the arena of race relations.

Shelton Jackson Lee was born in Atlanta, Georgia on March 20, 1957. Early in his childhood, Lee and his family moved to the Fort Greene area of Brooklyn, New York. This move was very significant in that the neighborhood of Lee’s upbringing contributed enormously to the particular sense of place, personal relationships, and politics that define Lee’s films.

Spike Lee’s family environment was one rich with creative and artistic influences.  Lee’s father, Bill Lee, is a renowned jazz bassist, who today assists with assembling the musical scores to most of Lee’s films, while his mother was an art educator. Lee reports that because of his parents’ involvement in the New York art community, he frequently attended cultural events as a child, albeit often against his will.  Although Spike harbored no specific plans to pursue a career in the arts during his early youth, he readily credits the atmosphere of free creative expression that existed in his household with allowing him the personal autonomy to doggedly pursue whatever goals he set for himself.

After high school graduation, Spike Lee followed family tradition and attended Morehouse College in Atlanta. While at college, Lee remembers feeling directionless once it became clear that his small physical stature would prevent him from pursuing a career in professional athletics, as had been his hope.  During his first few years of college, Lee sampled a wide variety of curriculums and classes, attempting to find his niche.


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