Spike Lee honored by SIFF at Cap Hill’s Egyptian Theater

Only on Capitol Hill does a metro bus crash a celebrity red carpet entrance. The #10 bus dropped off it’s confused passengers right in the middle of the media mob (00:11 in the video), all crushing towards Spike Lee who arrived moments earlier at the Egyptian Theater at Pine and Broadway.  Lee was being presented with the Golden Space Needle Award at SIFF.  He answered a couple of questions on the tiny red carpet facing Pine St. before heading inside.

The 2 hour long presentation included clips of Spike’s movies with Lee conversing with a moderator, followed to a Q&A session.  Unfortunately many of the audience questions were less than insightful, at one point an audience member interrupted the program, by yelling out “what can you teach us about being famous?!”  By the end of the Q&A, the audience was getting audibly frustrated with the audience questioning, shouting “ask REAL questions!!” 

One “real question” that was finally asked addressed August WIlson, the playwright who lived in Seattle from 1994 until his death in 2005.  The questioner asked if Lee, a friend of Wilsons, had ever spoken with him about adapting his plays into a film.  Lee said they did meet once about adapting “Fences” into a film, but that Wilson’s movie scripts were the same as his plays, and that just doesn’t work for film.

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7 thoughts on “Spike Lee honored by SIFF at Cap Hill’s Egyptian Theater

  1. Why is it everyone in Seattle seems to assume that everyone KNOWS what a SIFF is? Why is this acronym never spelled out or explained in the first usage of it in any article. This would appear to be Journalism 101.

  2. I am a local filmmaker and happen to be a person of color. I have followed Spike Lees’s career for the past 25 years. He has been an inspiration and a role model both for things I aspire to and for things that I do not. Spike has grown and matured into a very strategic and thoughtful person on stage. Speaking of which I felt that his patience and graciousness last night were very honorable despite the insipid questioning of the moderator and the horrible audience responses. I felt embarrassed last night for Seattle in the most profound sense. Here is one of the most recognized major filmmakers of modern time in our city and we mostly have bigotry, greed, racism, anger and need to give back in return? Thank god for the young man who asked the production question or the woman who asked the heartfelt one about St. Anna, which Spike seemed to truly appreciate. SIFF please take note to never use that moderator again and to also get with it and become more culturally savvy and aware…this festival year after year presents to be very homogenized and run by caucasian people who don’t get “it” when it comes to different perspectives in cinema. I do not feel represented in this city!

  3. I agree with Frustrated Filmmaker. That was shameful. The moderator was awful. The questions from the audience were no better (except a few). Spike Lee was able to patiently and gracefully navigate through the mess and still convey heartfelt and meaningful insight into his films and experiences as a filmmaker. But it was utterly embarrassing.

    Seattle it is time to grow up. And SIFF, for the love of god, diversify your leadership and open the door to filmmakers of color from our community. It is a deep disappointment year after year to experience such white elitism.

    Spike Lee-it was an honor to hear you speak.

  4. It was amateur hour in Seattle again, I’m so embarrassed. And, YES! We need more diversity from our community who actually can identify and ask revelent questions to filmmakers…

  5. Totally agree with the comments about the moderator. Does anyone know who he was? I thought he mentioned at the beginning that he went to film school with Spike, which made me think that Spike was friends with him or chose him as moderator or something. That made me feel not so bad about the awful questioning, but if SIFF chose him as moderator then I agree… how embarrassing for SIFF.

  6. I think that the moderator was in New York during the same time period as Spike and had a background in media/film reviews. I would bet that they were not friends, judging from the nervous tension the moderator had through out the Q&A.

    I’m not sure who reads this but I really do hope that the folks down at SIFF hear the message loud and clear here that there needs to be better representation from communities of color and involvement from our people at the festival as well. In my hopes the session would have been 10X better last night if the moderator was a person who could strongly relate to the content of the films. When the one woman asked the question relating to her father, Spike seemed to open up, it was a breath of fresh air. Imagine if the entire evening was like this it would have been magical. Finally, not to be petty but $35 really?!

  7. i agree with it all (except for that silly siff/journalism 101 comment). i was so embarrassed for seattle that night. here we had a chance to show off what cultural awareness and appreciation for the arts we do have but we blew it. actually siff’s programing blew it. the format was horendous. a TWO HOUR q&a?!!?? a chronological look at spike’s work as opposed to thematic???! unrehearsed an uninsightful questions??!! i thank god that spike had fascinating things to say despite the moderator insisting on knowing how people reacted to his work. i was thankful that spike was gracious and patient as well. i’m sorry, spike, i hope you give seattle another chance.