60. Spike Lee
DO THE RIGHT THING, THE 25th HOUR, 4 LITTLE GIRLS, MALCOLM X
For almost three decades Spike-Lee, Celebrity Provocateur has threatened to overshadow Spike Lee, World Class Filmmaker. Which is a shame. Lee’s 1989 masterpiece Do the Right Thing is one of only four empirically perfect films ever made, and the Brooklyn-bred director has easily a half-dozen other films nearly as good. But the things that drive Lee’s outsized public image are the same things that drive him as a movie-maker: outrage, idealism, and a desperate need to shine a spotlight on hypocrisy and injustice. He’s a patriot and an artist who uses his medium as a weapon, through both social satires like Bamboozled and surprisingly profound genre entries like Inside Man. He may miss the mark nearly as often as he hits it, but at least he’s prolific. With 23 films in just less than 30 years, Lee has as many great films as other great directors have films. More than any other living filmmaker, his work deserves to be discussed as part of the larger cultural conversation.
See the full list HERE.