At the DGA Theater preem of Variance’s “Red Hook Summer,” Spike Lee felt the aud’s love Monday night in Gotham.
“He’s the ultimate black filmmaker of my lifetime,” Toure said. “A man with his own voice who tells black stories in a very black way. If we didn’t have Spike we’d have to invent him because we need someone telling black stories this way.”
Isaiah Whitlock, now a vet of three Lee pics, said of the helmer: “We need to hear a voice rather than just pandering to audiences.”
“I learned from Spike that you can actually do a film well within a budget,” said “Summer” star Clarke Peters. “We did it in 18 days, up at 6 on the set and we finished at 6. I realize it’s his money and that might have been a motivation to be economical, but it showed it can be done.”
Lee noted, “It’s always like that, whether it’s ‘Malcolm X’ or ‘Inside Man.’ We know what we’re doing, you get it done and go home. You don’t need 12-, 18-hour days.”
Asked if he feels courageous, making movies on subjects no one else will touch, Lee laughed. “You can take that two ways! Is he smart or is he crazy?”
Following the screening, guests were bused to Frank’s Cocktail Lounge in Brooklyn.
Also in attendance: Mike Tyson, currently on Broadway under Lee’s direction, Gayle King and Ilyasah Shabazz, Malcolm X’s daughter.