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Spike Lee On Digital Viewing Of Movies: ‘It’s Heartbreaking’

Spike Lee would rather watch a movie in a big theater than on a mobile-phone screen.

“I know I’m a dinosaur,” Lee said while holding forth at Variety’s Entertainment and Technology conference in New York, but “there’s something still for me actually being in a movie theater” and seeing a film with a group of people.

The director said he was taken aback by the notion that some people might watch “West Side Story,” “Star Wars” or “Apocalypse Now” on a smartphone screen.

“I know it’s not a popular view, but as a filmmaker — we kill ourselves with editing. With lighting. With sound,” he said, adding: “It’s heartbreaking.”

Lee appeared with Marc Ecko, the media and fashion entrepreneur. Lee recently agreed to join Ecko’s Complex media and marketing business, becoming a board adviser for video products and branded content. Lee is no stranger to the world of advertising, having long overseen ad work at Spike DDB, part of the large DDB Worldwide unit of ad holding company Omnicom Group.

The director said he felt at home tackling commercial work and filmmaking. “It’s just storytelling,” he said. “That’s the way I approach it.”

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