Spike Lee says in The Huffington Post headline, “My Spat With Eastwood May Have Cost Me an Oscar.”
Earlier this year, at Cannes, Lee criticized Eastwood for not having African-Americans in Flags of Our Fathers and Letters From Iwo Jima, Eastwood then said Lee should “shut his face” and Lee responded “we’re not on a plantation.”
Now Lee thinks the controversy that followed his remarks may have ruined his Academy Award chances for new movie “Miracle at St. Anna.”
Because in America, it’s not about content, substance or actual objective appraisal of the work, is it? Nope, it’s often about a half-dozen words that get rolled around by bored reporters and thrown in the air over and over like a wad of stale pizza dough so the irrelevant soundbites get spun into becoming the main event. And that’s how the essence of what’s at stake get lost in the noise, causing even the most patient observers to turn sour on the outcome and tainting the entire mangled process.
Lee says his wife tells him the Academy takes everything into account, including the fact that his films are normally set in New York — and even which sports team he supports. (For Your Consideration: Spike likes the Knicks.) He’s still bothered that Do The Right Thing wasn’t even on the board the year Driving Miss Daisy dominated the major categories, so he takes this opportunity to snuggle up to AMPAS with some even-tempered sentiment… Or not:
“Nobody is watching motherfucking Driving Miss Daisy today. Do The Right Thing is being taught in classes at major universities and high schools all over the world. That’s how you’re supposed to test art. Does the work stand up?”
That’s the Spike Lee I love. Do the right thing; say the wrong thing. I guess I’d ask myself, what’s more important. Winning an Oscar or having your films taught in universities to students who idolize you? But I’d also suggest that probably the worst way to go about staging an Oscar campaign is to scold voters for not awarding you sooner.