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Spike Lee to receive the American Cinematheque Award

Spike Lee (Photo credit: Bang Media)

Spike Lee’s heralded film career will be honored by The American Cinematheque on Jan. 14 through a virtual ceremony. Lee will receive the 34th American Cinematheque Award for his acclaimed works throughout his 30-plus year career.

Some of his masterpieces like Malcom X, School Daze and Jungle Fever will have homage paid to them during the ceremony and the guests honoring Spike will include Angela Bassett, Ryan Coogler, Rosie Perez and Jodie Foster.

The actors from his latest Netflix film, Da 5 Bloods (Delroy Lindo, Jonathan Majors, Clarke Peters, Norm Lewis and Isiah Whitlock Jr.), will also be in attendance to honor his legacy.

Da 5 Bloods and David Byrne’s American Utopia, both directed by Spike last year, will be spotlighted as well.  American Utopia is currently available on HBO and documents the former Talking Heads frontman’s 2019 Broadway show, based on his recent album and tour of the same name.

Rick Nicita, board chair for The American Cinematheque, spoke on Lee’s career and the importance of the arts. He said in a statement, “As a cultural arts organization that celebrates the importance of film in our society, Spike Lee is the perfect choice for the Cinematheque’s annual award. Spike’s ability to perceive and depict the tone of contemporary society is shown in his movies, ranging from Do the Right Thing, She’s Gotta Have It, Malcolm X and BlacKkKlansman to name only a few. He continues his outstanding output with this year’s Da 5 Bloods and American Utopia. We look forward with great anticipation to where he will next shine his light.”

Previous honorees have included Eddie Murphy, Ron Howard, Denzel Washington and Samuel L. Jackson. Spike’s next scheduled directorial project is Prince of Cats. Written by Selwyn Hinds, the film is currently in pre-production and is described as an 80’s hip-hop retelling of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet set in Brooklyn.