Spike Lee report!

Spike Lee was at ABC Amsterdam on Monday, December 13th 2010, to sign a new book about his most successful film: Spike Lee: Do The Right Thing.

The line to see Mr Lee snaked all the way from the second floor down to the ground floor.  We figured y’all would appreciate not having to wait in the cold this time! Such a long line of excited people was amazing to see. It looked like there were hundreds of people waiting to get their book signed, but it was probably more like 150 to 200 though.

Spike was professional, friendly, but aloof.  When he approached the table we’d set up for him, there was a beautiful vase of flowers. Without looking, he waved his hand and said,  “Lose the flowers!”  Later he spoke to one particular black woman for a while.  Afterwards, in an interview she said that he had asked her:  “Where are all the black people?”  This surprised ABCer Maria: “But then I remembered how different this is in New York.  There his public would have been predominantly blacks and minorities.”

Mr Lee took time to to talk to as many people as possible. He was good-humored, gracious and patient, answering each fan’s questions, whether they were about politics, sports or film. He connected with lots of fans in the short time he was here, and really listened to what people wanted to tell him. He cracked jokes with our staff with a cheeky wink and was generally a pleasure to host.

As well as signing his book, he broke our usual author event rules: when someone approached him and said they couldn’t afford to buy the book, he went ahead and signed their posters, t-shirts, books, DVDs, lots and lots of sneakers, and even a baseball jacket, which created a fabulous atmosphere. If you need cheering up today, just have a look through our photos from the event and look at all the smiling faces.

Mr Lee  brought his own music  with him: legendary soul singer/composer Donny Hathaway and the new Michael Jackson album. His iPod was huge, battered and running out of juice. (So now your blogmistress has had the geeky thrill of knowing her USB cable has been attached to a megastar’s iPod!) He got a little annoyed when ABCer Jilles stopped the Donny Hathaway album in the middle of the Christmas song.

The next morning he gave a lecture at a hastily organized special screening of Do the Right Thing , put together by Dimmy Littlejohn from Patta (a sneaker store at the Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal). Because that’s the kind of guy Mr Lee is.

Here’s a selection of photos from the event. There are lots more on our flickr stream. There’s a short video too, on zie.nl.

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