Richard Cante, a communications professor and the founding director of UNC’s Interdisciplinary Program of Cinema, said he is excited for Lee’s talk.
“Spike Lee is a genius,” he said.
“There’s a good case to be made that Lee is the single most important person in American cinema since the 1970s.”
Cante said that Lee bridges a gap between two schools of directors.
“Lee is the last major figure amongst the first generation of independent ‘film school’ directors and the first major figure amongst the second generation film-schoolers,” he said.
Tom Low, chairman of the CUAB forum committee, said the committee tries to contract speakers who fit two requirements.
“First we wanted speakers with recognizable names. Second, we wanted speakers who have interesting topics to discus,” he said.
Low also said that though the event is not sold out, most of the tickets in the lower level of Memorial Hall have been sold. The venue seats 1,434 total.
Rylan Miller, a senior journalism major, was one of 30 students selected to participate in a question and answer session a few hours before the forum opens to the public.
“I think it is really cool that UNC is putting students directly in touch with someone like Spike Lee,” she said.
“It is a great opportunity to learn from someone who has become really successful and just to find out more about him as a person.”
Rachel Coleman, also a senior journalism major selected to participate in the question and answer session, said the chance to question such a well-known figure is a unique opportunity.
“I interview people a lot as a journalism student, but being able to talk to someone of this magnitude is new for me,” Coleman said.
“I want to know where he gets inspiration for his films, if he ever feels pressure from the film industry, and how he deals with people who negatively criticize his work.”
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