Spike Lee at SOHO Apple Store: Re-cap and Advice for Natalie Portman et al.

Yesterday was Earth Day and I didn’t do anything beyond breathe some oxygen and fertilize some porcelain.  Well, that isn’t entirely true. First, there is no way that toilet was porcelain and second, I went to see Spike Lee speak at the SOHO Apple Store, which i DID tell you about here.   I believe you can download a podcast of the event, but my account will be way better.  I took 9 pages of notes, but whittled them down to this because your attention spans are so damn short and I’m so lazy. FYI,  he’s cool, seems down to earth, and likes musicals.

5:50 pm:  Spike Lee comes on at 7 but there are already 2 rows deep standing.

6:15 pm: I’ve contemplated suicide 5 times. I like Spike Lee, but damn, my back is sweating and I’m stuck between a drone-voiced tween midget texting non-stop on her razor like a fucking stenographer and a group who doesn’t understand press seating – which I do not have.

6:29 pm: Spike Lee walks out from stage-left to a round of applause.  He walks directly across the stage to the bathroom.

6:30 pm: Spike Lee comes out of the bathroom. No applause.  We all feel weird.  How did he pee so fast?  Spike Lee has a small bladder.

6:38 pm: Outer tricep, thighs, and space between 4th and 7th ribs now sweating.

6:43 pm: Mac vs. PC commercials being played on monitor are damaging brand.  I hate them both.  Why the fuck is time moving so slowly.  People around me flaring a little.

6:50 pm: Smart brainstorm from guy in front of me – buy an orange tee-shirt (like those worn by staff) and just walk to the front.

6:55 pm: Our rights as attendees are shown on the screen because this is being recorded.  If we don’t like it we have to leave. Should’ve waited for the podcast to come out and listen to it in bed with ice cream.

7:00ish pm: Spike Lee comes out and begins talking about his two movies in Tribeca this year.  These are his first two movies in the film festival because of scheduling.  His movies typically come out in summer or fall and Tribeca showcases films coming out in Spring.

Shitty Synopsis of Two Movies
The first is “Kobe Doin’ Work” where they used 30 cameras to follow Kobe Byrant for an entire game.  During timeouts Lee got out of Denzel Washington’s seats (he had bought them for the game, he said) to hand record them.  The second film, “Passing Strange” is a documentation of a Broadway play that started in Joe’s Public about a kid from LA who goes to Europe to discover himself.

7:35 pm: The audio system blows during an extended clip from the musical “Passing Strange” and as Lee walks backstage to see what is up a person in the crowd says “Get him Spike!” and Spike responds with a pantomimed kick as though teeing off on a grounded foe’s face.

7:45 pm Q & A session was very painful. Nearly everyone was asking for advice.  A woman said she and her family had started a publishing company and wanted to know how hard it was going to be to make a film.  They had a present for Spike, too.  Lee said, “give it to Earl” and Earl stepped out of the woodwork to take a bag.  Here are some other excerpts:

-From a young gentleman: “My first question is”  Lee, interrupts to say, “you mean your 1 question is”

-From a guy in a wheelchair making a documentary about hip-hop and following dreams: “My cousin shot me when I was 13”.  Lee: “Was it on purpose?”  [no, it wasn't].   A moment later Lee makes some good anti-gun statements, culminating with a frank “Fuck the NRA”.

-A woman name dropped a “friend”,Star Moss, and drew a distinct blank face from Lee. I don’t remember if she even had a question, but Earl didn’t remember Star Moss either.

-A musician mentioned Spike’s father, Bill the trumpeter, and cited an article he read and asked if he could stop by the house and talk to Bill.  “Ring the bell, see if he’s there.”

-A guy making a movie about racial epithets has a copy for Spike.  “Give it to Earl”.

-Guy making a documentary about an overweight basketball player says he has something and a group of us in the crowd beat Lee to calling out for Earl.

-Another man gets up, does a name drop and then says he has “a script with the bank”.   No one knows what “the bank” means, including Lee who asks him twice.  “The Money” the man says, referring to the funding.  Lee jokes, “how much?”  Give it to Earl.

-At the end the moderator made a joke about this being a cross between “My Life” and a Job Fair.  Lee, in good spirits started to crack a little and declared “this is the last thing I’m taking tonight” . He then has to answer this question from an aspiring actress: “What about an actor makes it easy for you to work with them?”  ”If they are talented”.  Let me add, when they don’t ask stupid questions.

If you go to Natalie Portman on Friday at 3:30 pm, get there early and sleep in a seat.

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About the author

Oliver Hartman - Resident Bargain Whorespondent

Oliver was born in 1983, the year of the Pig according to the Chinese zodiac. He grew up in Whitefield, Maine, but since college has lived in Boston, Maui, Switzerland, Buenos Aires, San Francisco, Nicaragua, and New York making his bread as a waiter, cocktail boy, camp counselor, writer, english teacher, tennis instructor, guide, model, and design agency jackass.

2 Comments

  1. Sara says:

    Article Question:
    “Spike Lee comes out of the bathroom. No applause. We all feel weird. How did he pee so fast?”

    Answer 1.
    He went to the bathroom but quickly aborted at the last minute because Earl wasn’t available to hold his schlong.

    Answer 2.
    He wasn’t peeing, he was practicing his standard boilerplate “f*ck the whitey” face in the mirror before addressing the crowd.

  2. haha, well played Sara, well played. The moderator for the event was the president of the Museum of Moving Pictures AND the whitest guy I know (I don’t really know him, and Lee comes out and just sits in the director’s chair, almost catatonic, just staring into the audience blankly. I thought he was an ASS, but turned out very cool. He did make a comment about white people appropriating rock music though.

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