Chapter 4 of 19 from Spike Lee

Speaking Truth to Power: On the Waterfront

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Breaking down the director’s choices in one of his favorite films, Elia Kazan’s On the Waterfront, Spike demonstrates how cinema can be a powerful tool for speaking the truth.

Topics include: Film as a Powerful Tool for Truth • Every Choice Drives the Storytelling • A Classic Film’s Relevance to the Contemporary

Breaking down the director’s choices in one of his favorite films, Elia Kazan’s On the Waterfront, Spike demonstrates how cinema can be a powerful tool for speaking the truth.

Topics include: Film as a Powerful Tool for Truth • Every Choice Drives the Storytelling • A Classic Film’s Relevance to the Contemporary

Spike Lee

Spike Lee Teaches Independent Filmmaking

Academy Award–winning filmmaker Spike Lee teaches his approach to directing, writing, and producing.

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Make films with an impact

Spike Lee didn’t just direct his award-winning 1986 feature debut, She’s Gotta Have It. He was also the writer, star, truck driver, location scout, electrician, and caterer—because that’s what it took to get his film made. In his first-ever online class, the visionary behind Do the Right Thing, Malcolm X, and BlacKkKlansman lets you in on his uncompromising approach to filmmaking. Learn about writing, self-producing, working with actors, and making movies that break down barriers.

Spike Lee opens the doors of his Brooklyn office to teach filmmaking through scripts and storyboards from some of his greatest films.

A downloadable workbook accompanies the class with lesson recaps, assignments, and supplemental material.

Upload videos to get feedback from the class. Spike will answer select student questions.

Reviews

4.7
Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

I loved this MasterClass. The idea that Mr. Lee is so candid and direct in his teaching. It's almost as if he's sitting in front of you and telling teethe real deal no fluff.

This Masterclass was fantastic. I am in the process of producing my first feature film and Spikes tips are very valuable to this process. Thank you very much for this. we want more! :D

Spike Lee is an incredible teacher and inspiration to me and I hope to use the lessons I learned here to help my career and hopefully help our people too

I really liked the class. I think I'll be able to apply everything I've learnt from Spike to my work. I especially appreciated chapter seventeen, film as an agent of change, it's a super important lesson and I'm really glad it was part of the class.

Comments

Michael U.

Because Spike Lee is a fan of Elia Kazan I would love for him to do an updated version of "A Face in the Crowd".

Philip C.

Go Spike! A perfect example of how a story can be timeless and relevant decades beyond its making.

Puck

Use your platform boy.....that’s what I luv about this man....always screaming and teaching.....”how to speak truth to power”.....I pledge to follow these lessons 🥇

Louise J.

love 'On the Waterfront" when Marlon Brando says "i could have been a contender" and Leonard Bernstein's music is there in the background not too loud so the scene between him and his brother is so heartbreaking- "You're my brother you should have looked after me" Thanks so much Spike Lee!! Love your films and extreme respect!! Your classes are so amazingly inspiring!

Kathy M.

I believe it's important to speak truth to power. The truth in this scene was that the worker excelled at his job, and was passed up because of his convictions . Kapernick had been demoted to second string and was at risk of being traded, before he first took a knee . The fact is he can throw a beautiful long pass, but they have to connect at a higher percentage.

Cliniquka M.

Wow! Art meets life! I felt and understood everything you said in this lesson, Mr. Lee. Powerful stuff.

Robert G.

Yes, mudda-f*^kers! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8Sb_YryToY&t=2s If this is out of line - understood. I just got so caught up in Spike's lesson.

Michael O.

100% Speak truth to power! That's the No. 1 reason to produce film and theatre. God, I've never heard such a straightforward statement from a director / producer. YES!

E T.

Wow, the passion from Spike as he watches and describes scenes from "On the Waterfront" was worth everything. He loves film! He can't stand injustice. I'm right there with him!!!!

Mary Beth P.

So I really don't know Spike Lee's work, but I struggle with the point that he made in the previous section about to perspectives being correct and conflicting with this being the follow on. Is his goal to shed light to the multi-faceted nature of truth, or is he driving an agenda?