I like to work with the same people when I can, and you want to get people with the same interests that you have, and the same aesthetic.
Violence is a part of America. I don't want to single out rap music. Let's be honest. America's the most violent country in the history of the world, that's just the way it is. We're all affected by it.
There's a lot of Americans, black and white, who think that we've arrived where we need to be and nothing else needs to be done and affirmative action needs to be dismantled.
People sometimes forget all the films that we've done. They remember the likes of 'Malcolm X' and 'Do the Right Thing.' But I've been working since 1986. From the beginning, I was determined to not just be a flash in the pan. I've got to keep up with Woody Allen. He's lapping me.
I'd like to state that Spike Lee is not saying that African American culture is just for black people alone to enjoy and cherish. Culture is for everybody.
Amongst black people, you have always heard it said that once a black man reaches a certain level, especially if you are an entertainer, you get a white trophy woman. I didn't make that up.
There's an unwritten law that you cannot have a Jewish character in a film who isn't 100 percent perfect, or you're labeled anti-Semitic.
I think that anyone who lives in New York, who's lived here, who's spent any time here, knows that it's basically a love-hate relationship, you might say. Even though I still think it's the greatest city in the world and I wouldn't live anywhere else, there're still things about it one doesn't like. The love far outweighs the negative.
First of all, what in this world does not revolve around money? But money is a big part of film, unlike a lot of other art forms.
I didn't dream about being a director. I didn't know I wanted to do something with film until the summer between my sophomore and junior years at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia.
The truth is I've been doing Kickstarter before there was Kickstarter; there was no Internet. Social Media was writing letters, making phone calls, beating the bushes.
I always give the example, if you turn on the radio today, black radio, Lenny Kravitz is not black. Bob Marley wasn't black: in the beginning, only white college stations played Bob Marley.
I think that every minority in the United States of America knows everything about the dominant culture. From the time you can think, you are bombarded with images from TV, film, magazines, newspapers.
I used the principles of Kickstarter to make 'She's Gotta Have It.' We filmed that in 1985 to 1986. The final cost was $175,000. I didn't have that money. It was friends, grants, donations. We saved our bottles for the nickel deposit.
'Red Hook Summer' is another chapter in my chronicles of Brooklyn.
Mike Tyson is the most complex person I've ever met in my life. I've known Mike since 1986. We're both from Brooklyn. I didn't know him growing up, but once he became heavyweight champion, I knew him then.
A lot of times, we censor ourselves before the censor even gets there.
My grandmother lived to be 100 years old. Her grandmother was a slave, yet she was a college graduate in the Spellman class of 1917. She taught art for 50 years and she saved her Social Security checks for her children's education.
Right now a lot of people are still choosing to go to Toronto instead of shooting in New York City, something I haven't done and something I hope I'll never have to do.
Any film I do is not going to change the way black women have been portrayed, or black people have been portrayed, in cinema since the days of D.W. Griffith.