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'Reel to Real' Spike Lee week at UT Arlington includes film festival, concert, lecture

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

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Media Contact: Sue Stevens

Two-time Oscar-nominated filmmaker Spike Lee will discuss his life and career, “Reel to Real,” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, at Texas Hall, 701 W. Nedderman Drive, on The University of Texas at Arlington campus. Lee's films include “He Got Game,” “Inside Man,” “Malcolm X,” “Mo Better Blues,” “Do the Right Thing” and “4 Little Girls.”Tickets for Lee’s lecture are $15 for the public, $10 for faculty, staff and UT Arlington Alumni Association members and $5 for UT Arlington students. A $50 ticket, which includes a reception with Lee, is available in limited supply. Call (817) 272-2963 or visit utatickets@uta.edu to purchase tickets.

Lee also made a critically acclaimed miniseries for HBO called "When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts," telling the story of telling the story of the U.S. government's response to Hurricane Katrina. The drum arrangements for the documentary were created and played by Adonis Rose, jazz artist in residence at UT Arlington and artistic director of the Fort Worth Jazz Orchestra. Rose will lead the UTA Jazz Band in a free jazz concert, “Music from the Films of Spike Lee,” at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 8, in the Rosebud Theatre in the E. H. Herford University Center, 300 W. First St.Rose has played with nine-time Grammy winning trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, three-time Grammy winning vocalist Dianne Reeves and jazz/pop entertainer Harry Connick Jr., a three-time Grammy winner. After being forced to leave New Orleans due to Hurricane Katrina, Rose settled in Fort Worth.

Following the concert there will be a brief reception and then a screening of Lee’s film “Inside Man” at 8 p.m., in the Rosebud Theatre. Academy Award-winner Denzel Washington, Academy Award nominee Clive Owen and Academy Award-winner Jodie Foster star in this intense and explosive crime thriller, where a perfect bank robbery quickly spirals into an unstable and deadly game of cat-and-mouse between a criminal mastermind (Owen), a determined detective (Washington), and a power broker with a hidden agenda (Foster.)A full day of free film screenings will be offered the day of Lee’s lecture, beginning at 10 a.m. in room 148, Fine Arts Building, 700 Greek Row Drive.

The first film is “Malcolm X,” an epic biography featuring Denzel Washington in a dynamic performance as the black revolutionary leader. The film follows Malcolm's early days as a Harlem hepcat, his time in prison and conversion there to Islam, his family life, and his crusades to further the black race. Angela Bassett, Al Freeman Jr., Albert Hall and Lee co-star.Beginning at 1 p.m. is “4 Little Girls,’ about the Sept. 15, 1963, bombing which destroyed a black church in Birmingham, Ala., killing four young girls who were there for Sunday school. It was a crime that shocked the nation and a defining moment in the history of America's civil rights movement. Lee tells the full story of the bombing, through heart-wrenching testimonials from surviving members of the victims' families, insights from Bill Cosby, Walter Cronkite, Andrew Young, Coretta Scott King and many others, and a rare and revealing interview with former Alabama Gov. George Wallace.Following at 3 p.m. is “Do the Right Thing,” a tale of bigotry and racial conflict in a multi-ethnic community in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn on the hottest day of the year. It stars Lee, Danny Aiello, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Richard Edson, Giancarlo Esposito, Bill Nunn and John Turturro. This was the feature film debut of both Martin Lawrence and Rosie Perez. Samuel L. Jackson also is featured.

Monday through Thursday of the week preceding Lee’s lecture, there will be a panel discussion and screening of “When the Levees Broke.” at 7 p.m. in room 148 of the Fine Arts Building. The screening is a part of Assistant Professor Narcel Reedus’ advanced film class, but will be open to the public on a space available basis. “Act One,” which covers the events that immediately preceded Katrina's onslaught of horror, with an in-depth exploration of the Bush administration and FEMA's joint failures to understand the potential calamity at hand, will be shown Monday. The following night offers “When the Levees Broke: Act Two,” followed Wednesday by “Act Three” and “Act Four” on Thursday.

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