By any means necessary: the trials and tribulations of the making of Malcolm X

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Hyperion, 1992 - Biography & Autobiography - 314 pages
5 Reviews
The director of Do the Right Thing and Jungle Fever describes the troubles he encountered while making Malcolm X, a film based on the life of the slain African-American leader. Original.

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Review: By Any Means Necessary: Trials And Tribulations of the Making of Malcolm X

User Review  - Andrew Hathaway - Goodreads

Spike left the diary approach behind for a more constructed personal narrative regarding his experience with making Malcolm X. With that construction comes a larger degree of self-consciousness so ... Read full review

Review: By Any Means Necessary: Trials And Tribulations of the Making of Malcolm X

User Review  - Daniel Sloyan - Goodreads

This was my prize for donating to his kickstarter. I love books about making movies, especially when they're written by people who were there. It does have some interesting aspects, but I wish he ... Read full review

Contents

THE PROJECT
21
THE SHOOT
85
POSTPRODUCTION
121
Copyright

3 other sections not shown

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About the author (1992)

Directing, writing, and starring in his own films, as did Charlie Chaplin and Orson Welles before him, Lee has arguably had almost as profound an influence on American filmmaking as his predecessors, although in very different ways. In his own words, he is good at "marketing," and what he has marketed is a highly politicized African American cinema that is also commercially viable. Many critics credit Lee with paving the way for a new wave of mass-market yet socially conscious filmmakers, including John Singleton, Charles Lane, and Carl Franklin. The eldest of six children, Lee was educated first at Morehouse College and then at New York University's film school. His first feature release, She's Gotta Have It (1986), won the Prix de Jeunesse at Cannes and was both critically acclaimed and commercially successful in the United States. Lee went on to make School Daze (1988) and Do the Right Thing (1989), a technically sophisticated film that addressed racism in a complex and controversial fashion. The film constructs a narrative that leaves it to the viewer to decide whether its protagonist, Mookie, has done the right thing when he responds to the death of one of his friends at the hands of the police by throwing a trash can through the window of his employer, who had called the police in the first place. Because a riot ensues, many (white) critics argued that the film celebrated violence, and the press suggested that it would incite black spectators to riot (it did not). Other critics suggested that Mookie actually defuses a riot, by directing the community's anger toward property and away from the police. Two years later, Lee tackled the subject of interracial relationships in another hotly debated film, Jungle Fever (1991), which some saw as preachy and sexist and others praised as bold and complex. However, his most recent and ambitious film, Malcolm X (1992), has been almost universally acclaimed. Lee has published a companion text for each film that includes biographies of all of the principals, essays on such topics as guerilla filmmaking, production stills, details of salaries and finances, excerpts from his journal or production notes, and the script. These materials demystify production, advertise the talents of the people who work for him, and promote his political positions, particularly his commitment to black entrepreneurship and cultural self-expression.

Ralph Wiley is the author or coauthor of several works, most recently "Born to Play: The Eric Davis Story,

Born in Omaha, Nebraska, and the son of a Baptist minister, Malcolm Little grew up with violence. Whites killed several members of his family, including his father. As a youngster, he went to live with a sister in Boston where he started a career of crime that he continued in New York's Harlem as a drug peddler and pimp. While serving a prison term for burglary in 1952, he converted to Islam and undertook an intensive program of study and self-improvement, movingly detailed in "Autobiography of Malcolm X." He wrote constantly to Elijah Muhammad (Elijah Poole, 1897--1975), head of the black separatist Nation of Islam, which already claimed the loyalty of several of his brothers and sisters. Upon release from prison, Little went to Detroit, met with Elijah Muhammad, and dropped the last name Little, adopting X to symbolize the unknown African name his ancestors had been robbed of when they were enslaved. Soon he was actively speaking and organizing as a Muslim minister. In his angry and articulate preaching, he condemned white America for its treatment of blacks, denounced the integration movement as black self-delusion, and advocated black control of black communities. During the turbulent 1960's, he was seen as inflammatory and dangerous. In 1963, a storm broke out when he called President Kennedy's assassination a case of "chickens coming home to roost," meaning that white violence, long directed against blacks, had now turned on itself. The statement was received with fury, and Elijah Muhammad denounced him publicly. Shocked and already disillusioned with the leader because of his reputed involvement with several women, Malcolm X went on a pilgrimage to Mecca and then traveled to several African countries, where he was received as a fellow Muslim. When he returned home, he was bearing a new message: Islam is a religion that welcomes and unites people of all races in the Oneness of Allah. On the night of February 21, 1965, as he was preaching at Harlem's Audubon Ballroom, he was assassinated.