BLACKKKLANSMAN director Spike Lee recently sat down with film critic David Thomson at the historic Castro Theater in San Francisco to discuss his career for a SFFILM tribute.

Among the topics touched upon were Lee’s filmmaking influences. He talked about some influences that didn’t seem too surprising like Sidney Poitier in LILIES OF THE FIELD and others that might not seem so obvious like the Sean Connery James Bond films.

But the person Lee credited with helping him to understand the “power of film” was none other than Bruce Lee.

“Hollywood, in a lot of ways, has dehumanized people,” Lee said. “So that’s why it’s so important, people have to tell their own stories, that’s what it comes down to. But unlike a lot of art forms, it costs a lot of money. But it’s a powerful, powerful medium. … The first time I understood the power of film, I went to 42nd Street to see a Bruce Lee film, I don’t know if it was ‘Enter the Dragon’ or ‘Five Fingers of Death,’ but the movie came out, it was a thousand kids running up the block, hitting each other in the head with nunchucks, doing supposedly flying kicks, landing on their ass, and that’s because they just saw Bruce Lee.”

You can watch the full interview exclusively on Indiewire by clicking here.


  1. Bruce Lee Bro!