Spike Lee Returns to Harvard

Lee fever has spilled, and now Harvard's temperature is down.

Spike Lee returned to Harvard to deliver his first lectures of the semester, but most of the 1,800 students who tried to catch a glimpse of the acclaimed filmmaker last year didn't come out to see him this time around.

Less than 300 students attended yesterday's first meeting of Afro-American Studies 182, "Contemporary African-American Cinema." Last year, 1200 students packed Sanders Hall and 600 were turned away for the course's first lecture.

Lee introduced students to the films that will be studied, and answered questions mostly by first-years concerned with being accepted into the course. Forty students will be chosen for the course according to a one page proposal due Monday, and preference will be given to upperclass students.

"You're a freshman?" Lee asked one inquiring student. "It doesn't look good." But the filmmaker said first-years were encouraged to apply.


Lee told the class that this semester, the course will contain more films directed by Black directors than last year and that the class will study two of his own films; "Do the Right Thing," and the recent "Malcolm X."

After the class, Lee said his main goal for the class was to "educate."

"The course is an important contribution to the Harvard community," said Garen E. Thomas '95, a Visual and Environmental Studies (V.E.S.) concentrator who is applying for the course. "It's an important course for people to experience...I'm looking forward to it and I'm hoping to get it."

"I hope to get a different perspective on Afro-American films," said Staci Weeks '94, also a V.E.S. concentrator who hopes to take the course, "to see his perspective on films and to give my views."

But other students said they had only gone to shop the class, not for the glamour of a Hollywood sighting. "[The course] does interest me," said Kurtis Auguste '96. "I came to see if I might take the course later...not because of him."

Some students who shopped the class yesterday said they had heard a lot of hype and wanted to hear Lee explain the course.

"It would be cool to take the class and to take something different," said Linda Maxwell '96. "I will apply but it's hard for freshmen to get in."