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Lee was one of three independent American filmmakers, with David Lynch and Jim Jarmusch, who inspired Soderbergh in the ’80s, a time in which he otherwise “felt like the sense of what was possible had shrunk,” Soderbergh wrote on Lee’s Kickstarter page.
“These were distinctive new voices, and the freedom (and success) they represented was liberating and energizing; these were shoulders I would try to stand on, that I would be proud to stand on,” he explains.
Soderbergh continues to praise Lee, writing: “Certain filmmakers exist outside the traditional parameters of criticism; their point of view and body of work make discussions about individual films interesting but ultimately irrelevant because each project is merely a chapter in a very long book that must (and will) be acknowledged and appreciated for its breadth, ambition, and contributions to the art of cinema. For me, Spike Lee is one of those filmmakers. He is a totally unique figure in American cinema, and he’s always gone his own way and spoken his mind (even when the commercial stakes were high), qualities which are in short supply in the film business.”
In closing, Soderbergh reiterates that he’s supporting a friend whose films he admires and who paved the way for his own success. He also notes that he’s hoping — through the Knicks game he’s been promised for his pledge — to get to know Lee better as a person.
Lee’s Kickstarter for a movie that he describes as a “funny,” “sexy” and “bloody” picture has so far raised $403,546 of its $1.25 million goal from 1,989 backers (including 21 at the $10,000 maximum level). There are 22 days left for the campaign to meet its fundraising target.
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