ossie and ruby


What does it look like to be on the set of a Spike Lee film? That’s what you can find out in the photos of his brother, David Lee, who’s been capturing moments from the making of the 2015 Honorary Oscar recipient’s features through still unit work beginning with Spike’s first feature, She’s Gotta Have It (1986), and up through 2012’s Red Hook Summer.

David Lee has been the still unit photographer for many of the key American films and television series of the modern era, including King of the Hill (1993), Far from Heaven (2002), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), The Bourne Ultimatum (2007), American Gangster (2007), and the first season of HBO’s The Wire (2002). Work from David Lee’s fine art portfolio has been shown at the Museum of the City of New York, the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. and Boston’s Photography Resource Center. David was also included in “Songs of My People,” a group show of works from 100 African American photographers that has traveled internationally.  In 2014, the Academy celebrated Lee’s work on his brother’s films in an exhibition titled “WAKE UP! An Exhibition of Still Unit Photography by David Lee.”


Gil Scott-Heron on Ossie Davis’s and Ruby Dee’s TV Show, “Ossie and Ruby”. Part 1 of a 3-part video… 

Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fuc11vTL14c
Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxN9xcrZAS8

Do the Right Thing - Nearing the Boiling Point, and that was almost 40 years ago

The movie that should have won ‘best picture’ at the oscars (or at least SOMETHING) this year. Spike Lee’s first 'big budget’ breakthrough film was big bold splashy and in your face provacative, and was a welcome splash of cold water in the face of complacent movie viewers who are more used to the sort of 'race issue’ movies like 'Driving Miss Daisy’ (which, ironically ended up dominating the awards this year).

A simmering hot single day in the life of an NYC inner city neighborhood, with tensions between the residents at a boiling point and culminating in a riot. This multi-character portrait of American race relations at the tail end of the Reagan years is still relevant twenty years later despite some slightly dated slang and dress, and offers no easy answers or pat sermons at the end. Along with Pulp Fiction, one of the freshest new voices in film at the beginning of the 90s.

4 stars out of 5

Released 1989, First Viewing August 1990 with a revisit or two later

Directed by their grandson Muta'Ali Muhammad, and titled “Life’s Essentials with Ruby Dee,” the “documentary style film about Love, art and activism” tells the life and love story of Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee, for the first time, incorporating candid and revealing conversations and much more.

Premieres on Centric on January 17, 2016 @ 3:30PM. Available on DVD February 1, 2016