There have been a lot of reports coming out of Italy over the last month concerning Spike Lee. In June, there was word that the director would be heading an adaptation of Walter McBride's novel -- Miracle at St. Anna. Fueled by the utter lack of African-American soldiers in Clint Eastwood's two Iwo Jima films, and meeting a black veteran from the battle, Lee decided to head to Italy to film the story of the U.S. Army's all-black 92nd division in WWII. This will be the first movie of the second World War that features a mainly-African-American cast. "I'm a big fan of World War II movies, but up until now I've only seen two that featured any black soldiers. There was Jim Brown in Dirty Dozen and (James Edwards), who was Gen. Patton's valet in Patton. I know we can do better than that." Buzz got a little more heated last week, as reports were circling about Lee's complaints with mainstream, American cinema. Now, there's more.

He's currently in Tuscany, Italy scouting locations for the film, picking up the 41st Fiesole Master of Film Award and ranting about stateside, mainstream cinema. "My last feature film, Inside Man, was my most successful so far, and I was naive enough to think that that meant I could go from there and make any film I wanted to make. But I was very, very wrong about that. Anybody who thinks that I've become part of the mainstream doesn't understand the way it works." While he's definitely doesn't pack the mainstream punch of George Lucas, for example, he's far from off-the-beaten-path indie director. You say tomato, I say tomahto, and that he's probably somewhere in the middle. However, he's definitely not in the middle over in Italy. This award that he's nabbed has only been given to two other American directors -- Orson Wells in 1974, and Stanley Kubrick in 1983. He might not get the wide-open, greenlight in seas of mainstream, US filmmaking, but he's definitely secured some solid appreciation.
categories Movies, Cinematical