The Screening Room Blog
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Spike Lee and Barack Obama's dating success

TORONTO, Canada -- The hectic junket schedule continues at Toronto. I have a few hours set aside for "Miracle at St. Anna" -- the new Spike Lee (right) movie about the contribution of African-American troops in World War II.

This is the movie, remember, that caused Spike Lee to criticize Clint Eastwood about the lack of African-American troops in his two World War II movies from 2006, "Flags of Our Fathers" and "Letters from Iwo Jima," which in turn caused Clint Eastwood to say Spike Lee should "Shut his face." All rather awkward; and Spike quite clearly does not want to go into it again with me.

Regardless, we have a good time during my whopping 20 minute time slot with him. He talks about shooting the film in Italy; filming a war epic -- and what moved him about the story.

I also ask him about a rumor I'd heard that when Barack Obama told Spike his first date with Michelle was to see "Do the Right Thing" -- Lee's 1989 story of a scorchingly hot day in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn where hatred and resentment spills into violence -- Spike apparently said: "Well, thank God I made it or you'd have had to take her to "Soul Man" or "Driving Miss Daisy" and she'd never have wanted to see you again."

Spike laughs it off and says Obama did take Michelle to "Do the Right Thing" and to Baskin Robbins after -- but he refuses to go into any more detail. Hmmm...

-- From CNN's Katie Walmsley

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