With 23 days to go, Spike Lee's Kickstarter project has earned $355,322 of its $1,250,000 goal as of this posting. Over 1,800 people have donated to Lee's mysterious new film (it's about "human beings who are addicted to blood," but not vampires), including director Steven Soderbergh. As Lee told NextMovie, Soderbergh dropped $10,000 into the Kickstarter coffers, meaning the two directors will attend a New York Knicks game together during the 2013-14 season. (That's the reward Lee set aside for those who donate $10,000.)
In a new posting on Lee's Kickstarter page, Soderbergh revealed why he was compelled to give.
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. I know Spike’s films better than I know Spike (maybe the Knicks game with help with that), but we’re friendly enough for me to say I respect him as person as well as a filmmaker.
Soderbergh's full piece, "Why I Back Spike Lee By Stephen (sic) Soderbergh," can be found on Lee's Kickstarter page.
That post came at a good time for Lee, who answered critics of his campaign in a video interview with Film Courage posted on July 27. "This little brouhaha about Spike Lee coming to bogart Kickstarter and he's taking advantage of young, up and coming filmmakers, is -- as my good friend Mike Tyson would say -- ludicrous," Lee said. Watch the video below for Lee's full commentary on the matter: