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Year-Round Programming

A Conversation with Spike Lee and Terence Blanchard

Join us for an in-depth conversation with visionary director Spike Lee and celebrated composer and musician Terence Blanchard on their prolific collaboration over three decades, including their most recent film together Da 5 Bloods.


Recorded Talk

Wed, Jan 27 at 6:00 pm PST


This event was pre-recorded on January 19, 2021 in front of a live audience of students from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and filmmakers supported by the SFFILM Makers program.


From films beginning with Jungle Fever (1991) and Malcolm X (1992) to the documentary series When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts (2006) and BlacKkKlansman (2018), the partnership between Lee and Blanchard has flourished over 17 film collaborations. The latest, Da 5 Bloods, follows four African American veterans returning to Vietnam decades after the war to find their squad leader’s remains — and a stash of buried gold. Embracing classic canons of war, brotherhood, and the heist film with full bravado, Da 5 Bloods bends all expectations of those genres to deliver an utterly indispensable American history lesson that is both moving and grand.

Filmmaker Spike Lee

Spike Lee’s iconic body of storytelling has made an indelible mark on filmmaking and television. Most recently, his film Da 5 Bloods premiered on Netflix in June 2020 to critical acclaim. The visionary filmmaker directed and co-wrote the Academy Award®-nominated and critically acclaimed hit film BlacKkKlansman, winning the Oscar® for Best Adapted Screenplay.

His career spans over 30 years and includes: She’s Gotta Have It, School Daze, Do the Right Thing, Mo’ Better Blues, Jungle Fever, Malcolm X, Crooklyn, Clockers, Girl 6, Get on the Bus, He Got Game, Summer of Sam, Bamboozled, 25th Hour, She Hate Me, Inside Man, Miracle at St. Anna, Red Hook Summer, Old Boy, and Chi-Raq. Lee’s outstanding feature documentary work includes the double Emmy® Award-winning If God Is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise, a follow up to his HBO documentary film When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts and the Peabody Award-winning A Huey P Newton Story. In the television area, he launched his Netflix original series She’s Gotta Have It, which ran two seasons on the platform. The series is a contemporary update of his classic film.

Trumpeter/Composer Terence Blanchard

Oscar nominee, six-time Grammy-winner and 2018 USA Fellow trumpeter/composer Terence Blanchard has been a consistent artistic force for making powerful musical statements concerning painful American tragedies – past and present.

From his expansive work composing the scores for Spike Lee films ranging from the documentary When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts, about Blanchard’s hometown of New Orleans during the devastation from Hurricane Katrina to the epic Malcolm X; and the latest Lee film, Da 5 Bloods, Blanchard has interwoven melodies that created strong backdrops to human stories.

Blanchard received an Oscar nomination for his original score for BlacKkKlansman. He was also BAFTA nominated for his original music for the film. He won a Grammy for Best Instrumental Composition for writing “Blut Und Boden (Blood and Soil)” a track from BlacKkKlansman.