Spike Lee talks being robbed of the Palme D'or in 1989, blames Wim Wenders

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Spike Lee's "BlackKklansman" is about to premiere at this years' Cannes Film Festival.
The film is based on on Ron Stallworth’s 2014 novel “Black Klansman: Race, Hate, and the Undercover Investigation of a Lifetime.” which was inspired by the true story of a police officer that went undercover within the Klan.

Lee hasn't been to Cannes in decades. Many believed Lee's best chance at the Palme came in 1989 when  "Do The Right thing" was robbed of not just a Best Picture Oscar nomination, but also the Palme D'or.  Steven Soderbergh's 'Sex, Lies and Videotape" won the coveted award instead.

Nevertheless, i was surprised to read that Lee is still bitter about what happened almost 30 years ago. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, the writer-director seems to be blaming the loss to Wim Wenders:

“Look, me and Steven are cool, have always been cool. But that thing was commandeered by Wim Wenders,” Lee says. “He said Mookie was not a heroic character.” 

However, Wim Wenders is saying Lee is lying:

“He said he’d be waiting for me in an alley with a baseball bat,” said Wenders. “Well, he should have been waiting for the whole jury because it wasn’t my decision. The film simply didn’t have the support of the jury…. He just had the bad luck to be in such a great year.”

“I had sleepless nights over our decision. With Spike, I’m still sad that he took it so personally.”

I love Lee's work between 1989-2005. The filmmaker was on fire during that stretch with "joints" such as "Do The Right Thing," "Malcom X," "Jungle Fever," "Summer of Sam," "He Got Game," "Bamboozled," "The 25th Hour," and "Inside Man." Not to mention all the great docs he directed and produced in between. 

Something happened after that, mediocrity settled in, what else would you call "She Hate Me," "Miracle at St. Anna," "Red Hook Summer," "Oldboy," and "Da Sweet Blood of Jesus." 2015's "Chiraq" was seen as a sort of comeback but I didn't really buy its faux authenticity and the fact that the characters' dialogue was delivered by way of freestyled hip-hop.

Nevertheless, if Cannes head Thierry Fremaux and his committee think Lee's latest film is worthy of competition then there must be something there. A Spike Lee comeback is more than welcome in my books and maybe, just maybe, the Palme is around the corner.