Joe’s Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads
Lee won a Student Academy Award for this hour-long film, which he made as his master’s thesis for NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Monty Ross (who would go on to co-produce several of Lee’s features, including Do the Right Thing and Malcolm X) plays a Brooklyn barbershop owner who must decide whether to allow racketeers access to his shop in order to keep his business open. The black-and-white cinematography was the work of Ernest Dickerson, while Lee and Dickerson’s fellow NYU student, Ang Lee, served as assistant director. The acclaimed film also became the first student effort to be screened in Lincoln Center’s prestigious New Directors/New Films festival.
Presented as part of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' ongoing series at LACMA.