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A Brixton block party to celebrate legend Spike Lee

GOOD TIMES: From left - We Are Parable co-founder Anthony Andrews, hip-hop artist TY, We Are Parable co-founder Teanne Andrews, DJ Essay and DJ Croc hold up themed street signs (image credit: David Kwaw Mensah)

IT’S COMMON practice to refer to legends in the past tense and celebrate them and their achievements once they are no longer able to physically soak-up the profound affect their work has had on many.

But, every once in a while, a living legend gets that opportunity. This year, filmmaker Spike Lee was one such legend to enjoy the privilege.

The much-respected name behind titles including Do The Right Thing, She’s Got To Have It and Crooklyn, celebrated his 60th birthday on March 20. To mark the occasion, events company We Are Parable launched #SpikeIs60, a year-long festival to celebrate the Oscar-winning director’s contribution by giving audiences, new and old, the chance to view his iconic work on the big screen.

The festival kicked off on March 19, a day before the directors milestone birthday with a screening of Mo Better Blues, starring a young Lee and baby-faced Hollywood star Denzel Washington, at London’s Rio cinema to a sold-out audience.


In true We Are Parable ‘immersive cinema experience’ style, a saxophonist played music throughout the screening, enhancing the jazz-themed narrative of the film. As a result the sweet music from this event and the #SpikeIs60 festival has subsequently spread far and wide; showcasing We Are Parable's signature style and approach to creating events that envelop attendees in the atmosphere.

Lee jetted to the capital last month and hosted a Q&A in Piccadilly’s Picture house with an audience still keen to view and discuss his legendary work.

He happily answered “intelligent” questions and signed copies of limited edition She’s Gotta Have It Moleskine notebooks and took pictures with attendees after the event.

Just before the festival heads out of the capital to Manchester, We Are Parable hosted a double screening of Do The Right Thing and Crooklyn at Brixton’s Ritzy cinema this past Saturday (August 12) followed by a block party in the fitting venue, the nearby Black Cultural Archives.

HOST WITH THE MOST: Respected UK hip-hop artist, TY, at the #SpikeIs60 block party (image credit: Ivy Munro)

“This event represents the midpoint of the #SpikeIs60 film festival, and to celebrate, We Are Parable have teamed-up with Black Cultural Archives to produce an exclusive block party, complete with DJs from east London collective Got Soul, dancing and poetry,” We Are Parable founders Anthony and Teanne Andrews said ahead of the event.

Classic hip-hop hits that have provided the soundtrack to much of Lee’s work, including Public Enemy’s Fight The Power, pumped from the speakers (courtesy of DJ Essay and DJ Croc) in the venue’s courtyard as the crowd filtered in from the cinema and surrounding areas.

Spoken word artists shared pieces from their back catalogue to a receptive crowd as the evening’s host, respected UK hip-hop artist and Brixtonian, TY, expertly glued the night together.

WORDS OF WISDOM: Spoken word artist MOAK captivates the crowd (image credit: Ivy Munro)

“This is Brixton,” he could proudly be heard repeating throughout the night as the music flowed, the dance floor filled and the smiles spread.

Outside the gates of the sold-out event, residents and visitors alike formed their own dance floor as classics from yesteryear filled the air.

The night represented a fitting tribute to a filmmaker, who, through his iconic work, has brought communities together.

For information on future #SpikeIs60 and We Are Parable events, click here.

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