By Any Means Necessary: The Trials and Tribulations of the Making of Malcolm X--

Spike Lee, Author, Ralph Wiley, Author Hyperion Books $12.95 (314p) ISBN 978-1-56282-913-1
Lee, as energetic a marketer as he is a director, regularly releases companion books to his films, and fans of the upcoming epic about Malcolm X will welcome this book, which contains the film script as well as reflections by Lee and other participants in the film. Though Wiley ( Why Black People Tend to Shout ) collaborates with Lee, the book is loosely edited--the selections, reading like transcribed interviews, show how quotable Lee is: ``This was the picture I was born to make,'' he declares, for example. Lee addresses issues ranging from Malcolm X's influence on him to his part in the controversy over Norman Jewison, who was originally to direct the film, to the evolution of the script, which was first written by James Baldwin. Lee reports on interviews with Malcolm's intimates, including his ``very sometimey'' widow, Betty Shabazz, and the imposing Minister Louis Farrakhan, who discusses Malcolm X's split with Nation of Islam. Lee also tells how he raised funds from black athletes and entertainers to complete the film when it went over the budget. Among other contributors are co-producer Monty Ross and star Denzel Washington. Those wanting to know what the film lacks, of course, will have to turn to other sources. Photos not seen by PW. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 11/30/1992
Release date: 12/01/1992
Genre: Nonfiction
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