While one famous New Yorker holed up in his midtown tower for the night, another one was celebrating his new film just blocks away. Filmmaker Spike Lee held court at last night’s (Nov. 16) opening of a new Moncler boutique on Madison Avenue, debuting a music video, “Brave,” for the occasion. Using the song “Brave Suffering Beautiful,” from the 2008 Tony-award winning musical Passing Strange, Lee’s short film is an homage to his hometown -- and part of the Italian brand’s “Tribute to New York” project, which also includes a 28-piece, stars-and-stripes capsule collection from Moncler veteran designer Thom Browne (proceeds from which will go to the Robin Hood charity to fight poverty).
The 59-year-old filmmaker worked with Passing Strange’s Stew and Heidi Rodewald, along with dancers Lil Buck, John Boogz and Damaris Lewis, shooting all over the city -- including his childhood neighborhood of Fort Greene—and in the middle of August’s heat wave, giving the video strong Do the Right Thing vibes. We sat down with Lee to talk about the the song’s lyrics, New York City summers and why he’d like to work with Stevie Wonder again.