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TUESDAY

Spike Lee’s autobiography, That’s My Story and I’m Sticking to It, as told to film journalist Kaleem Aftab, goes beyond the usual handjob designed to congratulate an important figure for his contributions. In the book, which is organized by film, the making of Malcolm X and Do the Right Thing are dissected with appropriate obeisance, but Lee and Aftab don’t shy away from giving the creative process behind films such as Jungle Fever and He Got Game a critical workover, as well. From She’s Gotta Have It to Bamboozled, nothing is glossed over: Lee and Aftab explore everything from the creepiness of Lee’s filming his sister in a love scene to the director’s questionable acting abilities. As acting coach Susan Baston, who has consulted on Lee’s films, puts it, “You can’t really get him to sit down and do the work. So normally his performances are terrible.” Friends and family have no problems sounding off on Lee’s directorial decisions, either. His wife, Tonya Lee Lewis, discusses her theory that the phone sex theme of Girl 6 was her husband’s rebellion against becoming a husband and father; Branford Marsalis criticizes the director’s decision to have actress Cynda Williams, rather than a trained singer, croon “Harlem Blues” for Mo’ Better Blues; and sister Joie Lee retells an encounter with some teenagers on the street who told her, “Your brother’s films suck, he’s nowhere as good as John Singleton!” Throughout, That’s My Story is as roasting as it is reverential. The only concession to Lee’s feelings? The story of how She Hate Me came to be is breezed through in just a handful of pages. Lee signs copies of the work at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25, at Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 364-1919. (Sarah Godfrey)