Every film from Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" essays.
Do the Right Thing
It's the hottest day of the summer. You can do nothing, you can do something, or you can...
On the hottest day of the year on a street in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, everyone's hate and bigotry smolders and builds until it explodes into violence.
Violence ends by defeating itself. It creates bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers.
That is the tail end of a Martin Luther King quote used before the end credits in Do The Right Thing. Now, if this film would've just ended with that full quote and then proceeded with the credits, I think one would come away with a very different opinion of this film. It kind of puts what you just saw into perspective and offers a strong voice to compliment the film.
But it doesn't.
Spike Lee turns around and shows another quote right after that. A Malcolm X quote stating that violence is intelligent when used in self defense. This makes things a little…
In 1989 there were three films about race.
Of those three, two focused more on relationships between whites and blacks.
Those two films were Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing and Bruce Beresford's Driving Miss Daisy.
Both films were nominated for oscars.
Do the Right Thing was nominated for only two awards, and lost them both.
Miss Daisy was nominated for nine awards, winning four including Best Picture.
This just shows the academy voters' preferance for sticky and sentimental films rather for real and hard hitting films.
For me, Driving Miss Daisy is one of the most annoying and horrible films I have ever seen.
Even Spike Lee agrees, saying "because 20 years later, who’s watching Driving Miss Daisy?"
I have lived in Birmingham, Alabama for the past three years. Clearly racial issues aren't the same they were 24 years ago, but you can still feel the pain and suffering that caused so much harm throughout the previous century. My dad used to work right by the 16th St. Baptist Church, where four little girls (and many other people disfigured and injured) by a nail bomb that members of the KKK had planted. I got an melancholic, sickening feeling every time we would pass by. As if that violence, the sins people committed, will always loom over this city in one way or another.
However, racism is still a prevalent issue in the South, one that goes in many…
La última vez que la vi habrá sido en VHS. Que película tan más grande. Lee estaba loco, hacía con la cámara lo que quería: alucinantes tomas largas, finísimos cenitales, encuadres ultra-simétricos 10 años antes que Wes Anderson. Todo editado como si fuera una caricatura. Sumen la paleta de colores más bonita del mundo y listo. Cuando Radio Raheem recrea el discurso de love/hate de Robert Mitchum en Night of the Hunter mientas lanza golpes a la pantalla me quedó claro que necesitan reestrenarla en cines en 3D.
Rotunda obra maestra.
The complicated ideas that Lee tossed around in his first two films - some hitting the mark, others not so much - are fine tuned in what the man himself calls "the moment I became a director". It would be a mistake to view this as an angry film raging from within the black community toward the world as Lee is too astute to fall into that trap. Instead he presents an emotionally complicated insight into the melting pot of modern urban life.
A fierce opening sequence introduces us to the miniature powerhouse that is Rosie Perez bugging out to Public Enemy (which replaced this original choice). It has dated particularly…
Written as part of a series on classic films called The Film Canon.
It’s sweltering. Radio DJ Mister Señor Love Daddy (Samuel L. Jackson) is proclaiming it to be one of the hottest days of the summer. It’s too hot to work, but Mookie (Spike Lee) makes his way to Sal’s Pizzeria anyway. As he walks, we grow accustomed to the vivid hustle of urban life in one Bedford-Stuyvesant. This little strip of humanity teems with culture and conflict. Mookie is greeted by Da Mayor (Ossie Davis), self-proclaimed mayor of the street whose wisdom and kindness is marred by his perpetual drunkenness, as well as Mother Sister (Ruby Dee), the kindly hawk who watches over the neighborhood from her stoop.…
Yeah, it's pretty brilliant. I'd argue that the last 20 minutes actually do make it amazing, instead of the other way around. It's the perfect explosive ending to the heated racial tensions that build up and finally boil over.
Even though Lee was dipping into Woody Allen levels of narcissism by casting himself, I'd say he'd earned it.
1989's Forrest Gump Is My Eighth Favorite Film Of All Time.
"You gold-teeth-gold-chain-wearin', fried-chicken-and-biscuit-eatin', monkey, ape, baboon, big thigh, fast-runnin', three-hundred-sixty-degree-basketball-dunkin' spade Moulan Yan!"
Very important film about racial issues in America. I liked how it went a lighthearted route though it addressed the topic head on. Memorable and real characters with a grade A script. Made me actually want to live in Brooklyn.
I watched this while home sick with a cold... and it still made me feel hot.
This was my first entry into the world of Spike Lee. It was a vibrant, pulsing view of the Bed-Stuy neighborhood, and it encapsulates the racial tension of the area perfectly.
Some of the most complicated, contradictory characters in any movie I have seen...and there are dozens of them. The dialectic between MLK's rhetoric of peace and Malcolm X's calls for action proposes something in the middle, something that can knock us all out of our ignorance yet not kill us in the process. Spike Lee does not have a solution, and his politics are hard to read, for they are dispersed among these many characters. But there is no mistaking Ruby Dee's bone-chilling scream at the end as anything less than an indictment on how these problems return: She lived and fought through the era when black men were sprayed with fire hoses, and almost 30 years later, that image has found its way home.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Can't we all just get along?
You asking a lot to make a man change his beer.
- 12 Angry Men
- 2001: A Space Odyssey
- 25th Hour
- 3 Women
- A Trip to the Moon
- The Great Train Robbery
- The Birth of a Nation
- Les Vampires
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1154. An easy way of seeing how…
- The Godfather
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- The Godfather: Part II
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