This is what happens when your car breaks down on a Sunday morning and you have nothing else to do…
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.
Do the Right Thing is an exploding fire-hydrant of colliding extremes and blazing hatred, shrunk down into a tension-fueled environment overflowing with humanity, humor, danger, sadness, pain and violence. Spike Lee's masterwork doesn't just break down the foundations of 'right' and 'wrong'; it also comments on the despair and agony behind those established protocols. Do the Right Thing is important, commanding, vibrant, and necessary. There's no other way to describe it.
Also, apparently my younger self didn't understand cinema, because about five years ago, I shrugged this off as MERELY excellent. Do the Right Thing isn't just excellent, It's life-changing and profoundly influential.
An all-time favorite.
Director: Spike Lee (First Film)
Do the Right Thing feels entirely like a rough sketch of thoughts. Thoughts of anger, and compassion and understanding, of confusion and thoughts of course, of love and hate. It's as if Spike Lee had a vision and it was perfectly set out in his head, and he put it into film exactly as his thoughts dictated.
As the quotes from Martin Luthor King jr and then Malcolm X neatly placed in the end credits, there is a lot of contradicting points within the film, and thus there is no clear indication to what Spike Lee wants us to feel, to think and in doing so, this outright fairly portrayed reality entirely means…
Shit man, it’s way too hot to do all that shit… It’s literally a hundred degrees out there in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn and people’s hate begins to boil and boil and boil, building up to an ultimate crescendo of inevitable violence with a lot of racial angles involved. Although there are certainly many strong opinions involved, I wasn’t sure which one director Spike Lee wanted us to align with, if any at all, but that doesn’t prevent Do the Right Thing from making an impact. His writing slash screenplay may deserve even greater praise than his direction for the script truly makes every character jump out; from the loveable Da Mayor to the trouble-seeking Buggin' Out, from the…
Racism is a tough subject, it's hard to talk about it without making the usual mistakes—yet, Spike Lee achieves perfection because he approaches his themes in a surprising and much more powerful way. Generally, when we talk about racism, we associate it to the way the black communities are seen and treated by other communities around the world, but there was a sort of self-awareness in Do the Right Thing that allowed Spike Lee to create one of the most significant and relevant films in the history of cinema—this comedy is about racism in general and about the ignorance behind that social perception.
This is a film where we have Italian Americans (who own a famous pizzeria in the neighbourhood)…
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…
Film #5 out of 50 in Scorsese Summer 2016
"You're 30 cents away from having a quarter, where the fuck you gon' get a boat?!"
This movie is fucking insane. Gets better and better every time I watch it.
Somehow never manages to be fatalistic. No matter how often I see this, it all feels like it could have gone the other way. Every one in this film fully believes they are doing the right thing. A+
Love how every character has its qualities and flaws. Should've won an Oscar.
Upon initial viewing back in the late 80's or early 90's, we were caught up in the Rodney King debacle and the social conversation was about how cyclical these events appear. 1967 all over again... And now I watch it last night and if Radio had just uttered the phrase, "I can't breathe!" the movie could have been shot today. It's a continual problem that we have made no REAL progress on.
The seemingly contradictory quotes at the end leave it in our hands to determine the meaning of the film. And it also points to the fact that we have it in our hands to determine how we will face this constant problem. Can we come together? Or will we continue to divide? Will we respond with love or will we retaliate with violence?
Difficult questions, impossible answers, and in ten years, they'll make another film like this one showing that again, we have failed to progress...
An exercise in filming techniques done perfectly. Oh, there's a story going on? I didn't notice.
Radio Raheem 4 Prez
Still a fantastic film over 25 years on and remains one of Spike Lee's best. It draws a careful multilayered portrait of a changed neighbourhood in Brooklyn NYC, where the older generation of Italian Americans bump up against the more recent influx of African Americans, not to mention Puerto Rican, Caribbean, Korean and even white gentrifiers in a way that has compassion and understanding for all of them, except perhaps the cops. But what really has changed. It testifies to a legacy of racial violence that continues today. Even reading some graffiti seen in the background at one point ("Tawana Told the Truth") took me down a brief research alleyway into yet another case of contemporary injustice. Plus it's just a great looking and enjoyable film that set a template for being angry, impassioned and powerful on film for a whole generation of filmmakers of all backgrounds.
Brilliant and 30 years later, Istill don't understand
"this next record goes out to Radio Raheem, we love you brother"