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?"
Among its many achievements, Spike Lee's seminal film manages the impressive achievement of portraying a wide array of characters with racial authenticity and cultural diversity, with each character, whether antagonist or protagonist, possessing flaws and contradictions that render them relatable and empathetic as human beings rather than symbols or caricatures. The film is more observant than didactic, imparting what should be conventional wisdom: no one group of people can be righteous if everyone is wrong. And what is the “right thing” of the film’s title? Lee offers no easy answers, but demonstrates that, as a whole, society isn’t doing it.
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.
This may be a bit of hyperbole, but I cannot think of an opening credit sequence that better announces a new voice in cinema than the opening of Do the Right Thing. Rosie Perez’s in-your-face dancing while Public Enemy’s ‘Fight the Power’ blasts the soundtrack, is aggressive, sexy, confrontational, and totally of its time. It is unavoidable and urgent.
Urgent. If there is a single word that describes this film, I can’t think of a better one than “urgent”. It has the feeling of a movie that had to be made. There are some films (Star Wars comes to mind) that if they weren’t made ,when they were made, then someone else would have made them, and probably pretty close…
I hated this.
Radio Raheem and Buggin' Out we're completely in the wrong. And the only way I can imagine anyone liking this movie, would be to see these characters actions justified. If you fall into that camp, you're a moron.
There's currently a heatwave in Stockholm. There was a honest, funny and smart radio program on yesterday which dealt with race relations - and knee-jerk right wing politicians are freaking out in the belief that it will incite riots. In this hot, sweaty, messy time there isn't a film better than DO THE RIGHT THING, a funny, empathetic but none the less pointed exploration of race and community.
25 jaar na dato is dit waarschijnlijk de beste film van Spike Lee en nog altijd relevant. De film speelt zich af op een warme zomerdag en die sfeer komt bijzonder duidelijk over, wat de uiteindelijke escalatie extra overtuigend maakt. Lee geeft ons eigenlijk een mozaïekverhaal met verschillende personages en plotjes, maar brengt het zo duidelijk dat het gewoon als een geheel overkomt.
I wrote a long piece about this focussing on the ambiguity at it’s core and the generosity (I sometimes wonder if generosity is just another word for well written, recognisably human characters) Lee shows his characters while being unafraid of showing them in all their complex, flawed glory.
Then I read Roger Ebert’s piece about the film in the Criterion edition insert, and he hit every point I wanted to make and said it all so much better. So here’s a few brief thoughts:-
- Do the Right Thing (DTRT) is first and foremost a sensory experience, I’ve rarely felt heat and stickiness so vividly communicated and this is key to the films success as tempers fray and the tension…
Spike Lee's best movie.
It raises more questions than
It answers. That's great.
25 years later and still relevant...
FIGHT THE POWER!
Not as good as people bang on about. Pretty cheesy but with some great/iconic scenes.
its been more then 25 years since the release of Spike Lee's controversial racial drama Do the Right Thing. It has since challenged other filmmakers to explore the theme of racism in their own unique way through creative characters and plot. This is my first Spike Lee I've ever seen and I'm pleased to say that this film is fantastic. From the excellent cinematography to the rich and powerful characters, Lee puts the audience (including me) into this small street in New York and takes us on extremely challenging journey. The majority of the acting across the board is fantastic. Spike Lee portrays the character of Monney, A pizza delivery boy who must balance his job with the relationship with…
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