Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Do the Right Thang

Spike Lee talks to New York Magazine about the release of Do the Right Thing, its critical response, and the Obama-Clinton situation. It's a good read.

Do the Right Thing is one of my favorite flicks... I love its presentation of a bright, boiling Bed-Stuy in the late 80s. It's so different from where I grew up (Seattle) and who I knew (shiny happy suburbanites), but it resonates with me on an oddly personal level. I didn't have to deal with racism in my childhood-- never even processed "race" until college-- but I'm aware of it today.

I appreciate the way this movie deals with race. I don't think it's angry or incendiary-- it's the opposite; it's the film's even-handedness that keeps me coming back. Roger Ebert, in his review for the Criterion Collection, sums it up best: "To an extent, some viewers have trouble seeing the film; it is blurred by their deep-seated ideas and emotions about race in America, which they project onto Lee, assuming he is angry or bitter. On the basis of this film it would be more accurate to call him sad, observant, realistic, or empathetic."

Alright enough on race- here's a classic monologue by the film's tragic foil, Radio Raheem (Bill Nunn). He breaks down love & hate and how Life negotiates between these poles. Do yourself a solid and check it out:

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