Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Do The Right Thing

Spike Lee's great movie celebrated its 20th anniversary last week. No one wrote about it better than Steven Hart.


  1. The main thing I remember about that movie are the gang riots that occurred at the theaters where it was playing.

    Irony's a bitch.

  2. 20 years? I remember when they were filming it in Bedford-Stuyvesant!

    A few incidents occurred and because it was a movie by a black director that dealt with racial relationships, some people remember gang riots.
    This is beyond "selective memory" this is selective fantasy.

    Perhaps, since this was 20 years ago, this might be a case of selective alzheimers.

  3. Who's Spike Lee???

    I haven't watched any TV for many many many moons, is he the latest star on "Survivor?"

  4. I need to add the qualifier that I haven't watched TV since 2001.

    What the eff is this???

    Is this the lib-tard answer to why there's crime in America?

    I'm honestly perplexed, is this what you endorse, MikeB?

    If so, we might be in complete agreement.

    How does this man further your argument?

    Please explain.

  5. This is a great film. Probably Lee's best. His use of color, music and camera angles were all amazing and created a unique film experience.

  6. kaveman said, "I haven't watched any TV for many many many moons,"

    You reminded me of a quote from another favorite movie:

    "Yes, but you're aware that there's an invention called television, and on that invention they show shows?"

    Jules said that in scene II of Pulp Fiction

  7. I'm still waiting for details of these supposed incidents. I saw the movie when it came out and believe me, if Do the Right Thing had triggered riots in theaters, it would have made the news.

  8. Monsieur Third, Perhaps I was too harsh in my comments.
    I got used to coming here and seeing knee jerk responses to any thing dealing with real social issues written about here and I might have misinterpreted the levfel of percieved intolerance in your comment.
    That said, I agree, this might have been Lee's best film, but he has made a lot of films and has tried a lot of different genres and styles even musicals.
    I know his youngest brother, Chris!

  9. The gang riots inside and outside of the theaters happened in Chicago. The one local to me had to close for awhile because of the damage.

    Note that immediately those who don't bow down and worship Lee are insulted by the 'progressives'.

    Telling. Isn't it.

  10. microdot,

    While I don't care for Lee's work, he did attempt to send a message w/ that film. A message that was lost on the gangbangers in the Chicago area.

    Those are the people I'm intolerant of.

  11. Now now, Thirdpower, don't get all Andrew Breitbart on us and start yowling about persecution by progressives just because you've been asked to back up your statements with facts. Consider it a character-building exercise.

    Since Spike Lee was getting in people's faces in a big way back then, and since pundits like Joe Klein were predicting all kinds of violence when Do the Right Thing hit theaters, it would have been vindication for a lot of critics if Lee's movie had indeed caused problems. Instead, Joe Klein had to recant his predictions and warnings and later called the column one of the dumbest things he'd ever written. So pardon me if I have to wonder if these stories of violence aren't on a par with those old saws about women in mink stoles buying groceries with food stamps and driving off in Cadillacs.

    After considerable encouragment, you've managed to recall that the theaters hit by violence were in Chicago. That narrows it down some but we're still a little short on specifics. Were they "gang riots" or did somebody get into a beef outside the theater? Were these "riots" caused by the movie or were the theaters simply in rough parts of the city that usually saw problems? Even in 1989, Spike Lee was closer to the art house than the mass market. By the standards of action films at the time, Do the Right Thing was pretty tame stuff.

  12. So Steve, seems you're unable to respond w/o making some interesting stereotypes and ad hominem attacks.

    Why would that be?

    Seems the standard around here is that I'm the one providing facts that are dismissed as 'doctored'.

    Basically it boils down to that you don't want to believe that there were incidents when even Microdot stated there were.

  13. By the way, you may note I put 'progressives' in quotes. There's a reason for that.

    Take a while and think on why.

  14. I heard about those predictions of riots which proved to be wrong. I wondered if Spike Lee could have been in on it to hype the movie. That's what Mel Gibson did with his Jesus movie a couple years ago, at least that what I've heard.

  15. While we wait for Thirdpower to share some of these "facts" he keeps talking about but not providing, I have to say I doubt Spike Lee had a hand in generating rumors about violence, if only because such rumors would scare people away from theaters. Roger Ebert, one of the movie's earliest supporters, mentions a woman at the Cannes Film Festival who left the screening convinced there would be violence when the movie opened. The materials on the second disc of the Criterion edition (most of which are apparently on the new 20th anniversary edition as well) include a press conference in which Lee reads from Joe Klein's scared-white-guy column along with other predictions of mayhem, none of which came true.

  16. Now what's really funny is that I said nothing about the film generating violence.

    Nevermind that Chicago had (and has) a severe gang problem and was at the peak of its crime during those years.

    Poor Steve. 'Facts' are only important when he wants others to provide them.