“My people, my people, what can I say, say what I can. I saw it but didn’t believe it, I didn’t believe what I saw. Are we gonna live together, together are we gonna live?”
Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing celebrates its 23rd anniversary this summer and it still packs a wallop. Lee’s examination of the racial divide in America is as relevant today as its ever been before. The first time I saw it I felt something I hadn’t felt in years, a movie of such relevance, poignancy and incendiary truth- I was stunned, scared, shaken. Radio Raheem still lingers in my head, so does Mookie throwing a garbage can at Sal’s Pizzeria, Buggin Out with his infamous boycott and Pino’s in your face racism. When it first came out people were expecting riots and anarchy but instead we got conversation and reasoning- the essence of what art can do. I got the criterion edition a few years ago but the new Blu-Ray edition supposedly blows that one out of the ball park- the image is crisper and the sound is top notch. It’s still -along with David Lynch’s Blue Velvet and Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull- a landmark movie of the 1980’s.