and The Times Cinema
are teaming up to bring you one of the crowning works of American cinema, Spike Lee’s DO THE RIGHT THING, which was released to controversy in 1989. DJ Loop spins at 8PM. Film at 9PM. All tickets are $5.
The story of one block in Brooklyn’s Bed-Stuy on a very, very hot day, DO THE RIGHT THING shows us, step-by-step, how a riot happens. What the controversy at the time missed is that Lee’s film is exceptionally clear-eyed and honest; more than that it’s a beautifully constructed and shot movie, with Ernest Dickerson’s cinematography capturing some of the most vibrant, bold colors this side of a Technicolor musical.
Mookie (Spike Lee) delivers pies for Sal’s Famous Pizza, which brings him into contact with the many characters who live on the street. As the hottest day of the year grows ever more oppressively sweltering, these characters begin to bounce off one another, and racial tensions between black residents, Italian restaurateurs and Korean business owners ratchet up with each degree on the thermometer. When the police finally arrive everything boils over and hell is unleashed.
Lee gives us the perspective of every character, and he searches for the truths and the lies that fuel each character’s actions. He’s aided in that quest by a phenomenal cast that includes the likes of Samuel L. Jackson, Rosie Perez, John Turturro, Ruby Dee, Ossie Davis and many, many more. Funny and tragic, enlightening and heartbreaking, DO THE RIGHT THING isn’t just the greatest (and tragically timely) movie about American race relations, it’s one of the great American movies, and it deserves to be seen on the big screen in all its glory.