Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Do the Right Thing

On the hottest day of the year, racial tensions boil over in the predominantly black Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood with Sal's, the Italian owned pizzeria, serving as the epicenter of the conflagration. Spike Lee's heralded and controversial film is thought provoking, generally well made, self-indulgent, and with its exaggerated performances and hyper-stylized treatment, had probably dated the day after its release. It features Ernest Dickerson's excellent photography and fine performances from Danny Aiello and Ossie Davis. With Do the Right Thing, there are so many conflicting ideologies on hand and Lee and many of his supporters would have you believe he paints a completely fair and honest picture, but I can't see how its deliberately inflammatory finale, which has divided audiences to this day, can be seen as anything besides a call to violence, and senseless violence at that.
*** out of ****