On Sunday Candace and I had the chance to go to a special event for the release of filmmaker and documentarian Spike Lee’s new book, ‘Spike Lee: Do The Right Thing’. Of course we jumped at the chance to meet one of our favorite filmmakers at Book Soup on Sunset Blvd. If you look, they may still have some signed copies of Spike Lee: Do The Right Thing @ BookSoup.com.
Spike Lee: Do The Right Thing chronicles the making of Lee’s 1989 landmark film, Do the Right Thing, which earned 2 Academy Award nominations. Spike Lee would have been 32 years old at the time Do The Right Thing was released, I was about 16 years myself when I saw it to see what all the hype was about.
Even though the themes of Do The Right Thing still hold up, it has been called a controversial film. It is my belief that Do The Right Thing is actually a satirical look at racial tension on a hot day in Bedford-Stuy NY. Upon a closer look not only does the film put over the top characters under a microscope, but it also condemns stereotyping characters (aka people) at the same time. Do The Right Thing show’s us the absurdity of both sides and the pointlessness of the actions taken. It could just as easily be called “Do Your Own Thing”, and asks the question of why is that even a problem?
My general impression of Spike Lee? He’s ironic and calm, a good dude and a true artist. I only talked with him briefly (he was on his way to the Lakers/Knicks game), but I got the distinct impression that under the right conditions, Spike is most likely the funniest guy in the room.
The book offers reminiscing’s by cast and crew who share their experiences of making this film as we began our exit from the 80’s into the 90’s. Among those included are Danny Aiello, Samual Jackson, Giancarlo Espisito, Bill Nunn, John Turturro and Richard Edson along with so many others.
Spike Lee is very active in his community in NY. He features profiles of young artists on his website and continues to make important and entertaining films whether it be his documentaries or his big budget Hollywood movies. To see more about his production company, go to 40acres.com
Below is a scene from Spike Lee’s, Do The Right Thing…