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Do the Right Thing

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Spike Lee, Do The Right Thing
Do The Right Thing: Photofest

We gave it an A

The most important work from a black filmmaker in the last 25 years, Do the Right Thing — Spike Lee’s heated exploration of race on a summer’s day — throbs with frustration in every frame, and this two disc set provides an intriguing insight into a man and his message. We get to see: footage from an early read through of the script, where young actors like John Turturro and Giancarlo Esposito assert their legitimacy in a cast toplined by veterans Danny Aiello and Ossie Davis; behind the scenes footage; the Cannes film festival press conference at which Lee defended his film to an international throng of journalist; Lee’s recent journey back to the Brooklyn locations; and some newly recorded examinations by Lee of the film’s critical reception.

But the film itself is the star of this package, and the new anamorphic wide screen transfer jumps with pungent color. Lee’s occasionally mannered style clicks here in a way it hasn’t in any of his other films; the movie paints every character in a sweltering coat of blame and challenges us to confront the absence of answers in the search to find out why we can’t all get along.