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The Playlist

Watch: 20-Minute, 25th Anniversary Documentary About Spike Lee's 'Do The Right Thing'

  • By Cain Rodriguez
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  • August 15, 2014 10:38 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Do The Right Thing
It’s been a quarter of a century since “Do The Right Thing,” and yet the film’s themes could not be more current, particularly in light of the events unfolding this week in Ferguson, Missouri. To celebrate the film’s 25th anniversary, Spike Lee teamed up with Beats Music for a short documentary on the film (via Variety).

Watch: Spike Lee Powerfully Mixes Footage Of NYPD Chokehold Victim With 'Do the Right Thing' In Video Response

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 22, 2014 5:21 PM
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  • 3 Comments
Oldboy,  Spike Lee
One of the more heartbreaking and infuriating headlines of the past few days has come from New York City. Last Friday, five NYPD officers engaged with 43-year-old Eric Garner, who was stopped under suspicion of selling untaxed cigarettes. The situation escalated with the officers smothering and choking the 400 pound man, who is seen and heard on video caught by bystanders, stating clearly, "I can't breathe" nine times. Garner became unconscious at the scene, and shortly went into cardiac arrest and died at Richmond University Medical Center. The incident has outraged not just citizens of New York City, but has made headlines around the world. And for Spike Lee it has struck a clearly personal chord.

Spike Lee & Cast Talk 'Do The Right Thing' At BAM 25th Anniversary Screening

  • By Eloise Banting
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  • July 2, 2014 12:41 PM
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  • 0 Comments
The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences And BAMcinematek Present A 25th Anniversary Screening Of "Do The Right Thing" In New York
Walking the streets of Brooklyn now is quite a different experience than it was, say, about 25 years ago. Or is it? One might posit the same issues are still here, just repackaged. And based on the detailed representation of this urbanized-gentrified-evolving city in Spike Lee’s “Do The Right Thing,” the filmmaker wouldn’t disagree.

The Hottest Day Of Summer: Spike Lee's Landmark 'Do The Right Thing' On Its 25th Anniversary

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • June 26, 2014 4:24 PM
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  • 4 Comments
25 years ago this coming Monday, for the first time, audiences watched Mookie put a trashcan through the window of his place of work, Sal’s Famous Pizzeria. In the film this is the culmination of a day of ratcheting tension, simmering and seething in the rising temperature of the hottest day of summer, the kind of day during which a trivial lunchtime altercation about celebrity photos on the wall can escalate toward a senseless death by teatime and a riot by nightfall. But outside the story of the film too, it’s hard not to read it on a metaphorical level. With “Do The Right Thing” Spike Lee, seemingly with pre-planned calculation, smashed up the existing edifice of the independent film industry, dazzling many, but sending some prognosticators screaming for the hills-- some of whom straight-out accused Lee of irresponsibility in directly inciting race violence. Jack Kroll, for instance, writing for Newsweek asked "in this long hot summer, how will young urban audiences—black and white—react to the film's climactic explosion of interracial violence? ... this movie is dynamite under every seat."

LAFF Review: Spike Lee-Produced ‘Evolution Of A Criminal’ Details Cycles Of Poverty & Crime In Director Darius Monroe’s Life

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • June 24, 2014 5:04 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Evolution of a Criminal
However muddled the line between reality and fiction stands in any documentary, an extra pause for skepticism occurs when the filmmaker steps in front of the camera. Darius Clarke Monroe’s “Evolution of a Criminal” presents an especially complicated form of that concern: the director casts a younger version of himself, stages a stylized depiction of a bank robbery that he and two others pulled while in high school, and then leaves the camera recording while he seeks forgiveness, ten years later, from those whose lives he altered forever.

Review: Spike Lee's Kickstarter Exploitation B-Movie 'Da Sweet Blood Of Jesus'

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • June 23, 2014 2:28 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Da Sweet Blood Of Jesus
The hashtag meme #teamInsertPerson’sNameHere—to convey firm endorsement—is perhaps like everything on Twitter, utterly reductive and destructive to any kind of nuanced discourse. It’s a black and white, you’re either for or against, with no other options and it's often used in the favor of auteurs or anyone receiving a critical bashing (“I don’t care what anyone thinks, I’m #teamPaulW.S.Anderson”). That said, despite an uneven career trajectory in recent years (including an ill-conceived attack on A.O. Scott recently), if forced to choose, I would avow myself as member of team Spike Lee.

Exclusive: New Photos Of Spike Lee's 'Da Sweet Blood Of Jesus' Which Makes Its World Premiere Tomorrow

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • June 21, 2014 5:46 PM
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  • 3 Comments
Da Sweet Blood Of Jesus
Filmmaker Spike Lee continues to keep audiences on their toes. He’s seemingly always got one documentary in the works (the next is “Go Brazil Go”), he hasn’t strayed far from his indie roots (“Red Hook Summer”) and he won’t shy away from a big budget remake either (“Oldboy”). The 25th anniversary of “Do The Right Thing” is right around the corner (it's screening at BAM as part of BAMCinemafest soon). And then of course there’s his upcoming crowdsourced Kickstarter film, “Da Sweet Blood Of Jesus.”

Watch: New World Cup-Themed Soccer Short Directed By Spike Lee

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • June 12, 2014 12:05 PM
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  • 1 Comment
In the words of future film director Joe Cornish and his collaborator Adam Buxton: "Ball ball ball, footie footie footie, ball ball ball, football." Today brings the kick-off of the 2014 World Cup in (*googles it*) Brazil, with the first match kicking off at 4 p.m. EST between (*googles it again*) the hosts and Croatia in Sao Paulo. It's the kick off to a month-long festival of football that will dominate the thoughts of hundreds of millions around the world, and as usual, barely penetrate the consciousness of most of America.
More: Spike Lee

First Image Arrives From Spike Lee's Kickstarter-Funded 'Da Sweet Blood Of Jesus'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • June 11, 2014 6:52 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Spike Lee has had better points in his career than this one. It's a full eight years since his last legitimate hit, "Inside Man," and recent attempts at a comeback have ended up disappointing somewhat: John Boyega-starring HBO show "Da Brick" didn't get picked up beyond a pilot, indie "Red Hook Summer" failed to find much of an audience, and last year's "Oldboy" was a critical and commercial washout.

Spike Lee Directing Doc 'Go Brazil Go' & Larry Charles Is 'The Man Who Sued God'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 30, 2014 1:25 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Oldboy,  Spike Lee
With Spike Lee's Kickstarter-funded "Da Sweet Blood Of Jesus" set to premiere at the American Black Film Festival next month, the always busy filmmaker isn't stopping for a moment. He's got a handful of projects on the horizon, including comedy specials for both Katt Williams and Jerrod Carmichael, and there's now a documentary to keep an eye out for.

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