Film Sequence Analysis of "Do the Right Thing" Essay

1913 Words Oct 18th, 2005 8 Pages
Spike Lee's 1989 film Do the Right Thing is able to effectively explore the problem of racial conflict in America by skilfully manipulating cinematic devices such as staging, narrative, cinematography, editing and sound. The concentration and emphasis on characters' certain physical attributes with the use of photography and camera framing, the fast pace editing style and manipulation of sound all contribute to film's overall meaning. In analysing the short sequence beginning with a small girl drawing a chalk painting on the road and ending with Sal, the local pizzeria owner, making Radio Raheem, "a hulking misunderstood home-boy" , two slices of pizza, these devices are seen to illustrate the hostility between Black and Italian working …show more content…
Hard side front lighting is used on Sal and Pino, resulting in the illumination of their faces. This, along with the production of strong shadows, provides a noticeable contrast between the two groups and adds to divide them further.

Costuming and physical expressions also add to this division. The first scene of this sequence depicts a friendly meeting where both characters have relaxed, happy and smiling expressions. The following scene depicts a tense meeting where Radio Raheem keeps an unflinching, stern, expressionless face. When Sal asks Radio Raheem to turn off his music for the last time, the Black youth unwillingly does so and increases the size of his eyeballs, emphasising his strength and power. Sal expresses anger and agitation and Pino gives Raheem long, piercing and unwelcoming stares. There is also no physical closeness or contact between these characters in this scene. The space is divided by the counter with Pino, as a supportive presence, behind Sal on his side of the counter, both men projecting their frustration at Raheem. The first scene shows the two Black men engage in friendly greeting rituals and physical closeness, such as handshakes. They are brought further together by the similarity of their dress. Both wearing shorts, sneakers and t-shirts. Deliberate clothing choice is apparent as Radio Raheem wears shorts with a military pattern,

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