Essay on Spike Lee: Do the Right Thing

1024 Words May 2nd, 2011 5 Pages
James Callahan
COM 2010
4-22-11
Midterm Analysis Revise

Cinematography helps Spike Lee to Do the Right Thing In Spike Lee’s film Do the Right Thing, we dive head first into a world of racial and social ills. The movie is set in the African American and Puerto Rican neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, on the hottest day of the year. We follow a young man named Mookie, who lives with his sister Jade, and works as a pizza delivery guy for a local pizzeria owed by Sal. Sal’s “Wall of Fame” is soon questioned by a man named Buggin’ Out, who believes that Sal should place some pictures of African American celebrities on his wall to represent the African American society he serves. Sal refuses and Buggn’ Out attempts to
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Sound is also prevalent when Lee focuses on five beer cans being opened with a close up shot. As the cans are being opened, we hear men cheer and they are full of laughter, the crisp sound of the can popping open helps us receive the full effect of how refreshing it is to them. Also, by closely focusing on the sound of running water, Lee puts us deeper in the movie as if we are right next to the water.

Just as he uses color and sound in the scene to create a real life setting, he uses the dialogue in the scene to help compare people who are different from each other and how certain people acted towards one another during this point in history. Two African American boys open the fire hydrant and boys and girls are playing in the street, cooling off from the heat when a well-dressed, Italian man driving a nice car pulls down the street. He yells and threatens them that if his car gets wet there will be trouble. The use of word choice by the man tells us he thinks he is better than them and seems to dislike the African American people of the neighborhood. The man is also rude and disrespectful to the police officers helping him, telling us yet again, that he thinks he is better than everyone else.

Lee uses this scene, and the film as a whole to create an art form to forcefully communicate and display the racism and hate occurring in life. Do the Right Thing is a street-smart movie that doesn’t depend on

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