Do The Right Thing at Cultplex, Manchester, 6 May 2023, from £6.00 - Book now
Spike Lee took inspiration from Bye Bye Birdie when it came to developing the opening sequence for his incendiary masterpiece 1989 Do The Right Thing. Swapping out the twirling Ann-Margret for a punchy Rosie Perez, Lee borrowed the graphic colour design and added Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power” to set the tone for a film that oozes anger, style and confidence.
Set in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn, the action takes place on the hottest day of the year and centres around a pizza parlour owned by Danny Aiello’s Italian-American, Sal. The pizza place is full of photos of DiMaggio, De Niro, Pacino but when Giancarlo Esposito’s Buggin’ Out asks “Why aren’t there any brothers on the wall?”, he sets into motion a series of events that will bring simmering racial tensions to the boil.
Do The Right Thing is a cinematic landmark, still unmatched in its use of colour to evoke heat and pressure, with a soundtrack for the ages and a tragic plot that defies easy interpretation – a Bank Holiday weekend treat.