Tag Archives: Do The Right Thing

PPH end of year round-up part 3 | Events, acknowledgements and hopes

It was a year of new departures for Permanent Plastic Helmet, as we got into the events game.

Our first of three events at London’s Clapham Picturehouse – a 35mm screening of Spike Lee’s classic Do The Right Thing on July 5 – drew a large crowd, who wolfed down the free pizza before falling under the spell of the New Yorker’s incendiary 1989 masterpiece. Incidentally, in case you didn’t know, the blog’s name comes from a line spoken by Samuel L. Jackson’s character Senor Love Daddy in this film.

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Oh, and Spike Lee liked the poster so much that he asked for a bunch of copies to be sent to him:

Our second, a super-rare theatrical screening of Michael Rapaport’s documentary Beats Rhymes and Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest on September 27, was a complete sell-out. Before the film (and after the now customary pizza), a patient crowd politely waited for me to carry out one of the most protracted prize raffles in history.

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In December, for our third and final screening of 2012, scores of people braved the cold (and presumably turned their backs on Christmas parties) for our 20th anniversary showing of Ron Shelton’s White Men Can’t Jump on December 6. Following an hour of classic 90s hip hop and R&B in the bar, I took a leaf out of Gloria (Rosie Perez)’ book, and ran a ‘things that begin with the letter ‘Q’ quiz. Here’s a nice shot of folks in the bar beforehand:

SONY DSC

I’d like to thank the team at Clapham Picturehouse (in particular Clare Binns, Kate Coventry and Dan Hawkins) for being so supportive of the events and super helpful in running them. Thanks to Yves Salmon for photographing the second event. And a massive, massive thank-you also to the outrageously talented Piccia Neri, who was responsible for poster artwork for all the events.

We’re going to continue with our programme of events in 2013, so stay tuned for upcoming announcements. We’ve got some crackers lined up.

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Holy Motors

It’s been an interesting year on the blog. I’m delighted that the readership has increased (incidentally, December 2012 has been the best ever month for hits on the blog), but I’ve found myself with less time to work on it, such has been my workload elsewhere this year. (I’ve started freelancing for Sight & Sound, Little White Lies and Grolsch Film Works, among others). I also got married!

Consequently, huge credit must go to the team of contributors, who have furnished the blog with some really intelligent, incisive work over the last twelve months.

These contributors are (each name is hyperlinked to their Twitter account, so you can follow them): Guillaume Gendron, Ed Wall, Cathy Landicho, Basia Lewandowska Cummings, Sophia Satchell-Baeza, Sophie Monks Kaufman, Fintan McDonagh, Dylan Cave, John McKnight, Michael Mand, Joseph Walsh and Tom Cottey.

I’d also like to thank each and each every person who read, recommended, RTd, or Facebook ‘liked’ PPH, or simply stumbled across the blog searching for actual plastic helmets (this happened more than I’d care to admit).

Thanks also to all the distribution companies and PRs who have been kind enough to keep inviting us to screenings and sending us DVDs. Couldn’t do it without ya.

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Michael-Fassbender-in-Shame

Finally, here are some things from the blog this year that I’m particularly proud of/enjoyed:

My opinion of Prometheus as expressed through the facial expressions of Eddie Murphy – review

The Expendables 2 – review | Ed Wall

Shame and Gender  – feature | Cathy Landicho

Music Video Week – David Wilson – interview

Music Video Week – Sound and Vision: A Potted History of an Artform – feature

Moebius: Human After All – feature | Guillaume Gendron

Ira Sachs – interview

Killer Joe – review

Cyrobra or: The Three Ages of Tormented Man | Sophie Monks Kaufman

In the next year, I hope to streamline and simplify both content and design, and introduce a whole bunch of new contributors and regular features.

Watch this space in 2013

Thank you for reading.

A

A few reasons to come and see Do The Right Thing at the Hackney Picturehouse tonight (or tomorrow)

If you think you’ve seen a post very similar to this one in the recent past, it’s because you have. But the last time I checked, copying and pasting was not a crime.

As part of Picturehouse Cinemas’ ongoing American Masters strand, the lovely Hackney Picturehouse is running two late night screenings of Spike Lee’s classic Do The Right Thing, tonight (Aug 10) and tomorrow (Aug 11), start time 22:40. I’ll be popping down to introduce tonight’s screening.

In case you were undecided about whether or not to come along, here are some reasons to convince you to part with your cash.

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1. We’re screening it in 35mm

Back in the day, any time you went to a cinema you’d be seeing your film of choice on a celluloid print. However, in recent times, for reasons both economic and access-based, exhibitors have increasingly tended to show films digitally (Won’t go into detail here, but this is a good read). But the boat’s been pushed out to source a genuine 35mm print from Universal, so you can appreciate Ernest Dickerson’s stunning cinematography in all its glory.

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2. Style tips for what remains of our wondrous London summer

You need look no further for inspiration than Ruth E. Carter’s costumes for the film. Here’s a little excerpt from a piece I wrote about the film’s style for the great website Clothes on Film“Carter’s contribution is vital in three key areas: establishing a sense of place and adding depth to the characters, supporting the film’s themes, and contributing to a bold onscreen representation of blackness which, as suggested by Ed Guerrero, ‘challenges and erodes the skin-colour hierarchy of Hollywood’s classic optical hegemony'”. If that’s a bit academic, I’ll put it straight: the clothes are fucking cool.

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3. It’s not only Spike’s best film, but one of the best of the ’80s

Spike’s third film marked the flowering of a major, major talent. An epic cocktail of drama, comedy, style, music and politics, Do The Right Thing wowed audiences and critics alike, and proved the major catalyst in the black American cinema boom of the early 1990s (think Boyz N The HoodMenace II SocietyJuiceFresh, Spike’s subsequent joints). Watch it now and you’ll be stunned by how it doesn’t seem to have dated at all (save for the occasional haircut). It’s also difficult to think of another film with so many amazing, unforgettable characters: Radio Raheem, Da Mayor, Mookie, Senor Love Daddy, Pino, Sweet Dick Willie, Tina, the list goes on. What’s more, Lee’s new film Red Hook Summer (out now in the USA, UK release TBC) sees the director return to Brooklyn for a pseudo-sequel – Mookie’s even rumoured to have a small cameo. This is a great chance to prepare yourself.

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4. Because… well, because FIGHT THE POWER, innit?

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Hop on down to the Hackney Picturehouse and buy tickets on the door. Map here.

5 reasons to come and see Do The Right Thing

In case you’ve missed our occasional blogging and tweeting about the matter, we’re screening Spike Lee’s classic Do The Right Thing at London’s Clapham Picturehouse on Thursday 5 July (that’s tomorrow to you and me, or today if you’re reading this tomorrow. Or perhaps yesterday, in which case you may as well close the page). Anyway, in case you were undecided about whether or not to come along, we’ve put together 5 reasons to convince you to part with your cash.

1. There will be pizza

Sal of Sal’s famous pizzeria is unable to attend the screening for obvious reasons (number one being that he’s a fictional character), but we’re keeping his spirit alive via the medium of his pride and joy. Ticketholders will get some free pizza to munch on, though rumours of “extra mouzarella on that muh’fucker an’ shit” are unconfirmed.

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2. We’re screening it in 35mm

Back in the day, any time you went to a cinema you’d be seeing your film of choice on a celluloid print. However, in recent times, for reasons both economic and access-based, exhibitors have increasingly tended to show films digitally (Won’t go into detail here, but this is a good read). We’ve pushed the boat out to source a genuine 35mm print from Universal, so you can appreciate Ernest Dickerson’s stunning cinematography in all its glory.

*     *     *     *     *

3. You’ll need all the style tips you can get for our wondrous London summer

If When it stops raining in this godforsaken town, you’ll be looking for new threads. Look no further for inspiration than Ruth E. Carter’s costumes for the film. Here’s a little excerpt from a piece I wrote about the film’s style for the great website Clothes on Film: “Carter’s contribution is vital in three key areas: establishing a sense of place and adding depth to the characters, supporting the film’s themes, and contributing to a bold onscreen representation of blackness which, as suggested by Ed Guerrero, ‘challenges and erodes the skin-colour hierarchy of Hollywood’s classic optical hegemony'”. If that’s a bit academic, I’ll put it straight: the clothes are fucking cool.

*     *     *     *     *

4. It’s not only Spike’s best film, but one of the best of the ’80s

Spike’s third film marked the flowering of a major, major talent. An epic cocktail of drama, comedy, style, music and politics, Do The Right Thing wowed audiences and critics alike, and proved the major catalyst in the black American cinema boom of the early 1990s (think Boyz N The Hood, Menace II Society, Juice, Fresh, Spike’s subsequent joints). Watch it now and you’ll be stunned by how it doesn’t seem to have dated at all (save for the occasional haircut). It’s also difficult to think of another film with so many amazing, unforgettable characters: Radio Raheem, Da Mayor, Mookie, Senor Love Daddy, Pino, Sweet Dick Willie, Tina, the list goes on. What’s more, Lee’s new film Red Hook Summer (US release August, UK release TBC) sees the director return to Brooklyn for a pseudo-sequel – Mookie’s even rumoured to have a small cameo. This is a great chance to prepare yourself.

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5. Because… well, because FIGHT THE POWER, innit?

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You can book tickets online by following this link, over the phone on 0871 902 5727, or buy on the door to save yourself a booking fee.

Permanent Plastic Helmet presents Do The Right Thing | Update – here’s the poster!

We’re starting to get very excited about our special summer screening of Spike Lee’s classic joint Do The Right Thing at South London’s lovely Clapham Picturehouse cinema on Thursday 5 July. You can book tickets by following this link.

If you’re on Facebook, you can also use our event page to tell us you’re coming. Spread the word!

Here’s a running order:

7.30 Join us in the bar for drinks, soundtracked by classic 80s hip-hop and soul

8.45 Intro and prize giveaway

9.00 Do The Right Thing starts

And here is the beautiful poster, designed by the outrageously talented Piccia Neri.

See you on the 5th.

Screening announcement: Do The Right Thing @ Clapham Picturehouse, Thursday 5 July, 20:45

I’m delighted to be able to announce today the confirmation of Permanent Plastic Helmet’s first ever screening event. We’re showing a 35mm print of Spike Lee’s classic Do The Right Thing at south London’s lovely Clapham Picturehouse. It takes place on what’s sure to be the hottest day of the year – Thursday 5 July 2012 – at 20:45, so you’re strongly advised to clear your diaries forthwith. You do not want to miss this one.

The reasons for this screening? Firstly, the first week of July marks PPH’s 2 ½ birthday, and we thought it was time for a celebration. Secondly, it’s a fantastic, funny, complex, thrilling film which just gets better with age and is as relevant now as it was upon its release 23 years ago. The eagle eyed among you (or anyone who’s read our ‘about’ page) will know that the blog is named after a line spoken by Samuel L Jackson in the film. It’s safe to say we’re big fans.

Keep your eyes peeled in the next couple of weeks for more exciting info about the event. We’re working on some pretty cool things. Updates will be posted both on the blog and on our Twitter page (@PPlasticHelmet).

BOOKING IS LIVE, SO PLEASE CLICK ON THIS EXTENDED HYPERLINK TO GO TO THE TICKETS PAGE. PRICES ARE £9, £8 (concessions), £7 (Picturehouse members).

Style & Identity in Do The Right Thing

I recently wrote about the style and significance of Ruth E. Carter’s brilliant costume design in Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing for the really rather excellent website Clothes On Film. You should bookmark COF immediately (and follow on Twitter @ClothesOnFilm), and you can read my piece HERE.

Guardian Clip Joint: Breaking the Fourth Wall

I’ve done this week’s Clip Joint feature in the Guardian’s Film section, with the subject of characters “breaking the fourth wall”, essentially either looking at or talking to the camera. You can read it (and leave comments) here. The missing clip in the article is from Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing which may, understandably, have been deemed too sweary and racist for widespread consumption. But fear not, here it is below: