Tag Archives: spike lee

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.

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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.

*     *     *     *     *

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.

*     *     *     *     *

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.

Red (Hook) letter day for Spike Lee

With this very blog being named after one of my favourite lines from my favourite Spike Lee ‘joint‘, it would be remiss of me not to mention two very exciting pieces of news that have broken today regarding the mercurial director.

Firstly, Lee announced on Twitter that principal photography has commenced on his new ‘joint’. Details at the time were scarce, but it has since emerged (via Black Film) that this new feature would be called Red Hook Summer, with production slated to start later this month.

Plot info is limited, but the word is that the story centers on an adult from Atlanta who comes and spends the summer in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn, New York. The most compelling element of the news is that the director will return to acting for the first time since 1999’s Summer of Sam to reprise his role as Mookie, the feckless pizza boy-turned-riot catalyzer he played over twenty years ago in Do The Right Thing. If Red Hook Summer is set in the present day, it will be fascinating to see if, and how, Mookie has matured and developed, and if Lee will attempt to rationalize or revisit the emotionally devastating conclusion of his masterpiece.

The second piece of news is the confirmation that Lee will direct a remake of South Korean helmer Park Chan-wook’s gruelling 2003 thriller Oldboy. I have mixed feelings about this. First and foremost, I’m happy to see Lee back in the spotlight, and I think the remake is an intriguing idea, if only from a “how the hell is he going to approach it?” point of view. The original, viewed by many as a modern classic, is a heady cocktail of extreme, bloody violence and challenging, distinctly adult themes (I won’t spoil for those yet to see it). There is absolutely no way that a major studio would countenance a straight remake, which would suggest the need for a subtle hand to shade in the psychological horror without resorting to graphic viscera.

For all Spike’s stylistic verve (I’m imagining the famed hallway fight scene being reappropriated using one of Spike’s signature ‘floating head‘ shots!), he is not renowned for his light touch, or subtle psychological observations; think of the group of boorish Italian-Americans huddled around a sign reading ‘DEAD END’ in Summer of Sam, or any sex scene that he’s ever directed. To make matters even less promising, script duties will be handled by Mark Protosevich (of I Am Legend andThe Cell fame).

Then there’s the issue of casting the lead role. Will Smith’s name has been furiously touted as a potential leading man, although Smith’s last big screen role which approached “edgy” was his turn as a gay conman posing as Sidney Poitier’s son in Fred Schepisi’s Six Degrees of Separation (1992). Tellingly, It was also his first feature, illustrating how safe his choices have been since. A brilliant article on the Grantland website goes into more depth in analyzing the finely calculated nature of Smith’s ascent to superstardom. Other names that have been mentioned include Denzel Washington, Wesley Snipes (by me, just now) and Willem Dafoe (again, by me, just now). If the current crop of hot actors balk at the live octopus eating scene, however, Paul Burrell will do.

Ultimately, there are too many remakes (Den of Geek reported the full scale of the paucity of Hollywood’s imagination in a 2010 article) being churned out at the moment for me to get too behind the new Oldboy, but I remain intrigued nonetheless.

It has been only a matter of weeks since Spike Lee was complaining that he couldn’t get a film made in the wake of the collapse of a mooted sequel to Inside Man. This now looks like a canny move on his (or his PR people’s) part to create some pre-buzz to today’s news which, twinned with his recent legal victory – for $45.8 million over the international distribution of Miracle at St. Anna – has created a long overdue flurry of interest around the director

Consider my interest piqued. If either are better than She Hate Me, I’ll be satisfied too.