25 years ago today, Spike Lee released Do the Right Thing (HU DVD 38), a landmark film about race relations that nearly speaks for itself. The film generated enormous controversy at its release, with one critic calling it “dynamite under every seat.” It immediately became a cultural touchstone and quickly cemented its status as one of the most significant (and most beloved) films of its time.
In commemoration of a big day for a big movie, there’s been a whole slew of retrospectives and essays. For your reading pleasure, we’ll leave you with NPR’s recap of an Academy-sponsored screening (complete with a stop-in by the Obamas, who saw Do the Right Thing on their first date); Spike Lee’s reactions to early reviews that he slams as racist; and a piece from Complex about how the film anticipated today’s problems with gentrification. They’re all great reads and provide some interesting insight into how this film has stayed relevant and shocking even after a quarter century. You might also want to check out Spike Lee’s Instagram, where he’s been having some fun with the big anniversary.
Appropriately, it was swelteringly hot outside today. (Maybe not a good day to get pizza though.)