20th Anniversary of “Do The Right Thing”

August 15, 2010 § Leave a comment

Writer, Director, and Actor, Mr Spike Lee, known for his revolutionary work that have left audiences worldwide  to think critically, and who epitomizes the definition of the words “social change’,  was awarded last night at “Walter Reed Cinema” at “Lincoln Center” by “Image Nation”. Spike reflected back on his education, and paid homage to his classmates from  “Howard” and “NYU Film School”, admitting that “Do the Right Thing” was the first time he felt confident as a director.
Chuck D. “still doing his thing after all these years”, along with “Apollo Heights”, performed “Fight The Power”, while cast and crew from “Do The RIght Thing”, Spike’s 1989 controversial dark comedy set on one block in Bedford-Stuyvesant in the heat of the summer, reunited to celebrate the films 20th Anniversary.  Richard Edson/Vito, John Turturro/Pino, Rosie Perez/Mookie’s Girlfriend, Tina, Ernest Dickerson/John Savage/Clifton, Jon Kilik, Line Producer, Frankie Faison/Coconut Sid, and Spike Lee/Writer/Director reflected on their fondest memories working on the project.
Spike/Mookie: “It was an accurate portrayal of NYC  under Mayor Koch who escalated racial tension in the city.  The NYC you saw in “Do The Right Thing”, is different from the way it is today.  Mayor Bloomberg has done a good job compared to Guliani, not to say that just because Bloomberg is in office that racial tension is gone.”
Jon Kilik, Producer, reflected on how hardworking Spike was as he was there before sunrise and after sunset.

Rosie Perez’s/Tina’s fondest memory: “Spike actually discovered me, I was studying biochemistry” there was a chuckle from the audience, Rosie asked, “why is that funny?”  “I knew the film was going to be huge.” “I had lost touch with Martin Lawrence, and this film changed our lives, it gave me a lifelong bond with Martin Lawrence, and allowed me to work with Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee.”

John Savage/Clifton, “I didn’t even know what the script was, but Larry Bird gave me that great Jersey to wear.”  Spike interrupting, “Larry Bird DID NOT give you that shirt, I specifically remember getting it from the costume designer.”  John-“I’ve been telling that story for 20 years.”
John Turturro/Pino, “Never underestimate how funny the film is.  Yes, it has a tough edge, but it keeps you laughing, and has a lot of energy, humor, color and content underneath it all.”  On Spike’s films, everyone comes to dailies at Long Island University and one time a girl who was watching, said, “I hate you.” (referring to my racist character, Pino), and I asked Spike to please tell her, “That’s not really who I am.”  “Put me on the cover of ‘Ebony’.  John also remembered how he never had one bad or tense moment while working on the film, and how the press overreact because they saw something they had never seen before.”
Frankie Faison: “I’m going to use adjectives to define this film.  Heat, Respect, Love, Talent. This group of people demonstrated a lot of commitment and dedication.”
Louis:  “My fondest memory that jumps out at me was, well, all of us being together, AND the evening Stevie Wonder came to the set, changed my perspective on things.”
Spike: “What I get asked the most after people just view the movie is “Why did Mookie throw the trash can?  Nothing about the life lost, only about Mookie.”


One of the funniest moments of last nights evening took place when just before the house lights were dimmed and the film set to begin, an announcer made a Freudian slip when he reminded the audience to please “turn off your cellphones and vibrators”, I mean, “please make sure your phones are on vibrate.”
Quotes from the film: “Man, your Jordan’s are F—ed Up!”, “What kind of joint is this that makes a man change his beer.”, “Are you going to pay for that pizza now, or put it on lay-a-way?”, “I’m Starvin’ Like Marvin'”.

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