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The Supporting Actress Smackdown of '89 arrives on Sunday August 31st, two weeks from now. We'll be celebrating 1989 here and there until then as "the year of the month". You need to get your votes in, too, (instructions at the end of the post). If you've wandered in from elsewhere and are like, "What's a Smackdown?," here's how it started and here's last month's entry on 1973 with its companion podcast. The year in question this time is celebrating its 25th anniversary.
no, these ladies are not the panelists
The Smackdown Panel for August
Without further ado let's meet the voices who will be watching and discussing the '89 hits Steel Magnolias and Parenthood. They'll also be sounding off on the Oscar-winning bio My Left Foot and the underseen actressy curio Enemies: A Love Story. Stay tuned.
Kevin B Lee
Kevin B. Lee is a filmmaker, film critic and »
- NATHANIEL R
This year marks the 25th anniversary of Do the Right Thing, which seems pretty appropriate considering all the craziness that's happening down in Ferguson, Missouri right now. Well, director Spike Lee decided to team up with Beats Music (the headphones company) for a 22-minute documentary short looking back at the influential, racially charged film from 1989. It's both sad and amazing that Lee's film still holds cultural relevance in 2014, but rather than getting too serious, the documentary tours the locations with Lee himself, joined by Danny Aiello, the man who played Sal, who's pizzeria is now gone in real-life too. Watch below! Here's Do the Right Thing: 25 Year Anniversary from Beats Music: As you can see, production designer Wynn Thomas also joins Lee and Aiello to talk about the settings where they shot on Stuyvesant Ave. between Lexington and Quincy Ave. Then the documentary shifts to a block party that »
- Ethan Anderton
Apple's Beats Music has released a short documentary in honor of the 25th anniversary of Spike Lee‘s 1989 film “Do the Right Thing.” The 23-minute film (above) follows Lee as he revisits the Brooklyn block where the Oscar-nominated drama was filmed. He reflects on the experience with residents and cast, including Danny Aiello, who played pizzeria owner Sal — a role that earned him his first and only Academy Award nomination. Also read: Apple to Cut Beats Staff by 200 Following $3 Billion Acquisition The doc culminates with a block party featuring guests Dave Chappelle, Wesley Snipes, Mos Def and Public Enemy, who performed their anthem. »
- Greg Gilman
- Sasha Stone
It’s been a quarter of a century since “Do The Right Thing,” and yet the film’s themes could not be more current, particularly in light of the events unfolding this week in Ferguson, Missouri. To celebrate the film’s 25th anniversary, Spike Lee teamed up with Beats Music for a short documentary on the film (via Variety). “Do The Right Thing 25 Year Anniversary: A Beats Music Experience” is comprised of two halves. The first focuses on the trio of Lee, Danny Aiello and production designer Wynn Thomas walking around the film's iconic Bed-Stuy block —Stuyvesant Ave. between Lexington and Quincy Aves.— revealing some interesting details about production alongside some quick interviews with current residents and a few members of the film’s cast. The latter half takes place at a block party Lee hosted in June with special guests including Dave Chappelle, Erykah Badu, Mos Def, Wesley Snipes »
- Cain Rodriguez
Revisiting the characters and locations of Spike Lee’s classic, Do The Right Thing 25 Year Anniversary: A Beats Music Experience is a 22-minute short documentary just released under the banner of, yes, Apple’s newly acquired Beats Music. Lee, Danny Aiello, production designer Wynn Thomas and others from the film stroll its Bed-Stuy block, recalling moments, interviewing current residents, and trying to remember just which apartment Rosie Perez lived in. Unlike Lee’s recent Old Boy, it’s an official Spike Lee Joint — spirited, not too nostalgic and capped with a block party performance by Public Enemy doing “Fight the Power.” Sadly, […] »
- Scott Macaulay
A trip (literally and figuratively) down memory lane with some of the cast and crew of "Do The Right Thing," in celebration of the film's 25th anniversary. The 25-minute short documentary, titled "Do The Right Thing 25 Year Anniversary: A Beats Music Experience," is presented by Beats Music. It features director Spike Lee, co-star Danny Aiello, and production designer Wynn Thomas, as they stroll through the neighborhood where the film was shot, reminiscing about the locations that were once part of their filmmaking experience, over 2 decades ago. Included throughout the documentary are clips from the original film, as they relate to the specific location where »
- Tambay A. Obenson
Last year, when 17-year-old unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin was killed by neighborhood watch vigilante George Zimmerman, Spike Lee tweeted out what he thought was Zimmerman's Florida address. It turned out that the address was an erroneous one, and Lee ended up apologizing for the incident, explaining that he was acting out of anger. Also read: Spike Lee Says America Is Addicted to Violence In the wake of two more unjustified killings of unarmed African Americans, Lee has decided to protest with art. The “Do the Right Thing” filmmaker posted to Instagram on Thursday two big banners, featuring 18-year-old Michael Brown and Eric Garner, »
- Jordan Zakarin
"To Sleep With Anger" was released with a small bit of fanfare in 1990. Charles Burnett had already acquired a reputation as one of our most important homegrown auteurs even if most of the audience, black and white alike, were unfamiliar with his work. The film was released at something of an apex for Black American Cinema (and Black American Pop Culture in general). "Do The Right Thing" had only been released a year before, "Boyz N The Hood" was less than a year away; new black auteurs were appearing every year with a mandate to be successful and say something authentic about our experience in this country. Heady times. Danny Glover had »
- Brandon Wilson
Ruffalo ramps up the rumpled charm as Stephen Bloom, the coolest conman since Robert Redford, in a caper that makes me want to write my life the way Bloom writes his con games
Why I'd like to be Samuel L Jackson in Do The Right Thing
- Richard Trenholm
“Twenty five years. Makes a girl think.” So said Marilyn Monroe in Some Like it Hot, and she was rarely wrong about anything, except maybe her taste in husbands. Cinematically, an awful lot can happen in 25 years and Hollywood as we know it today, emerged from seismic developments that took place a quarter of a century ago. 1989 was a game-changer; an absolutely pivotal year in the evolution of 21st century Hollywood. Chances are, whatever you watch at the multiplex this weekend will be genetically traceable to that dark, iPad-less, internetless, Jedwardless time. For those of us who are not going gentle into the dark night of their forties, the specific date of this Big Bang was August 11th 1989. That was the day that Batman finally opened in the UK.
I had never seen a line of people actually queuing around the block, except in vintage documentaries about Star Wars, but »
- Cai Ross
Update: A new, high-quality version of the below clip has hit the web. Check it out right here while you still can!
Deadpool Test Footage in HD by itsartmag
Original: Hey, you! Whatever you’re doing right now, stop immediately and check out the leaked test footage for Tim Miller’s shelved Deadpool movie starring Ryan Reynolds. While it’s an animated bit showcasing the tone and excitement of Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick’s solo film for everyone’s favorite chimichanga-loving comic book hero, the footage is an absolute blast from start to finish, honing in on everything that makes this mercenary such a beloved character. Please, take a look at the footage below, and then let’s discuss why Hollywood needs to act on this property right now!
If you know anything about the character Deadpool, than you understand how mightily »
- Matt Donato
One of the more heartbreaking and infuriating headlines of the past few days has come from New York City. Last Friday, five NYPD officers engaged with 43-year-old Eric Garner, who was stopped under suspicion of selling untaxed cigarettes. The situation escalated with the officers smothering and choking the 400 pound man, who is seen and heard on video caught by bystanders, stating clearly, "I can't breathe" nine times. Garner became unconscious at the scene, and shortly went into cardiac arrest and died at Richmond University Medical Center. The incident has outraged not just citizens of New York City, but has made headlines around the world. And for Spike Lee it has struck a clearly personal chord. The director has quietly dropped a video response on his YouTube, and it's powerful stuff. Lee mixes in footage of Radio Raheem's eeriely similar death from "Do The Right Thing" with the actual footage from the incident involving Garner. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Rome — The Venice Film Festival’s 29th Critics’ Week has unveiled its lineup of nine first works, including eight world preems, featuring fresh pics from Europe, China, Vietnam, Iran, and Palestine. Just like last year, the U.S. is absent.
The independently run Venice sidebar will open with Iranian drama “Melbourne,” (pictured) starring “A Separation” protag Payman Maadi as a young man about to leave Iran for Australia with his partner, when a tragic event prevents the couple from leaving the country. Pic, screening out-of-competition, previously bowed at Tehran’s Fajr Film Festival and was also recently at the Cannes market, sold by Iranian Independants.
The Venice Critics’ Week closer, also out-of-competish, will be Berlusconi-era dramedy “Arance e Martello,” set in multi-ethnic Rome, inspired by Spike Lee’s “Do The Right Thing,” and helmed by Italo blogger and TV personality Diego Bianchi, who is known as “Zoro.”
The other seven »
- Nick Vivarelli
Who of our modern filmmakers will justify lavish, career-spanning box sets in the next generation (presuming there is such a thing and we’re not 100% digital)? We’ve seen Oliver Stone, Martin Scorsese, and Alfred Hitchcock sets in recent years but who will get the same treatment in ten or twenty years?
One man who I’d love to see dissected from first film to last is the essential Spike Lee. He has had an undeniably spotty career with films both considered masterpieces and complete failures. But Spike is always working, always trying something new, always willing to challenge himself and the viewer. Did his “Oldboy” remake work? No. He picks himself up, dusts himself off, and gets back to it. Spike has been everywhere lately, promoting and discussing the 25th anniversary of his masterpiece, “Do the Right Thing,” and so someone figured it was a good time to release »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere. There will be a quiz later. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya? “Age of Exhaustion: The Year of the Self-Loathing Summer Movie” — Alex Pappademas at Grantland catches the thematic trend of movies that are aware enough to comment on the shoddy state of cinema but not aware enough to not exist. Like a man apologizing while punching you. In 3D. “We’re clearly meant to look at this theater, a cathedral crumbling to dust, and feel a pang for all it represents. When the grandson apologizes for the old man’s yammering and calls him deaf and senile, the old man says, “I heard that,” so we know he’s neither. The next time the grandson tries to shut his grandfather up, Yeager comes to the old man’s defense, admonishing the grandson — whom he later addresses, for no real reason, as »
- Scott Beggs
Walking the streets of Brooklyn now is quite a different experience than it was, say, about 25 years ago. Or is it? One might posit the same issues are still here, just repackaged. And based on the detailed representation of this urbanized-gentrified-evolving city in Spike Lee’s “Do The Right Thing,” the filmmaker wouldn’t disagree. At this weekend's screening of the film sponsored by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Lee was present with the cast to answer a few questions and look back on this Bed-Stuy-based classic. Not only did they talk about the making of the movie, but where Brooklyn is headed if we keep ignoring the issues of racism and inequality that have been here since (at least), well, the first day “Do The Right Thing” began shooting. Lee discussed several inspirations for the film, including those who lost »
- Eloise Banting
As Hollywood gathered to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Spike Lee's "Do the Right Thing" last week, two familiar faces who couldn't be there offered their own tribute to the film via video: Barack and Michelle Obama.
The Obamas greeted Lee and guests by revealing that they went to see "Do the Right Thing" on their first official date, with the president recalling that after lunch and a visit to the Art Institute of Chicago, "I took her to this new movie everybody was talking about, directed by a guy that not that many people had heard of."
"He was trying to show me his sophisticated side by selecting an independent filmmaker," the first lady interjected.
While President Obama noted that the movie "help[ed] me impress Michelle," he also thanked Lee for "telling a powerful story."
"Today, I've got a few more grey hairs than I did back in »
- Katie Roberts
On a sweltering Sunday afternoon in Brooklyn, gaggles of film fans, black historians and political activists — not to mention Fort Greene locals — convened at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Harvey Theater for closing night of the BAMCinemafest and a 25th anniversary screening of Spike Lee’s “Do The Right Thing,” presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and BAMcinematek.
Beforehand, Bam hosted a reception for the seemingly endless roll call of cast and crew in attendance, a convivial reunion for the stock company who collaborated on Lee’s treatise on racial tensions in Koch-era Bed-Stuy.
Of the ten-week location shoot, Lee’s sister Joie put it like this: “We were babies back then. We had no idea what we were in the middle of. I didn’t have the scope, the insight or the foresight… I had no idea. I knew it was explosive, but it »
- Steve Macfarlane
“Heroes, as far as I could then see, were white, and not merely because of the movies but because of the land in which I lived, of which movies were simply a reflection: I despised and feared those heroes because they did take vengeance into their own hands. They thought that vengeance was theirs to take. This difficult coin did not cease to spin. It had neither heads not tails: for what white people took into their hands could scarcely be called vengeance, it was something less and something more.” In his autobiographical essay on movies and American racism, “The Devil Finds Work,” James Baldwin discusses at length the absence of black subjectivity and the prominence of white heroism in the milieu of classical Hollywood in which he came of age. At one point in the essay, Baldwin states that he has seen no black persons that he knows in the movies. He »
- Landon Palmer
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