1-20 of 87 items from 2014 « Prev | Next »
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 »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (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
Check out the "Do The Right Thing"-inspired trailer (on that film's 25th anniversary) for the upcoming Blackstar Film Festival in Philly, July 31 - August 3, produced by director of the festival Maori Holmes, shot by Rashid Zakat, and co-edited by Maya Zu Zhang and Zakat. Costumes are by Kamilah "Ethel Cee" Clarke and choreography is by Melanie Cotton. It was shot on location in North Philadelphia. It did also remind me of an old piece I wrote on the old S&A site 4 years ago or so, on memorable title sequences. And the one that I highlighted was the title sequence in Spike Lee's "Do The Right Thing." It's a film that stands the »
- Tambay A. Obenson
This list originally ran in August 2012, tied to Red Hook Summer, Lee's 21st theatrical film. In the two years since, Lee has released a remake (Oldboy), a Michael Jackson documentary (Bad 25), and filmed Mike Tyson's one-man Broadway show (Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth). This week marks the 25th anniversary of Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing. Spike Lee has been making films for a quarter century, and while he's had both misfires and masterpieces, the one thing you can say about his films is that they are never, ever boring. We went through the Lee canon and ruthlessly ranked his films, from worst to best. We included only his theatrical releases (Lee has made several television documentaries and even a TV pilot) with one notable exception, because it's one of his masterworks. Read on to see our choices, and then weigh in with your own rankings below. (Read »
- Will Leitch,Tim Grierson
Today marks the final day of the first half of 2014. That flashed by, didn't it? Here are five highlights from this past week while you wait for this afternoon's Smackdown (squeeeeeeeee!)
• Ten Best Dragons - from Toothless to Vermithrax
• Test Interview - filming dance sequences
• What's Wrong With Musicals? - it isn't the talent pool
• Welcome to the Academy - 271 new invites went out... and, as always, some are headscratchers and some are deliciously welcome
Coming In July
Oscar Chart Updates are in progress and we'll post tomorrow when we start "Halfway Mark" festivities surveying the Best of the Year (thus far).
- NATHANIEL R
It's been 25 years today, June 30, since director Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing film hit theaters, and this drama not only holds a lot of significance for many across the country, it was also the film President Barack Obama took First Lady Michelle Obama to see on their first date.
Related Pics: President Obama and First Lady Michelle's Pda Moments
To celebrate the movie's anniversary, a celebration was thrown in Brooklyn -- where Dave Chappelle, Public Enemy's Chuck D and Erykah Badu were in attendance-- and the Obamas made a video message for the special occasion. "Do The Right Thing was actually the first thing we saw together on our first official date," Michelle, 50, admitted. "He was trying to show me his sophisticated side by selecting an independent filmmaker."
The President quipped, "I took her to this new movie everybody was talking about directed »
Wake uuuuuuuuup! Up your wake, up your wake, up your wake! Do The Right Thing is 25 years old today, and it has never been more fresh. Spike Lee's confrontational masterpiece has now been around for a quarter of a century, and watching it in 2014 is still a two-ton megabomb that burrows under your skin and explodes. Last week we honored Batman, twenty five years old and one of the most influential blockbusters of all-time. But this week, Do The Right Thing hopefully re-enters the lexicon to remind fans that Spike Lee's best film is also possibly the greatest American film of the past twenty five years. For those who haven't seen Lee's sweat-soaked summer serenade (seriously, what's wrong with you?), the picture follows Lee's Mookie, a hustler earning extra cash by delivering for Sal's Pizzeria. Sal, a mountain of a man played by a terrifying Danny Aiello, values »
Spike Lee's groundbreaking and iconic film Do the Right Thing came out 25 years ago June 30. On Friday night, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art hosted a screening and Q&A with Lee, Public Enemy rapper Chuck D (who wrote the film's theme, "Fight the Power") and actors from the film. Before the film started, though, Lee mentioned that there was a surprise for the audience, and cued up a clip of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, reminiscing about their first date, 25 years ago, during which they went to see Do the Right Thing. "We had »
- Alex Heigl
Spike Lee's groundbreaking and iconic film Do the Right Thing came out 25 years ago June 30. Friday night, the Los Angeles County Museum of Arthosted a screening and Q&A with Lee, Public Enemy rapper Chuck D (who wrote the film's theme, "Fight the Power") and actors from the film. Before the film started, though, Lee mentioned that there was a surprise for the audience, and cued up a clip of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, reminiscing about their first date, 25 years ago, during which they went to see Do the Right Thing. "We had eaten lunch »
- Alex Heigl
While reporting on the Shia Labeouf incident on Friday, Pix 11 reporter Mario Diaz had his own celebrity encounter when a white hat–wearing Erykah Badu interrupted his standup by attempting to kiss him on the cheek. The mischievous Badu must have had some free time on Friday in between performing at Dave Chappelle's show, seeing Kara Walker's A Subtlety, and hanging out in Bed-Stuy at the 25th anniversary for Do the Right Thing. Even though Diaz's wife witnessed the whole thing, they both took it in stride once they realized that this was the fun kind of kooky celebrity encounter and not the violent kind. Watch the incident and read the Twitter postmortem: »
- E. Alex Jung
Tomorrow marks the 25th anniversary of Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing. For the Obamas, it's an easy way to keep track of how long they've been together, because they watched the movie on their "first official date" back when they were working at the same law firm in Chicago. Spike Lee played their video message at two events yesterday — first at a block party in Bedford-Stuyvesant (that included appearances by Dave Chappelle, Public Enemy's Chuck D, and Erykah Badu), and then at a screening at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Read the banter below: Michelle: Do the Right Thing was actually the first thing we saw together on our first official date. Barack: We'd eaten lunch at the Art Institute of Chicago, gone for a little walk, and then I took her to this new movie everybody was talking about directed by a guy that not »
- E. Alex Jung
The President and First Lady revealed in the recording that the independent film, about racial tensions in the Us, formed part of their very first date.
The video was played as part of a celebratory screening of the film's 25th anniversary in Los Angeles held by the Academy, at which Lee participated in a Q&A.
Michelle said: "Do the Right Thing was actually the first movie we saw together on our first official date.
"[Barack] was trying to show me his sophisticated side by selecting an independent filmmaker, and it ended up being a pretty good movie - really great!"
The President himself went on to thank Lee, saying: "Spike, thank you for helping me impress Michelle, and thank you for telling a powerful story.
"Do the Right Thing still holds up a mirror to our society, »
When Do the Right Thing was released a quarter-century ago, few people could have imagined that the $6 million indie about racial tensions in America would one day be hailed as one of the great masterpieces of our time -- by the first black president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the first black president of the United States, no less. But that is precisely what happened on Friday night. In front of an overflowing crowd on the campus of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the film's writer-director-star Spike Lee signed books,
- Scott Feinberg
Yes, another day, another anniversary. But this one is quite noteworthy. Spike Lee's "Do the Right Thing" turns 25 on Monday. It is a film I first saw when I was young, but I wasn't at all ready for it. I saw it again in film school and noticed I had grown with it, but it still whipped up complex feelings (as only the best films can). I've revisited it a number of times over the years and come to cherish it as one of the greatest pieces of cinema ever conjured, but the Academy frankly seemed like it was holding its nose just to give it the two nominations it received a quarter century ago. Kim Basinger had the right idea when the night of the Oscars came. "The best film of the year is not even nominated [for Best Picture] and it's 'Do the Right Thing,'" the "Batman" star said, »
- Kristopher Tapley
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