A year ago today I went back home to Brooklyn for the 25th anniversary screening of Do The Right Thing with Spike Lee and cast and crew in attendance. Before that I’ve seen Do The Right Thing many times before, but never on the big screen and this was quite the experience.
First of all this was my first time in actual Brooklyn in like forever. I’ve been to New York plenty of times, but not in Brooklyn. My family moved to Queens and I would go to see them. When I saw this screening advertised online I knew I had to be there!
BAMcinématek and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences present this 25th anniversary celebration of Spike Lee's masterpiece, presented on the Steinberg Screen at the BAM Harvey Theater. In this landmark Brooklyn classic, the streets of Bed-Stuy boil and tensions run high on the hottest day of the year. Loaded with an amazing supporting cast (including Samuel L. Jackson, John Turturro, and Rosie Perez) and music by Public Enemy, Do the Right Thing swings effortlessly from satire to social commentary, and 25 years after its controversial release it remains an important cultural touchstone for a very different Brooklyn.—BAMcinématekIn attendance were actors from the film Rosie Perez, Danny Aiello, Bill Nunn, Joi Lee, Rick Aiello, Production Designer Wynn Thomas, Line Producer John Kilik and Editor Barry Brown and of course Writer/Director Spike Lee.
Ironically, I had a chance to see Do The Right Thing twice more on the big screen since then. The last time a week after the Baltimore riots (which was a surreal moment) at the 2015 Maryland Film Festival. Of the subsequent times I’ve seen it, I have to say that the Brooklyn screening was the LIVEST!
After they announced the cast and crew of the screening and Spike Lee made his introduction, the audience ERUPTED in cheers as Rosie Perez danced in the opening credits.
The biggest cheer came the first time Ruby Dee came on the screen. Ruby Dee died just 18 days before this screening. Of course the next big cheer came when Ossie Davis first appeared on screen. The cheering never occurred in the subsequent screenings. I knew I was home in Brooklyn.
|Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis|
The audience laughed at exactly what they were supposed to laugh at, but the BIGGEST laughs came from every scene with "the corner men" anchored by the late great Robin Harris.
After the screening they had a Q&A with the cast and crew
|From right to left: Dr. Khalil Gibran interviewed Spike Lee, Rosie Perez, Danny Aiello, Bill Nunn, Joie Lee and Rick Aiello at BAM's Harvey Theater in Fort Greene on Sunday night for the 25th anniversary of Do The Right Thing. Photo by Rob Abruzzese.|
Here's a slideshow of press pics of the night
I went to New York for the whole day and had a great time seeing friends and family, but it was special to be at this screening of my favorite Spike Lee Joint with the cast and crew and very special to be back home in Brooklyn.
|Pic I took that day June 29, 2014|
Below you can see two clips from the Q&A I was proud to be there to witness.
In this first clip Production Designer Wynn Thomas, film editor Barry Alexander Brown and Line Producer Jon Kilik discuss the making of Do the Right Thing.
This clip is an edit of the entire Q&A
Read more of my posts about Spike Lee here