Twenty years ago future President Obama and First Lady Michelle had their first date at a showing of “Do The Right Thing.” I was at UCLA at the time and saw Spike Lee’s third feature at a sneak preview screening, the week before it opened in theaters, at The Academy’s theater on Wilshire Blvd. I distinctinly remember the intensity of that screening. A fan of Spike’s previous films, I was blown away by his latest and shaken by the emotions it stirred. I was challenged by the shocking conclusion and moved by the reactions of the people around me. On the way to the car after the showing, a couple were arguing, yelling at each other. Wow. I went back to see it again on the 4th of July and was even more shaken the second time.
“Not only was it an incredibly made film, but politically, it really made you confront a lot of shit,” filmmaker Jim McKay told Anthony Kaufman in an article just published at indieWIRE about the 20th anniversary of “Do The Right Thing,” “I don’t think I ever left a film with more — more questions, more thoughts, more energy.”
I completely agree and the movie remains and all-time favorite.
Where were you in June of 1989? Do you remember the first time you saw “Do The Right Thing”?
(the first ten minutes are here, via youtube. the film has just been released on a special anniversary dvd.)