Do The Right Thing, one of the greatest movies of all time, turns 25 this week. A landmark film, not only for establishing Spike Lee in the upper reaches of the pantheon of living American filmmakers, but for its searing (literally) look at African American male identity.
The Village Voice has a great essay up about the film by Michelle Orange:
Here, as elsewhere, notably the equally fascinating but exuberantly messy School Daze (1988), the frankness of a dialogue centered on problems and questions of black identity finds an unlikely complement in Lee’s heightened aesthetic, a formal blend of the pointed and the playful encapsulated when his choral rhythms and compositions erupt into a full-blown musical number (about good and bad hair). Like his characters, Lee is an expressionist, enthralled by and given to performative impulses. As often as they rupture into violence, his films (especially the early ones) explode with joy, shimmer with wit and tenderness, and above all advertise a director so irrepressible he can’t keep his own sloe eyes off the screen.
You can read the whole thing here.