According to deadline.com, Universal Pictures plans to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Spike Lee’s groundbreaking and still-topical filmDo the Right Thing with a re-mastered 4K restoration that will hit theaters June 28.
In partnership with Universal Pictures Home Entertainment and the Criterion Collection, the re-release will include one-week engagements as well as single-day showtimes June 30 at select AMC, Regal Cinemas, Cinemark, and Alamo Drafthouse theaters. There also will be 35mm screenings at select theaters in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Austin and Brookline, MA.
“When Spike Lee’s revolutionary Do the Right Thing was released by Universal Pictures 30 years ago this June, it ignited a national conversation on race and race relations in America that challenged our assumptions about ourselves and our country and heralded the arrival of a generation-defining filmmaker,” said Jim Orr, Universal’s President of Domestic Theatrical Distribution.
Set during one sweltering summer day on a block of Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, the film follows the interactions among neighborhood characters Mookie (Lee), Sal (Danny Aiello), Da Mayor (Ossie Davis), Mother Sister (Ruby Dee), Mister Señor Love Daddy (Samuel L. Jackson), Tina (Rosie Perez), Buggin Out (Giancarlo Esposito), Jade (Joie Lee), Pino (John Turturro) and Radio Raheem (Bill Nunn). Tensions rise as demands for a black person’s photo be added to the Italians-only Wall of Fame at Sal’s Pizzeria create heated confrontations that ultimately explode into police-instigated violence.
Public Enemy recorded the film’s anthem “Fight The Power,” which remains an influential hip-hop classic to this day (see video below). Lee earned an Original Screenplay Oscar nomination for the film, and Aiello earned a Supporting Actor nod. On July 23, the Criterion Collection also will celebrate the 30th anniversary with a Blu-ray/DVD release of a director-approved definitive edition featuring the new 4K restoration.
Bill Nunn, the actor best known for playing Radio Raheem in Spike Lee’s film “Do The Right Thing” and Robbie Robertson in Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man” trilogy, has died. He was 62.
Lee, who worked with Nunn on “He Got Game,” “School Daze” and “Mo’ Better Blues” in addition to “Do The Right Thing,” posted on Instagram Saturday to confirm the actor’s death. Lee wrote that Nunn passed away earlier that morning in his hometown of Pittsburgh, Pa.
“Radio Raheem is now resting in power,” the director wrote. “Radio Raheem will always be fighting da powers dat be. May God watch over Bill Nunn.”
The director followed up soon after with a second tribute:
“Radio Raheem. Let me tell you the story of Right Hand, Left Hand. It’s a tale of good and evil. Hate! It was with this hand that Cane iced his brother. Love! These five fingers, they go straight to the soul of man. The right hand: the hand of love. The story of life is this: static. One hand is always fighting the other hand, and the left hand is kicking much ass. I mean, it looks like the right hand, Love is finished. But hold on, stop the presses the right hand is coming back. Yeah, he got the left hand on the ropes, now, that’s right. Yea, Boom, it’s a devastating right and Hate is hurt, he’s down. Ooh! Ooh! Left-Hand Hate KOed by Love. If I love you, I love you. But if I hate you…Mookie: there it is, Love and Hate. Raheem I love you bruh…”
The actor made his film debut in Lee’s 1988 film “School Daze.” He also gained recognition for his role as Nino Brown’s bodyguard Duh Duh Duh Man in Mario Van Peebles’ film “New Jack City.” In “Regarding Henry,” he played Bradley, a physical therapist who helps the titular Henry (Harrison Ford).
BAFTA Los Angeles said today that Samuel L. Jackson will receive its Albert R. Broccoli Britannia Award for Worldwide Contribution to Entertainment at the British Academy Britannia Awards in the fall.
Jackson has appeared in more than 100 films, scoring a Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for 1994’s Pulp Fiction. He has been a regular in Quentin Tarantino films, including Jackie Brown, Kill Bill Vol. 2 and more recently The Hateful Eight and Django Unchained.
Jackson’s credits also range from Spike Lee’s School Daze and Do the Right Thing to such blockbusters as Jurassic Park, the second Star Wars trilogy and the Avengers franchise. He next appears in The Legend of Tarzan and has roles in several upcoming pics including The Hitman’s Bodyguard, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, xXx: The Return of Xander Cage and Kong: Skull Island.
BAFTA LA presents the honor annually to entertainers who represent “that rare breed of iconic and trail-blazing individuals whose talented, innovative approach and true global appeal has had a profound, lasting impact on the worldwide entertainment industry. Their masterful accomplishments, continue to dazzle, entertain, and inspire audiences around the world.” The ceremony is set for October 28 at the Beverly Hilton, hosted by English comic and actor Jack Whitehall.
Spike Lee, Gena Rowlands and Debbie Reynolds will be honored Nov. 14 at the seventh annual Governors Awards. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences voted the awards at their Aug. 25 meeting. Following tradition, AMPAS representatives withheld the announcement until they could notify the recipients.
In 2009, the Academy broke out the Governors Awards into a separate, untelevised ceremony; the Oscarcast time constraints limited the number of honorees and the time devoted to each. So the separate ceremony was an experiment, but an immediate success. There was no pressure to select ratings-friendly individuals, and the board has often gone for people who are well-known in the industry but unfamiliar to the public.
The Academy can salute up to six people each year: four honorary Oscars, and one apiece for the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award and the Thalberg Award, which goes to a film producer for their body of work. It’s generally been four honorees, except for 2011, when there were three.
For those who grew up in the 1980s, Public Enemy was one of a handful of nationally-known hip-hop acts that created socially-conscious rap almost exclusively. From “Don’t Believe The Hype” to “Fight The Power” (from Spike Lee‘s still-all-too-relevant movie about racism and police brutality Do The Right Thing) to “By The Time I Get To Arizona”, Chuck D, Flavor Flav, Terminator X and the crew were on the forefront of calling out media manipulation, systemic racism and bigotry, and the widespread mistreatment of black people in America.
Now, over 30 years after they’ve formed and three years since their last album, Public Enemy has released Man Plans God Laughs, offering much-needed and necessary protest music once again. The video for the single “No Sympathy From The Devil” was just released today, and it packs a chilling punch. It ties historical acts of racism with the racism of today – and so much of it looks the same (at the 1:56 mark, Sandra Bland‘s mug shot appears and has the effect of a gut punch).
The entire album, which was released a few weeks ago on July 15, can be heard on Spotify:
Here is one of the first images from Southside With You, a film inspired by the first date of future First Couple Barack Obama and Michelle Obama.
Written by Richard Tanne, who also is making his directorial debut, the feature takes place in summer 1989 in Chicago, where the young associate Obama (Parker Sawyers) woos his colleague Michelle Robinson (Tika Sumpter) in a romantic dramedy about the couple’s early romantic encounters. The eventful day took them from the Chicago Art Institute to a screening of Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing to the eventual first kiss, which occurred outside of an ice cream parlor.
Sawyers recently wrapped the Oliver Stone-directed Snowden opposite Joseph Gordon Levitt and will appear in The Autopsy Of Jane Doe along with Brian Cox and Emile Hirsch. Sumpter stars on OWN’s The Haves And The Have Nots and will appear in Universal’s Ride Along 2 with Kevin Hart and Ice Cube.
IM Global and State Street Pictures are producing the film, with Tanne and Sumpter as producers alongside Glendon Palmer and Robert Teitel. Tracey Bing is executive producing.
Spike Lee’s breakthrough film “Do the Right Thing” put Brooklyn on the cinematic map, and now the city is returning the favor by declaring June 30 “Do the Right Thing Day.”
Brooklyn borough president Eric Adams made the proclamation on Tuesday, on the 25th anniversary of Lee’s seminal film. The celebration includes a block party this Saturday in Bedford-Stuyvesant, the neighborhood in which Do the Right Thing is set. On Sunday, Brooklyn’s BAMcinématek will kick off a 10-day retrospective of Lee’s films.
Check out our exclusive interview with Spike Lee right here.
“Many people don’t realize how profound and powerful the movie ‘Do the Right Thing’ actually was,” said Adams during the ceremony. “Spike created an image of Brooklyn that was beyond the headlines, beyond the stereotyping, beyond the negative images.”
The 1989 film, which was nominated for two Oscars, traced one hot day on a Bedford-Stuyvesant block as long-simmering racial tensions boil over and a cast of characters including Lee as Mookie and the late Ruby Dee as Mother Sister struggle to endure the rising mercury.
Ruby Dee, best known for her role in 1961’s “A Raisin in the Sun” and latterly for her Oscar-nominated turn as Denzel Washington’s mother in 2007’s “American Gangster,” died Wednesday in New York. She was 91.
Dee’s Oscar nomination in 2008 for her performance as the feisty mother of a Harlem druglord played by Washington in Ridley Scott’s “American Gangster” was particularly impressive because the actress made an impression on the Motion Picture Academy with only 10 minutes of screen time. She won a SAG Award for the same performance. Dee also won an Emmy in 1991 for her performance in the “Hallmark Hall of Fame” movie “Decoration Day.”
She and her husband, Ossie Davis, who often performed together, were among the first generation of African-American actors, led by Sidney Poitier, afforded the opportunity for significant, dignified dramatic roles in films, onstage and on television.
Spike Lee is bringing it back to where it all began. BAMcinématek in Brooklyn, New York, will host a retrospective of the homegrown auteur’s films in a series titled By Any Means Necessary: A Spike Lee Joints Retrospective. The program will run for twelve days, from June 29-July 10, and showcase Lee’s classic works and even some of his rarely-seen films.
BAM’s series will even include a screening of Lee’s least-seen film, his NYU Master’s thesis Joe’s Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads. The filmmaker’s most popular film, Do the Right Thing,will be the closing night film and will be attended by Lee and the cast.
Tickets for the full program are scheduled to go on sale soon, but passes for Do the Right Thing are available now for museum members. Lee is a true American auteur whose films defined a generation and made Brooklyn a mecca for artists. Fans will surely relish this rare opportunity to see his (almost) complete body of work.
Jackson’s many roles have made him one of the highest-grossing actors at the box office. Jackson has won multiple awards throughout his career and has been portrayed in various forms of media, including films, television series, and songs. In 1980, Jackson married LaTanya Richardson, with whom he has a daughter, Zoe. In October 2011, Jackson became the actor with the highest-grossing film total of all time.