Do the Right Thing Establishes Lee as a World-Class Director (Great Events from History II: Arts and Culture Series)
Article abstract: Do the Right Thing, Spike Lee’s third feature-length film, confronted the existence of racial tension in the United States and confirmed Lee’s reputation as a pioneering African-American artist.
Summary of Event
When Do the Right Thing went into production, Spike Lee had already established himself as a provocative filmmaker. He had not, however, completed a project on the scale of Do the Right Thing, nor had he shed the label of “promising” young director.
Born in Atlanta in 1957, Lee was reared in Brooklyn. He returned to Atlanta in 1975 to attend Morehouse College, as had his father and grandfather before him. At Morehouse, Lee met Monty Ross, who would become his longtime coproducer. Lee also wrote his first short film at Morehouse. Entitled Black College: The Talented Tenth, it examined the minority of African Americans who had entered the American economic mainstream.
After graduating from Morehouse, Lee studied film at New York University (NYU), where he met Ernest Dickerson, who would become the director of photography for Lee’s feature films. Lee first attracted notice as a filmmaker while at NYU. After making such student projects as The Answer, a provocative retort to the open racism of D. W. Griffith’s film classic The Birth of a Nation (1915), and Sarah, which focuses on a Harlem Thanksgiving Day...
(The entire section is 2312 words.)
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