Essay on Do the Right Thing Film Analysis

Essay on Do the Right Thing Film Analysis

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The 1989 film Do the Right Thing displays a story about racial tension in a predominantly African-American neighborhood. Spike Lee not only directed and produced this film but he was also the main character, Mookie. In spite of maintaining these three jobs, Lee incorporated cinematic techniques that allowed his film to unlock controversial ideals for both Caucasian and African-American viewers. Through the use of camera elements Lee was able to display emotions and tone of the scene without using stating it directly. Lee exhibited film methods such as low-angle shots, close ups, slow motion and panning.
Do the Right Thing appealed to its audience through the constant utilization of camera direction and slow motion scenes. Throughout many different scenes, Spike Lee chose to angle the camera lower to the ground so that the camera as well as the audience would be looking up at the character. In most scenes, the low-angle shot would be accompanied with the contrasting high-angle shot to show direction and characters emotion. The combination of low and high-angle shots can be used to imply how a character perceives another. The more characters are introduced in the film, the better insight the audience has to the characters relationships with other characters. As the audience see’s Mookie walking down the street to deliver a pizza he is stopped by the Mayor drinking on the side of the street. Lee shot the film using a low-angle shot looking up at Mookie as well as a high-angle shot directed at the Mayor. This implies how Mookie feels about the Mayor. The audience understands through the low-angle shot that Mookie looks down upon the Mayor. Through the use of the high angle shot, the audience is shown the Mayor with a drink in his han...


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...raised, each viewer that watches Do the Right Thing will have their own views on the matter.
The 1989 film Do the Right Thing explored the conflict of racial tension and unique camera elements. Directed and produced by Spike Lee, Do the Right Thing combined a series of low and high-angle shots while also incorporating close ups and slow motion. Through the use of panning, the audience was able to get a break from the action and reflect on the events of the film. Spike Lee’s collaboration of film components added humor and realistic emotions to the story. While the controversy of whether Mookie “did the right thing” will always be in favor of the viewer. Depending on how an audience member connects with the film will spark a variety of different emotions for that person. Do the Right Thing is a film that reflects both controversial ideals and unique film elements.


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