Spike Lee Do The Right Thing Analysis

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This week’s readings of the reviews of Spike Lee’s ‘Do the Right Thing’ and Marilyn Fabe’s “Political Cinema: Spike Lee’s ‘Do the Right Thing’, raised a number of questions regarding not only the moral issues the film addresses but also the intention of the artist. This dialectical opposition, which Pamela Reynolds suggests “challenges the audience to choose” (Reynolds, p.138) between the narrativized hostility shown between that of the hero and villain. More specifically Lee’s portrayal of violence vs passive opposition. This can be perceived through Lee’s technical employment of contradictory quotes from Martin Luther King, Jr and Malcom X at the conclusion of the film, which not only highlights this concern but also deluges further into themes of political opposition. Marylin Fabe discusses this where she states that Spike Lee’s film carries a “disturbing political message” (Fabe, p.191). Arguably, ‘Do the Right Thing’ acmes themes of racism (Black vs White); with underlining motifs of imperialism (colonisers’ vs colonised), psychoanalytic (power vs powerlessness) and even Marxist theory (ownership vs public space/consumption), with Clarence Page stating that Lee provides a “public service… (not trying) to provide all the answers, but raising the questions.” (Reid, P.144). In saying this we explore this concept of the role of the artist, with Georgopulos stating that the role of the artist is to create a consciousness within the audience by revealing a fraught set of truths about the human condition. Thusly, the reactions and responses to the films reveal Lee to be successful in conveying his intentions, which back in its zenith, explored this issue of racism in a way that had rarely been seen, and presented the ways in which t... ... middle of paper ... ...ormation of novel to film, sees Hitchcock’s responsibility as auteur. Suggesting Hitchcock as ‘creator’, attributes to Vertigo’s “perfection” (Wood, p.129) as Wood argues. Stylistic features known classically to Alfred Hitchcock movies is also what defines Hitchcock as a classic auteur, his style generates a cinematic effect which mixes effectively with his use of suspense. In returning to Cook’s discussion, she references Andrew Sarris, who argues that the “history of American cinema could be written in terms of its great directors,” (Cook, p. 411) showing the legitimacy of authorship in popular American cinema. Ultimately Cook goes on to address the changes in authorship from the 1950’s until today, featuring developments in authorship within Cinema. Overall, both Cook and Wood presented a balanced discussion on the legitimacy of Alfred Hitchcock’s auteur status.
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