“Film is not to be played with,” Spike Lee wrote in his book about the making of “Do the Right Thing” — which will conclude the Sag Harbor Cinema Arts Center’s American Values series on Sunday, March 18 — and, indeed, he has never used film in a trivial way.
The filmmaker has used film as “a weapon, as music, as color, as a pamphlet, as a riddle and as an anthropological study. He has used it to make history, to make money, to make us laugh, to confront hot-button issues, to confound our expectations, and, every now and then, simply to rankle us,” according to a press release. “Thirty years after its debut, ‘Do the Right Thing’ is as relevant as ever.”
Ashley Clark, senior film programmer at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, will speak to that point following the 2 p.m. screening at the Pierson High School auditorium, located at 200 Jermain Avenue in Sag Harbor.
“A handful of characters, a single Brooklyn block, the hottest day of the year — in 1989, Spike Lee extracted from this microcosm what remains one of his most provocative, most beautiful and most inventive works to date: a hip hop opera (Bill Lee, the director’s father is responsible for the score) on race relations, urban survival, violence and Sal’s Famous Pizzeria,” the press release said. “Highly controversial prior to its release, ‘Do the Right Thing,’ with its glorious blend of painterly/chromatic hyperrealism and Brechtian cool, was embraced by both audience and critics alike.”
Admission is free. For more information and reservations, please visit sagharborcinema.org.