After the relative success of his first two joints, She’s Gotta Have It and School Daze, Spike Lee was finally able to produce films on a grander scale. The first of these that he directed, Do The Right Thing, stands as one of the most remarkable films of its era. The story is simple, following the residents of a Brooklyn neighborhood as they try to make it through the hottest day their street had ever seen as long standing racial tensions finally reach their breaking point.
Lee’s bold style comes through in full in force. The street used in the film was painted with reds and oranges in order to emphasize the heat, which when combined with the vibrant costume design makes the film look similar to graffiti of the time. One of the most prominent songs featured on the soundtrack is “Fight The Power” by Public Enemy, the full track even played over the opening credits. Almost all of Lee’s early movies deal with race and the perceptions of black people in American culture, and in that regard this my be his magnum opus.