Do the Right Thing Analysis

Topics: Low-angle shot, Close-up, Long shot Pages: 5 (1576 words) Published: May 5, 2011
Hussein Abdallah
First Paper

Technical Critique of do the Right Thing

Do The Right Thing, a movie directed by Spike Lee, filmed on a sunny summer day in a black neighbourhood in Brooklyn is what many consider a great movie. The movie portrays stories of many actors consisting from different palettes, where each has their own conflicts and struggles. It is a very entertaining movie yet it will leave you emotionally connected to the events that took place. It would not have reached its current success if it wasn’t for the unique cinematography. In the coming sections I will be talking about the shots, angles, lighting styles, symbolism and colour. Realism

The realism of this movie is pretty clear, where Spike Lee was trying to convey the physical reality of the black people who live in a culturally diverse network. There were several characters in the movie and each had his own story, the flow of the, jumping from one character the other gives the feeling that there is no manipulation of the story, it’s the real deal and this is how things roll in Brooklyn in a timeline of twenty-four hours. Another reason why this movie is linked to realism is because of the moral issues, where for example there would be a sensitive scene about a scene, that speaks for itself and it is interpreted by the audience in their own way. Do The Right Thing may be also be considered as a classic since there was a focus on telling a great story but no that of one character but many, and each had his/her own charisma. It is the type of movies where you would want to go back over and over again to watch it. Shots

Spike Lee is known for his perfect shots where he uses different lens to give the movie a distinguishing look. The movie varied from long shots, medium, close up and extreme close up. That is shown from the beginning of the movie where the woman was dancing and it almost included all of the shots mentioned above. Throughout the movie the technique of including various shots were constantly being used and were applied to all the characters.

Figure 1A Extreme close up Figure 1B Close up Figure 1C Medium shot


Figure 1D Long shot

Figure 2A Extreme close up Figure 2B close up Figure 2C Medium shot

Figure 2D Long shot

The figures shown above are just two examples of many where different shots are being taken of the. In Figure 2a- 2b we have an example of the camera creating an extreme close up, pulling back going through the close up, medium shot to reach the long shot, and then moving horizontally to show the neighbourhood. This technique was used constantly. I think the meaning behind this technique is to make the movie as seem as realistic as possible. Spike Lee focused on the main characters individually and then pulls backed to create a long shot to show that character’s place in the neighbourhood, which adds realism to the setting. Angles

In Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing, he set up his camera in different positions and shot at different angles. A low angle is when the subject is being filmed from below. I believe that this angle gives the subject superiority and makes him look powerful.

Figure 3
Figure 3 is a scene where Radio Raheem was ordering pizza with his stereo being played and Sal was telling him to turn it off. Raheem looked intimidated so the low angle shot adds to the intimidation. In my opinion this was perfect since Radio Raheem was a character that everyone is afraid off and the more intimidating he looks the better. I also think that it added a little spice to the end, because these constant shots of Raheem give a bigger impact on the audience when he dies.

In contrary to low angle shots, high...
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