‘Right’ of way: Spike Lee hosts ‘Do The Right Thing’ block party

Mookie of ceremonies: Spike Lee presided over the block party celebrating the 25th anniversary of his seminal joint “Do The Right Thing.”
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

It’s time to do the right thing — and party!

Filmmaker Spike Lee will celebrate the 30th anniversary of his seminal movie “Do the Right Thing” with a block party in Bedford-Stuyvesant on June 30.

The Oscar-winning director will throw his bash on the stretch of Stuyvesant Avenue where he filmed the iconic 1989 flick, between Quincy Street and Lexington Avenue — a block that was co-named to honor the movie in 2015. The party will last from noon to 7 p.m. and will be free and open to the public — much like his last celebration for the movie’s 25th anniversary, his annual Michael Jackson jubilee, and a 2017 party to honor the late Prince.

The director will host the street event with some as-yet-unnamed guest stars, while DJ Spinna provides the tunes, according to Lee’s Instagram.

Former Brooklynite Lee, who now lives on the distant isle of Manhattan, starred as the film’s protagonist Mookie, a pizza deliveryman, alongside actors Samuel L. Jackson, Rosie Perez, and John Turturro, among others.

The movie highlights racial tensions on the Brooklyn block, which boil over when a white police officer chokes a young black man to death. The scene bears prescient resemblance to the killing of Staten Island man Eric Garner at the hands of police officer Daniel Pantaleo, who placed him in a fatal chokehold in 2014.

The film also touches on gentrification, when the character Buggin Out (played by Giancarlo Esposito) confronts a white resident of the street who scuffed his Air Jordans with his bike.

The movie’s themes remain relevant today, the director told the Daily News recently.

“We had the crystal ball,” he said. “There was global warming, gentrification. The film, you could say, is ripped from the headlines presently.”

Those who want to see the film again on the big screen should head to the Brooklyn Academy of Music, which will screen it several times a day from Jun. 28–July 4, using a newly-restored digital version and a new 35 mm print.

“Do the Right Thing Block Party” on Stuyvesant Avenue, between Quincy Street and Lexington Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant. June 30, noon–7 p.m. Free.

“Do the Right Thing” at BAM Rose Cinemas [30 Lafayette Ave., between St. Felix Street and Ashland Place in Fort Greene, (718) 636–4100, www.bam.org,]. Jun. 28–Jul. 4, various showtimes. 35 mm showings after 6 p.m. $15.

Reach reporter Kevin Duggan at (718) 260–2511 or by e-mail at kduggan@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @kduggan16.

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