Film Studies Response

Film Studies Response

Discuss how Spike Lee breaks from Hollywood aesthetic and narrative conventions in Do the Right Thing, and why, using specific examples, both from the film and from our discussion in class. Be sure to discuss the film’s production context, the history of African American representation in Hollywood, and the events of NYC in the 1980s that Spike Lee specifically references in his film.

THIS IS NOT A RESEARCH PAPER, SO YOU DO NOT NEED TO DO A LOT OF RESEARCH. PLEASE MAINLY USE THE TEXTBOOK AND POWER POINT THAT I ATTACHED.

Must have 5 paragraphs.

The first paragraph: Introduction and industry background

The second paragraph: Film background

The third paragraph: narrative

The forth paragraph: cinematography

The fifth paragraph: conclusion

For your reference

(Plantation genre -> when black actors were featured in more serious roles, “Poiter syndrome” (characters were a symbol of the false notion of equality/integration, became foils for white heroism)
Blaxploitation -> Hollywood used this genre, with black narrative and black characters, to solve their financial crisis, rising political/social consciousness of black people
1980s -> “cinema of recuperation” (conservative shift to stereotypes), return to plantation drama -> vehicles for white heroism, context for DTRT
Spike Lee -> disrupted the racial hierarchy, demonstrated NYC’s division in the 80s (tension btw. neighborhoods), incorporated elements of blaxploitation
DTRT -> challenges racial hierarchies (“Fight the Power”, calls out white cultural pantheon, red color, erotic/aggressive dancing), distancing aesthetics (aware of the camera, low/slanted angle – Mother Sister, audience does not get attached to characters), episodic narrative (Mookie = anti-hero, open end, calls to the viewer to form their own opinions, cycle does not change, just another day)

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