Posts Tagged ‘spike lee’

Dr. King’s Day: Movie Moment — Do the Right Thing

January 17, 2011

Do the Right Thing (Spike Lee, 1989).



Do the Right Thing culminates in terrific racial violence in the Bedford-Stuyvesant Park part of Brooklyn, New York.




After the film ends, two quotes, one from Dr. King, and one from Malcolm X, are presented along with a still iconic image of them shaking hands.



The quotes advance two different philosophies for accomplishing an agenda of social change. The two philosophies presented in the quotes underscore the clashing sides of the issues boiling over in the time of the film’s setting.




Dr. King’s quote is, “Violence as a way of achieving racial justice is both impractical and immoral. It is a descending spiral ending in destruction for all. The old law of an eye for an eye leaves everybody blind. It is immoral because it seeks to humiliate the opponent rather than win his understanding: it seeks to annihilate rather than convert. Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love. It destroys community and makes brotherhood impossible. It leaves society in monologue rather than dialogue. Violence ends up defeating itself. It creates bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers.”

(This quote mainly comes from his 1964 Nobel Peace Prize lecture, except for the “everybody blind” part. “An Eye for an Eye leaves everyone blind” is an attributed quote that was not included in the Nobel speech. I’ve actually been unable to find it at all in his legitimate writings, but it is a good axiom nonetheless.)


This picture is shown throughout the film and at the closing.

Malcolm X’s quote is, “I think there are plenty of good people in America, but there are also plenty of bad people in America and the bad ones are the ones who seem to have all the power and be in these positions to block things that you and I need. Because this is the situation, you and I have to preserve the right to do what is necessary to bring an end to that situation, and it doesn’t mean that I advocate violence, but at the same time I am not against using violence in self-defense. I don’t even call it violence when it’s self-defense, I call it intelligence.”

During his presidential campaign, I remember hearing that the Obamas saw this movie on their first date and stayed up all night debating the events in the movie, using the Civil Rights leaders’ quotes as a launchpad.

Screencaps originally by the awesome-possum buses on the lj, then edited by me. Huge thanks!)

Dr. King’s Day: Movie Moment — Do the Right Thing

January 15, 2010

Do the Right Thing (Spike Lee, 1989).














Do the Right Thing culminates in terrific racial violence in the Bedford-Stuyvesant Park part of Brooklyn, New York. After the film ends, two quotes, one from Dr. King, and one from Malcolm X, are presented along with a still iconic image of them shaking hands. The quotes advance two different philosophies for accomplishing an agenda of social change.

Dr. King’s quote is, “Violence as a way of achieving racial justice is both impractical and immoral. It is a descending spiral ending in destruction for all. The old law of an eye for an eye leaves everybody blind. It is immoral because it seeks to humiliate the opponent rather than win his understanding: it seeks to annihilate rather than convert. Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love. It destroys community and makes brotherhood impossible. It leaves society in monologue rather than dialogue. Violence ends up defeating itself. It creates bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers.” (This quote mainly comes from his 1964 Nobel Peace Prize lecture, except for the “everybody blind” part.)


This picture is shown throughout the film and at the closing.

Malcolm X’s quote is, “I think there are plenty of good people in America, but there are also plenty of bad people in America and the bad ones are the ones who seem to have all the power and be in these positions to block things that you and I need. Because this is the situation, you and I have to preserve the right to do what is necessary to bring an end to that situation, and it doesn’t mean that I advocate violence, but at the same time I am not against using violence in self-defense. I don’t even call it violence when it’s self-defense, I call it intelligence.”

The Obamas saw this movie on their first date and stayed up all night debating the events in the movie, using the quotes as a launchpad.

(All screencaps made possible by the awesome-possum buses on the lj. Huge thanks!)

NSFW November: Holly Witt, Miss November 1995

November 18, 2009

I’ll be honest: Miss November 1995, Holly Witt, mainly bores the crap out of me, and I feel like Playboy did not put their best effort forward with this pictorial’s disjointed themes, nor did they demand enough of the model.


Photography by Arny Freytag and Stephen Wayda
I just feel like this shoot could have been done better. I’m surprised Arny Freytag was involved. Possibly he only did the centerfold and this Wayda character did the rest.

The kiddie pool picture is actually pretty good. And the one below of her in the salon chair with her hand to her head is okay. But the rest come off wooden to me and look like something from a much cheaper magazine. It’s a shame that they let her get away with just doing the kind of arched back, pouty mouth thing, because I think she was capable of more. Some more stringently unusal or less stiff poses could have made the shoot kind of this interesting and erotic, challenging look at the trope of the slutty housewife: the set dressing and pastel but somehow lurid, vivid colors would have worked great with that.

Instead, because she was allowed to go with Porn 101 posing of chipmunk face and out-thrust breasts (not that there is anything wrong with that pose in its appropriate context), the shoot just falls in to pornographic fantasy pictures instead of doing the more dynamic and interesting thing by elevating it a level further and erotically, cleverly referring to that genre, rather than crassly being it. Does this make sense?

Anyway, fuck this shoot. The rest of the text is going to be quotes from an interview that also ran in this issue by contributing editor Lawrence Gobel with none other than superbomb flyass mothafucka Mr. Harvey Keitel.


PLAYBOY: You must be aware of how people react to you. You’ve developed a reputation as a powerful actor willing to dare exposure.
KEITEL: I’m smiling now as you say dare. I mean, that’s what I do. I don’t know what to say, except that it comes naturally to me. You want to call it daring? OK. I look at it as being.



KEITEL: Here’s a man who is doing the job of a pimp and a girl who is working as a prostitute. It’s monstrous, it’s horrible. But that wasn’t my approach to it. My approach was as a working man. Often, pimps are brilliant people caught up in life’s misfortunes. It’s like this whole debate going on about the welfare system: Is it the fault of the poor or of their circumstances? I believe a great deal of it has to do with their circumstances, not just because they are irresponsible.


PLAYBOY: How could Reservoir Dogs have gone further?
KEITEL: Perhaps there was some way to make the universal quest more obvious to an audience.

PLAYBOY: You may have a point—most people saw it as a violent movie, not one of some Arthurian quest.
KEITEL: I never saw it as a violent film. … I see it more as a story about a man who is in need of nourishing a younger man, of being a father figure, of being an example. It’s a quest we’re all on.

You can read the full interview here, which I strongly recommend because Keitel mercilessly fucks with Gobel the entire time; he is enigmatic and a dick and just all-around brooking no publicity machine bullshit. He is the consummate Man. I love him so well.

In closing and to bring it back to the subject of this entry, I will merely add that if you are on a date with the lovely and talented Ms. Witt and are thinking of impressing her with a story about Pythagoras or Fermat, shut your piehole, because she lists among her turn-offs “math and history.” Awesome.