Set in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn, Spike Lee’s thought-provoking and powerful comedy/drama chronicles the events that lead up to a race riot between the residents. The action takes place on the hottest day of the year and centers around a pizza parlor owned by Italian-American Sal. It’s a popular hangout for the neighborhood youth. The events leading up to the confrontation are presented episodically and center around, Sal (Danny Aiello), his aimless employee Mookie (Spike Lee) and his pal, the radical Buggin Out (Giancarlo Esposito), who is irritated that Sal’s “Wall of Fame” (containing only pictures of famous Italian-Americans) contains no African-American faces and therefore tries unsuccessfully to get the neighborhood blacks, including Mookie, to boycott the restaurant. Radio Raheem, with his blaring boom box permanently affixed to his shoulder, inadvertently becomes the catalyst for violence. As the stories unfold and many colorful satellite characters and their lives are introduced, the temperature rises. With the constant bickering between Mookie and the other employees, the harassment of Buggin Out, and other events, Sal is pushed to the breaking point and makes a fateful decision. Already stressed out and overheated, Sal snaps at closing time when Radio Raheem show up and demands service at the last minute. Violence and tragedy ensue.
Watching Harry Powell (Robert Mitchum) tell the story of Love & Hate last Saturday in Night of the Hunter I recalled Spike Lee’s clever homage to Laughton’s film in Do The Right Thing when Radio Raheem tells the same story of love and hate to Mookie. As we approach the end of the dog days of summer we’ve been informed that the hottest day will be on Tuesday August 27th and at 7p.m. we hope you will cool off with a 35MM screening of Spike Lee’s pheonomenal Do the Right Thing. While we won’t be slinging any of Sal’s fineset we will be busting out our own mighty fine 24inch pies and serving it by the slice for this special screening.