by Laura Hutson
Roger Ebert called Do the Right Thing “the finest, the most controversial, most discussed and most important film of 1989.” It’s hard to argue with him. More than 20 years later, the third Spike Lee joint maintains a practically unparalleled relevance: Swedish dance-pop superstar Robyn has borrowed all her recent choreography from Rosie Perez’s vicious opening sequence. Public Enemy, whose “Fight the Power” blasted from Radio Raheem’s boombox at full blast, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame just last week — only the fourth time a hip-hop group has been awarded such an honor. Not to mention catapulting the early careers of Samuel L. Jackson, John Turturro, Martin Lawrence and Giancarlo Esposito (and preserving the late, great Robin Harris).
On Saturday at 11 a.m., join Frank Dobson, the director of the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center at Vanderbilt, at The Belcourt for a pre-screening lecture about the film and its enduring cultural impact. Click the clip above for one of the most electrifying opening-credits sequences in movie history.