The scene that perhaps stuck out to me most in the entire film was the scene where the cops kill Radio Raheem. This scene is so timeless. I feel like this scene in particular is one that could’ve been shot today. Film captures and illustrates issues of the day and time they were produced in and Do the right thing does just that, but even more so, stresses the long existing violence against the black community by police. Even further the divide between the black and white communities is made really prominent in this film. This divide is illustrated in the scene where one of the white residents of the neighborhood, where the film takes place negligently runs over Bugging Outs foot, and is unapologetic about it and is unaware of the space that he is taking up in a traditionally black neighborhood, in juxtaposition with black people always having to be conscious of the space that they take up. A scene that I feel really makes this clear is the scene where radio Raheem gets his radio smashed by the pizza shop owner and when Bugging Out is thrown out of the pizza shop for asking about the representation of black people on the pizza shop’s wall. This illustration of black and white people trying to coexist in neighborhoods even lends itself to Gentrification in traditionally black communities today, like Harlem and Bed-Stuy Brooklyn. Black people are still being displaced and pushed out of communities that they have cultivated and cultured by white people.
The screenshot I decided to focus on is from the “N***** is a Beautiful Thang” scene. I chose this clip in reference to this scene, because this is the only place and the only scene where during auditions for the mockery minstrel shows both Pierre Delacroix and Sloan Hopkins illustrate satisfaction with a particular performance.
The performance is by a man who is dressed in a suit who will later be introduced to the audience as Honeycutt. The scene I chose is a clear display that Honeycutt is one that is perceived as intelligent by Hopkins and Delacroix because of his mention and performance of Hamlet. Additionally Honeycutt is discerned as intelligent because of what he is wearing, Honeycutt is one of two performers who came wearing a suit. What is interesting and different about his suit, however is that it is something a pimp could be seen wearing or is typical of a pimp outfit. The hat is purple and dawns a feather, the suit jacket is a little too long and under the suit jacket he sports a yellow button – up and a purple tie to coordinate with his hat.
In this way Honeycutt’s Character can be viewed as Polyvalent, still holding true and playing into mainstream ideals of typical roles black actors should play, but opposing that simultaneously with his performance.
I chose this screenshot because, Honeycutt, being well-liked by both Delacroix and Sloan gave him perspective and dimension in contrast to the other people who auditioned. During his performance is the first time we see a head on shot of all three of the judges, we get a shot from behind Honeycutt a shot from a theatre through his eyes and his lens. The close up and tight angle on the judges for the first time during his performance even takes away the idea of him being a spectacle or a show and turns the lens on the judges, in a way that makes his performance shared and Honeycutt seem almost equal to the people who are watching and judging him.