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Information Cycle of Spike Lee's 'Do the Right Thing'

Timeline created by Lori Ricigliano in Film
Event Date: Event Title: Event Description:
Filmreel small square Cannes Film Festival The film is shown at one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world and is one of twenty films in competition for the Palme d'Or, the grand prize, This event is important for showcasing the film and generating publicity for its distribution.
Canbyreview small square Film Festival Review Citation: Canby, Vincent. Spike Lee Stirs Things Up at Cannes The New York Times, May 20, 1989 Saturday, Section 1; Column 4; Cultural Desk; Pg. 11 Full text available through Lexis Nexis Academic Example of a newspaper review of the film prior to its general release
Spike small square Interview with Director Citation: Kaufman, Michael. In a New Film, Spike Lee Tries To Do the Thing, New York Times, June 25, 1989, section 2, p.1. Full text of article is available through Lexis Nexis Academic Photo Credit
Rightthingposter small square Film's General Release in the US The information cycle begins when the movie is released. Prior to general release, a movie may be shown at a film festival.
Rightthingnyt small square Newspaper Review of Film Full text of article Citation: Canby, Vincent. "Spike Lee Tackles Racism In 'Do the Right Thing'." New York Times, June 30, 1989. This is an example of a newspaper review written by a film critic for a general audience. It was published when the film was released. In addition to a recommendation and synopsis, it provides some insight about the film.
Newyorker small square Magazine Review of Film Citation: Rafferty, Terrence. "The Current Cinema: Open and Shut." Review of Do the Right Thing. The New Yorker, July 24, 1989, 78. Magazine reviews typically appear within a month of a film's general release. They are written by journalists or film critics and are geared to a general audience. The content may provide some analysis, criticism, and context, in addition to a summary of the film. The text of the New Yorker article is in our bound print periodical collection on the lower level.
Filmquarterly small square Scholarly Review in Film Journal Full text of article Citation: Doherty, Thomas. Reviewed work(s): Do the Right Thing by Spike Lee. Film Quarterly, 43, No. 2 (Winter, 1989-1990), pp. 35-40. This is an example of a scholarly review in a film studies journal published several months after the film's general release. Written by an expert in the field, the review provides in depth analysis and interpretation of the film.
Oscar small square Academy Award Nominations Announced Nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Danny Aiello) and Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen (Spike Lee) This event sparked some controversy about the nominations. See the Associated Press story in Lexis Nexis. Citaton: Horn, John. Oscar Voters Favor Predictable Over the Daring, February 15, 1990.
Timeline small square Scholarly Article about the Black Film Aesthetic Citation: Muyumba, Walton. "Folklore and Signifying: The Black Film Aesthetic in Spike Lee's 'Do The Right Thing'." Literary Griot: International Journal of Black Expressive Cultural Studies 5, no. 2 (Fall 1993): 12-24. It takes time for a researcher to develop an argument for publication in a scholarly journal. This piece, from an African American journal, analyzes the film from a black aesthetic.
Polyphony small square Scholarly Article about Film's Music Full Text of Article Citation: Johnson, Victoria E. "Polyphony and Cultural Expression: Interpreting Musical Traditions in Do the Right Thing." Film Quarterly, vol. 47 no. 2, 1993-1994 Winter pp: 18-29 Example of scholary article from an interdisciplinary perspective. The author analyzes the film's use of music and its relationship to character and incident.
Timeline small square Commentary about Film Reviews Citation: Messaris, Paul. "The polarizing tendency of mass media: Press reviews of `Do the Right Thing'." Mass Comm Review 20, no. 3/4: 220+. Written by a scholar in the field of communication, this article analyzes the varied press reaction to the controversy surrounding the film.
Rightthingbook small square Collection of Essays Puget Sound WorldCat Link Reid, Mark A. . Cambridge (England): Cambridge University Press, 1997.
Rightthingbookpolitics small square Chapter in a Book Puget Sound WorldCat link Citation: Rosenbaum, Jonathan. "Say the right thing (Do the right thing)." In Movies as politics. Berkeley : University of California, 1997, 13-21. More time has passed since the film's release. The scholar discusses the broader context of language of race relations and violence in the film.
Gradcap small square Dissertation Citation: Miller, James Lee, II. A rhetorical analysis of four selected films by Spike Lee and John Singleton, Bowling Green State University, 1998. A dissertation is a scholarly treatise of original research written by a candidate for the doctoral degree at a university.
Afamreview small square Scholarly Article about Context Full Text of Article Citation: McKelly, James C. "The double truth, Ruth: Do the Right Thing and the culture of ambiguity." African American Review, Summer 98 1998., 215+ Written years after the film's release, this article places the film in the context of African American cinema.
Rightthingstudy small square Qualitative Study of Film Full text of article Cooper, Brenda. "''The White-Black Fault Line'': Relevancy of Race and Racism in Spectators' Experiences of Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing." Howard Journal of Communications 9, no. 3 (July 1998): 205-228. Investigates African American and non-African American spectators' experiences with Spike Lee's controversial 1989 film
Timeline small square Scholarly Essay on Cultural Representations Citation: Jennifer Radtke. "Do the right thing in black and white: Spike Lee's bi-cultural method." The Midwest Quarterly 41, no. 2 (January 1, 2000): 208-228.
Blackdirectors small square Entry in Reference Source Puget Sound WorldCat link Citation: Donalson, Melvin Burke. Black Directors in Hollywood.. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2003. Establishes Spike Lee's reputation as a director; and analyzes his contributions to film, including "Do the Right Thing" Aimed at a wide audience seeking general information about the topic
Timeline small square Literary Analysis of Film Full Text of Article Bartley, William. "Mookie as "Wavering Hero": "Do the Right Thing" and the American Historical Romance." Literature Film Quarterly 34, no. 1 (January 2006): 9-18. This scholary article demonstrates the interdisciplinary nature of the film.
Filmliterate small square Book Chapter about Film as Teaching Tool Puget Sound WorldCat link "Political objectives through cinematic storytelling: Do the right thing." In LoBrutto, Vincent. Becoming Film Literate: The Art and Craft of Motion Pictures. Westport, Conn: Praeger, 2005. Identifies the film as a learning tool to study and acquire knowledge of cinema principles
Afi small square Ranked as one of 100 Best American Films American Film Institute's 10th Anniversary edition of 100 Years, 100 Movies This event demonstrates the long lasting value of the film.
Dallasnews small square Online Newspaper Review Vognar, Chris. 'Right Thing' resonates two decades later Prophetic, watershed film hasn't lost any of its power, DallasNews.com, June 29, 2009. Full text of article is available through Lexis Nexis Academic.
Rightthing20th small square 20th Anniversary DVD/Video Edition Anniversaries are important markers for a film's long lasting impact. They often generates a renewed interest in writing about the film.
Scalding small square Newspaper Review Full text of article Carter, Richard. "Spike Lee's scalding 'Do the Right Thing' lives forever." New York Amsterdam News 100, no. 30 (July 23, 2009): 10. Popular press review of film's 20th anniversary published in an African American newspaper
Newyorker small square Blog Post of Film's 20th Anniversary Blog Link Brody, Richard. Right and Left Things. New Yorker, July 23, 2009. A retrospective look at the film; references the original New Yorker review that appeared after the film's release
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- 20 Year Information Cycle Timeline of Spike Lee's film "Do the Right Thing" This timeline is an example of how an event, like "Do the Right Thing," generates information that is produced and distributed over the passage of time according to general patterns, often referred to as "information cycles." Skilled researchers understand these patterns and know which types of information sources are most appropriate for any given project. Note: Not all types of information are included and some dates are approximate.