Sunday, October 10, 2010

Great Title Sequences #3

After the disastrous School Daze (1988) Spike Lee was under pressure to prove his break-out film She's Gotta Have It (1986) wasn't just a fluke. Many promising directors haven't recovered from similar missteps, self-doubt sending them in search of the temporary safety of formulaic studio work, from where they either disappear or become careerist hacks for hire.
So the title sequence to Do The Right Thing (1989), amongst other things, can be seen as a statement of intent, Lee coming out fighting, refusing to compromise, reasserting his right to be considered a true autuer and not just someone who got lucky once.
And what a statement it is, an incendiary way to start an incendiary film, a bombardment of expressionist colour, lighting and sound from the audacious camera dolley that starts it, to the in-your-face intensity of Rosie Perez's dancing, to the thrilling rap soundtrack of Public Enemy's epic Fight The Power.
Before you have any idea what this film is about you know it's about anger and heat and sex and the sensery overload of city life and a director saying, in no uncertain terms, bring it on.

1 comment:

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