Independent filmmaker and anti-gentrification activist Spike Lee got a nice slice of presidential acclaim Friday night before a 25th anniversary commemorative screening of Do The Right Thing at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
"Do The Right Thing was actually the first movie we saw together on our first official date," President Obama told the crowded theater in a video message that played just before the opening titles. The First Lady remarked that the young Barry O "was trying to show me his sophisticated side by selecting an independent filmmaker."
"Today I've got a few more grey hairs than I did back in 1989. You don't look like Mookie anymore, but Do The Right Thing still holds a mirror to our society and makes us laugh and think and challenges all of us to see ourselves in one another," the President lauded.
The Hollywood Reporter notes that the video immediately followed a pre-show conversation between Lee, Chuck D, actors Richard Edson and Roger Smith, and others who reminisced about the making of Do The Right Thing and its legacy within New York City, the film industry, scuffed Jordans, and American culture at large. Lee, for his part, has been busy celebrating the film's 25th birthday with the the renaming of part of Brooklyn's Stuyvesant Avenue as Do The Right Thing Way last week and a massive block Bed-Stuy block party yesterday.
"So Spike, thank you for helping me impress Michelle, and more importantly thank you for telling a powerful story," Obama remarked. Check out some vintage behind-the-scenes footage on the making of Do The Right Thing below.