spike lee short film

Spike Lee‘s love for the city that he was raised in has never been more apparent than now: when New York City has been at the center of a health crisis stretching months and months. The Oscar winner and lifelong Knicks fan has been appearing on the news and speaking out on social media about the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and now he has released a short film on Instagram dedicated to the city he loves and the healthcare workers on the frontline of the pandemic.

Spike Lee Short Film

Lee dropped a new short film “New York New York,” which he described as a “love letter to New York and its people.” Set to the smooth melody of Frank Sinatra’s classic tune of the same name, the short film opens on hazy shots of the cityscape, unusually empty and silent because of the pandemic. Landmarks like The Cony Island ferris wheel, the Statue of Liberty, Yankee Stadium are all shown in haunting, grainy silence before the film transitions to scenes of masked residents in line, and finally to ambulances and frontline workers in scrubs and PPE who are fighting the ongoing pandemic. It ends with shots of New York residents cheering the frontline workers before we fade back to New York’s iconic landmarks — a reminder that through thick and thin, the city will persevere on.

It’s a moving tribute, and one that we desperately need as the coronavirus pandemic shows no signs of slowing, with a confirmed 1.29 million cases in the U.S. as of Friday. New York is at the epicenter of the pandemic in the U.S., with over 330,000 coronavirus cases according to New York Times.

“My Short Film-NEW YORK NEW YORK Is A Love Letter To It’s People,” Spike Lee wrote in his Instagram caption. “Plain And Simple. Special Love Shout To Ms. TINA SINATRA, SONY/ATV,KERWIN DEVONISH (Camera), ADAM GOODE (Editor), TIM STACKER And KODAK For The Super 8 Film And Cameras.”

Tina Sinatra gave Lee the rights to Sinatra’s song, while Kodak supplied the film and cameras. Lee’s short film was released during his appearance on a CNN town hall about the coronavirus. Anderson Cooper hosted the town hall, which included guests like Sanjay Gupta and Al Gore.

The short film’s release comes right after Lee revealed that his new feature film Da 5 Bloods, his follow-up to his 2018 Oscar-winning film BlacKkKlansman, will be premiering on Netflix this June.

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