Spike Lee has dropped “New York New York,” a short film and love letter to New York and its people, on Instagram.
The short film opens with plenty of scenes of contemporary New York’s uncharacteristically silent streets before transitioning to scenes of ambulances and frontline workers who are handling the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Those scenes are followed by a handful of shots showing New York residents cheering and offering support to the frontline workers, followed by several closing shots of New York’s many landmarks — a sort of light in the darkness.
Lee offered special thanks on Instagram to Tina Sinatra, who gave him the rights to the film’s song, and Kodak, which supplied the film and cameras.
The outspoken director has offered ample comments on the ongoing coronavirus pandemic over the last few weeks. Lee, who was set to head the 2020 Cannes Film Festival jury as president, commended the decision to postpone the festival for safety reasons. More recently, Lee criticized the state of Georgia for making plans to ease quarantine restrictions and allow the reopening of movie theaters, among other nonessential businesses. At the time, Lee offered his thoughts on the situation with a short and suitably succinct statement: ““Open Movie Theatres Now? Hell To Da Naw,” Lee wrote in an email. “I Got Alot More Movies To Make, Not Rollin’ Da Dice Wit’ Da Only Life I Got. TESTING. TESTING And Mo’ TESTING.”
New York is the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States; the New York Times reported on Thursday that the state had over 330,000 coronavirus cases and added that the pandemic has caused over 26,000 deaths in the state.
Lee’s short film was released during his appearance on a CNN town hall regarding the coronavirus. Other guests on the network’s Anderson Cooper-hosted town hall — the network’s 10th since the pandemic began — included Sanjay Gupta and Al Gore.
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Watch “New York New York” below: