Movies | May 9, 2020 6:00 am

Spike Lee Releases Short Film About NYC During COVID-19

"New York, New York" was posted on the director's Instagram on Thursday night

Spike Lee
Spike Lee in 2007.
Peabody Awards/Creative Commons

Is Spike Lee America’s go-to filmmaker in times of crisis? To choose but one example, his 2002 film 25th Hour included scenes of a post-September 11th New York City, to a moving effect. And now, Lee has returned with a short film posted on Instagram which serves as a tribute to the current crisis facing the city.

As Chris Murphy reports at Vulture, Lee’s short film NEW YORK NEW YORK appeared on Thursday night on Instagram.

As a song familiar to many New Yorkers plays, the camera reveals many iconic New York City landmarks utterly devoid of people, quietly establishing a haunting portrait of the city. Lee dubs the film “A Love Letter To It’s People,” and that becomes apparent at the end, when the focus turns to a number of first responders at work.

On the post, Lee also provides some information on how the project was made:

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.

Lee has also directed two acclaimed documentaries about post-Katrina New Orleans, When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts and If God is Willing and da Creek Don’t Rise. If and when there comes a time for a longer documentary about New York City’s — and the nation’s — response to COVID-19, one can only imagine the film that might result if Lee opts to do something feature-length on the subject.

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