The filmmaker released a new short film, titled New York New York, on Thursday dedicated to the city amid the coronavirus pandemic. Lee wrote that the three-minute project is a "love letter to its people…plain and simple."
The clip is set to Frank Sinatra’s classic tune of the same name and features historic landmarks, subway stations, Yankee Stadium, Wall Street and Broadway theaters. It then transitions to hospitals, people wearing masks while in lines at pharmacies, nurses and doctors wearing scrubs. There's also people holding up signs of support for the healthcare professionals and frontline workers. The short film concludes with shots of the empty streets of Times Square, before it closes with an overview of the famous NYC skyline.
"It’s painful when you see there is nobody there. But at the end of the film, that is when we see New Yorkers," Lee told Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta during a CNN interview on Thursday about the current state of New York. "You know what? I wouldn’t want to be any other place in the world than here, the epicenter."
"I would not want to be in any other place in the world, but here the epicenter."
Director Spike Lee speaks to CNN's Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta about his new short film, honoring New York City, as it continues to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. #CNNTownHallpic.twitter.com/5m0PQXaclP
Lee will continue to give back to the people of New York. On Monday, May 11, the Do the Right Thing director will take part in Robin Hood and iHeartMedia's "Rise Up New York!" relief benefit to support New Yorkers impacted by COVID-19.
Robin Hood, New York’s largest poverty-fighting organization, and iHeartMedia will bring together the city’s biggest musicians, actors, chefs and more with one common goal: To raise funds for Robin Hood’s relief and recovery efforts, deployed directly to the organizations on the front lines that serve the city’s most vulnerable during the current crisis and its aftermath.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Barbra Streisand, Ben Platt, Bette Midler, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Billy Joel, Bon Jovi, Chris Rock, Cynthia Erivo, Eli Manning, Idina Menzel, Jake Gyllenhaal, Jennifer Lopez, Jimmy Fallon, Julianne Moore, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mariah Carey, Robert De Niro, Sting and more are set to participate.