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Friday, February 22, 2008

Ten Films You Should See If You Love Black People

On Fridays I will also present a film a week taken from a great article on The Ebony/Jet site. It was entitled: "Ten Films You Should See If You Love Black People" by Jacquie Jones. This is the intro and number one:

I know it’s hard these days to figure out what a black film really is: Norbit? The Inside Man? Hustle and Flow? Even the “independent” films that turn up at festivals like the Pan-African Film Festival in Los Angeles, the American Black Film Festival or Urban World in New York, are all starting to feel like dress rehearsals for Hollywood rather than independent visions of African American history, culture or experience.

Well, here are a few of my favorite things … movies, that is, that capture the struggles and style of our explorations in this world, big and small, from the perspective of people who actually do walk in our shoes.
Charles Burnett

To Sleep With Anger, which stars Danny Glover, Mary Alice, and Carl Lumly is easy to see. You can pick it up at Netflix or any neighborhood Blockbuster. After a long absence from the indie film circuit, Killer of Sheep will soon be released on DVD. Both share not only the simple genius of their director, Mac Arthur “genius” Fellowship Recipient Charles Burnett, but also the patient, unflinching gaze on black people at their most ordinary and profound. Family, migration, loss, unity, tradition – all spoken quietly, like a secret. Burnett’s real masterpiece, Killer of Sheep, might initially be hard to find. But, really, you should see anything by Charles Burnett you possibly can.

From IW: I've read a lot of what male bloggers feel about this Killer of Sheep; I hope some women can get to see it too. The original was remastered and rereleased by Steven Soderbergh of the "Ocean's" trilogy, among other things. It is a true testament to black life and black love.


The True Urban Queen said...

I wrote the movie down now I'm going to try and find it.

Qadree said...

Unless you have a region free DVD player To Sleep with Anger may not play for you. I'm not sure if region 1 DVD's are available for that title.

Popular criticism can influence peoples opinions about a film and I think Killer of Sheep overshadows To Sleep with Anger for that reason. Due to budget limitations there are some technical flaws in the latter, but it is just as strong as Killer of Sheep cinematically. The films are different so the respective strengths are in different places, but I can't say at this point that one surpasses the other all around.

If you haven't read about Killer of Sheep, be aware that the first scene in the film is a flashback from Stan's childhood.

dejanae said...

Never heard of this film
ima check for it
thnx for puttin a sistah onto some good stuff

Invisible Woman said...

@trueurban and dejanae: yay! at least I recruited 2 females for this film---if you see it, please tell me what you thought :-)

@qadree: you may not want to hear this, but I didn't really care for To Sleep With Anger. To be fair tho, at the time it came out, I wasn't in the frame of mind for something that heavy. I should probably rewatch it.

I really dug The Glass Shield tho, which I wrote about on this blog.

Danielle said...

I've heard alot about Killer Of Sheep and missed it when it came to San Francisco. Damn!

I'm going to have to find this one.

Invisible Woman said...

I know, I missed it was at the Castro, one of the last great movie palaces. My girlfriend told me the day after...what's up with that?

Bygbaby said...

"Killer of Sheep" is a masterpiece & very relevant today!

I was lucky enough t see a screening of it last month with Charles Burnett.

It was awesome hearing how it is now in demand around the country & world as he tours with it. And it was really fascinating to hear him talk about the cast & the challenges he faced when it was time to film.

Thx for putting this out there!


Invisible Woman said...

@bygbaby: I knew you were a great man of art and culture!

Invisible Woman said...

@bygbaby: I knew you were a great man of art and culture!