Posts Tagged ‘Charles Burnett’

Heads-up re: TCM, 5/27

May 27, 2010

Just thought y’all might like to know that Robert Flaherty’s “Nanook of the North” (1922), a seemingly unavoidable and persistent point of reference in most discussions of film history, will be on TCM tonight at 7. “Nanook” will be followed by Kent Mackenzie’s “The Exiles” (1961) at 8:15. “The Exiles” screened at the Cinematheque during the ’08-’09 school year, if I’m not mistaken. It’s a stumbling, drunken, magnetic slab of verité, one that has often been compared to Charles Burnett’s “Killer of Sheep” (1977). I tend to disagree with the sentiment behind the comparison of “The Exiles” with “Killer of Sheep,” but, then again, I’ve only seen “The Exiles” once; perhaps I’m just blind to something in it or about it that others see every time they watch either of those two remarkable films. Either way, a pair of solid (and, at 65 and 73 minutes long, concise) movies on TCM tonight.

A worthwhile clip on a sunny Tuesday afternoon

April 27, 2010

Well, it seems I’m fresh out of wit—thus, the title of this post. Anyway, I wanted to direct your attention to the latest installment of Richard Brody’s “DVD of the Week,” a weekly feature on his New Yorker film blog, the Front Row; there Brody discusses Charles Burnett’s “Killer of Sheep” (1977), a truly incredible movie that I count amongst my personal favorites.

“Killer of Sheep” is funny, jaw-droppingly gorgeous and pervaded by a palpable sense of socioeconomic frustration. I can’t think of another film that makes American society’s glass ceiling seem so blatant and, by extension, so troubling. It’s crazy to think that this was Burnett’s MFA thesis at UCLA; what isn’t quite as astonishing but no less commendable is the fact he shot it for a mere $10,000. “Killer of Sheep” deserves as much attention as it can get.