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John Singleton's commentary

John Singleton’s commentary — The director talks about making ”Boyz N the Hood” on the Criterion laserdisc

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Oscar pundits claim John Singleton hasn’t got a chance of winning Best Director for Boyz N the Hood on March 30. But Singleton has already composed what amounts to a two-hour victory speech.

It’s a running commentary about Boyz that Singleton recorded for a luxe new Criterion laserdisc of the film. On audio tracks that can be listened to in place of the movie’s soundtrack, Singleton recounts how he shot each scene, even as he analyzes its meaning. Winding up each disc side with screen tests and scenes deleted from Boyz‘ final cut, Singleton instantly canonizes his debut feature on video.

It’s clear from two deleted scenes the disc includes — one of Tre and his mom debating his future and another in which Furious warns Doughboy not to avenge a death — that Singleton already knows when a strong scene doesn’t strengthen the whole movie. It’s also clear from his remarks that Boyz‘ low budget saved him from indulgences, such as a bullet-riddled character he’d wanted to show falling ”more Christlike but didn’t have time.” He acknowledges he’s got growing to do. ”But just wait till I get my speed up, boy,” he says over the disc’s closing credits. ”I’m gonna piss a lot of people off.”

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