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Killer of Sheep

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Killer of Sheep

Killer of Sheep

type:
Movie
Current Status:
In Season
mpaa:
Unrated
runtime:
83 minutes
Limited Release Date:
03/30/07
performer:
Kaycee Moore, Henry Gale Sanders
director:
Charles Burnett
distributor:
Milestone
author:
Charles Burnett
genre:
Drama

We gave it an A-

A number of things will floor you watching the amazing Killer of Sheep: The Charles Burnett Collection. One is that the 1977 title film, about the domestic life of a slaughterhouse worker in L.A.’s Watts neighborhood, is one of the most quietly moving portraits of black working-class lives ever seen. Another is that the collection’s second feature film, 1983’s My Brother’s Wedding, is…well, one of the most quietly moving portraits of black working-class lives ever seen. In both, male protagonists, trapped in contemporary economic hard times, find both pressure and comfort from family members. Director-writer Burnett — who also helmed the lovely 1996 slavery-era TV movie Nightjohn, as well as the emotionally complex 1995 cop movie The Glass Shield — used his independently made films to work outside the studio system’s commercial genres, developing his own leisurely yet mesmerizing storytelling pace. The Collection boasts four of Burnett’s short films, including his newest, ”Quiet as Kept,” about a New Orleans family displaced by Hurricane Katrina. There’s also an invaluable commentary track by the director on Killer of Sheep, which serves as a primer on how to shoot on a tiny budget while achieving maximal results. A-

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