Shaft + Boyz n the Hood
Saturday, Apr 10, 2021 at 7:00 PM
Twenty years apart, influential directors Gordon Parks and John Singleton depicted epochal films about tough lives in New York and South Central, L.A.
Dir. Gordon Parks, U.S., 1971, 100 mins. With Richard Roundtree, Moses Gunn. Renowned photographer and director Gordon Parks directed this slick detective thriller, an adaptation of the 1970 novel by Ernest Tidyman. Solving crimes his own way, John Shaft (Roundtree) is a sharp, tough, and charming private eye who knocks enemies out of windows while always finding time for pleasure. This time, he’s hired to retrieve the daughter of a crime lord. Set on the streets of New York City and heavily influenced by the Black Power movement, this blaxploitation classic is infused with action-packed rumbles and a sultry rhythmic funk score composed by Isaac Hayes and arranged by Johnny Allen. The iconic “Theme from Shaft” won Hayes the Best Original Song Academy Award. Rated: R
Boyz n the Hood
Dir. John Singleton. U.S., 1991, 112 mins. With Cuba Gooding Jr., Laurence Fishburne, Ice Cube, Morris Chestnut, Tyra Ferrell, Nia Long. Made when he was just 23, John Singleton’s incendiary debut feature is both deeply personal and dramatically classical, with young Tre (Gooding Jr.) moving in with his father (Fishburne) in troubled South Central L.A., a place he can embrace or transcend, neither of which is an easy proposition. For this unforgettable, era-defining drama, Singleton made cinematic history, becoming the first Black filmmaker to be nominated for the Best Director Academy Award. Rated: R
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