Blakeson - Writer

Cardiff-based film, theatre and gig reviews, cultural ramblings, whingeing, short films, etc.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Killer Of Sheep

I managed, for the first time, so see Charles Burnett’s fabled 1977 “Killer Of Sheep”, at Chapter last weekend, courtesy of the International Black Film Festival Wales. Produced just as the Blaxploitation era was fizzling out, the film deliberately eschews sensationalistic narrative; instead, Burnett presents a series of low-key sketches of working-class African-American life, focussing on a family whose vaguely depressive father manages to eke out a living as an abbatoir worker. Excellent monochrome cinematography, a beautiful music score (apparently his failure to clear most of the tracks contributed to the film’s languishing in the archives for so long), and some charming performances make this a surprisingly entrancing experience; the sound quality leaves a lot to be desired, however.


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