Thu, 23 February 2017
This week’s On Story, two critically and culturally acclaimed African-American directors: John Singleton and Charles Burnett. First, Singleton discusses his career and the creation of his first film, Boyz n the Hood (1991), which earned him the Best Director nomination at the Academy Awards®, making him the first African American nominee in that category that same year. Later, Charles Burnett highlights details of his career development in narrative and documentary filmmaking, with his seminal film Killer of Sheep (1978), a definitive representation of the African American cultural experience.
John Singleton made his filmmaking debut in 1991 as the writer-director of the groundbreaking urban drama Boys N The Hood, which he wrote and directed. The film earned him Academy Award® Nominations for Best Original Screenplay and Best Director, the latter of which made him the youngest person as well as the first African-American to enjoy that distinction. Singleton’s other films include Poetic Justice starring Janet Jackson and Tupac Shakur, Four Brothers with Mark Wahlberg, Tyrese Gibson and Andre Benjamin and Rosewood starring John Voight, Ving Rhames and Don Cheadle.
Charles Burnett’s most notable works include the films Killer of Sheep, My Brother’s Wedding and To Sleep With Anger. Killer of Sheep was Charles Burnett’s master’s thesis at UCLA and was included among the first 50 films entered in the National Film Registry for its historical importance by the Library of Congress in 1990. Charles Burnett has received numerous awards for his contribution to American cinema including a Guggenheim Fellowship and Howard University’s Paul Robeson Award.