Thursday, 17 January 2008

first look presents killer of sheep

"One of the most striking debuts in movie history" GQ

"A masterpiece. One of the most insightful and authentic dramas about African-American life on film. One of the finest American films, period" - International Herald Tribune

"There's just no mistaking the film's importance" - San Francisco Chronicle

Shot on location in Watts in the mid 1970s on a budget of less than $10,000, Killer Of Sheep has gone on to be declared one of the "100 Essential Films" of all time by the American National Society of Film Critics, and labelled a "national treasure" by the Library of Congress for its historical significance.

Heralded as one of the true cinematic time capsules of the era, the film depicts the people and stories of the impoverished LA suburb through the eyes of its central character, Stan. Frustrated and detached from the psychic toll of working in a slaughterhouse, Stan finds relief during common moments of unnoticed beauty, be it the warmth of a coffee cup against his cheek, holding his daughter, or slow dancing with his wife in the living room. Infused with subtle moments of joy and humour and backed by a timeless soundtrack (ranging from Etta James, to Earth, Wind & Fire to Gershwin), the film captures a slice of everyday life in the black Los Angeles ghetto at the time.

Director Charles Burnett originally submitted the film as a thesis work for his Masters of Fine Arts in Filmmaking at UCLA. In turn he has created a work which led the Chicago Tribune to call him "one of America's very best filmmakers" and the New York Times to name him "the nation's least-known great filmmaker and most gifted black director."

To date, Burnett's landmark work has only been seen at museums and occasional festival screenings on faded, poor quality 16mm prints. Recently restored by the UCLA Film & Television Archive, the new restored 35mm print of Killer of Sheep is finally enjoying an international theatrical release, thirty years after its debut.

The restored, 35mm version of Killer of Sheep will premiere in Australia at ACMI Cinemas, February 1 - 3.

Further information

Matthew Hurst, ACMI Communciations Coordinator
Tel: 8663 2475
Mob: 0434 603 655
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