Raw American Poetry. Killer of Sheep takes the immediacy of Italian neo-Realist cinema and shapes it into a dreamy, beautiful montage of everyday life in Watts, Los Angeles, California, in the 1970s.
The revelations, in the year 2000, are surprising: black kids in the middle of the Ghetto acted up and goofed off exactly the same as white kids in small towns across the midwest...but not like black OR white kids today. The folks in this movie have an innocence about them that survives, along with their dignity, regardless of the social decay around them. You are left with a simple fact: these are still country people, who happen to be living in a city.
For anyone, like me, who grew up in the 1970s, the movie aches with a sense of a lost era, when being a kid meant building forts out of left-over construction materials, throwing dirt clods, and laying down big fat skidmarks with your bicycle.
And all this is just the subplot. The main storyline, of a slaughterhouse-working father trying to run a stable family in the midst of urban decay, is simple, understated, and powerful. The musical sequences inside the slaughterhouse rival Kubrick's ability to juxtapose music and image in a manner that creates infinite levels of meaning and irony. You can only sit with your mouth half agape and think, 'aaah.'
Like La Jetee, this is a movie that will allow you to see life anew, with children's eyes. Never pass up a chance to see it.
Killer of Sheep
Killer of Sheep
Stan works in drudgery at a slaughterhouse. His personal life is drab. Dissatisfaction and ennui keep him unresponsive to the needs of his adoring wife, and he must struggle against influences which would dishonor and endanger him and his family.
November 09, 2022 at 10:55 PM