director's cut.... Burnett's first feature since 'Killer of Sheep' was a lesser affair at best and was trimmed down to this version by the director after its' initial release. Story of a drifting young man caught between his responsibilities towards his brother's wedding into a family he despises and the funeral of a good friend who had recently been released from jail. Performances mostly amateurish but honest.
I can appreciate Burnett's approach to depicting the stories of the regular African American, in the way he shows the main character to be in stasis, complacent with his lower class life and despising the upper classes. However, I found the choice of amateur actors and rough editing to completely take me out of the film, creating a rather disjointed experience. I don't sense the lyricism/poetry that others do. 2.5
The great strength of Burnett's films is his refusal to indulge in either a romanticized or miserablist aesthetic as he represents urban Black life. Neorealism never worked better outside (or within, in my opinion) Italy. The devastating tenderness of the moments in this film, captured in unique and beautiful angles, I would recommend to all cinephiles, but especially those who appreciate a slow, poetic cinema.
In Burnett's follow-up to one of the greatest films ever made, class, race, and death do a quintessentially American devil's dance, even if the movie's rhythms get real rough in places. Some of the central scenes don't come off right. But it's the smaller moments that regularly stun you and prove Burnett's greatness. Rough around more than just the edges, it nonetheless wears that roughness with an inimitable beauty.
Un filme modesto pero de un total disfrute. Burnett presenta a un protagonista rebelde, conformista, siempre renegando de la gloria ajena, aunque con una humanidad, un carisma y simpatía sin igual. Es un filme sobre amistad, tema que desata esa realidad sórdida que se contempla por momentos con humor y otros con drama. Es también la boda, el contraste entre el egoismo de un hermano, pero también un gesto conmovedor.