SEVERAL FRIENDS (director/writer: Charles Burnett; cinematographer: Jim Watkins; editor: Charles Burnett; cast: Andy Burnett, Gene Cherry, Charles Bracy, Cassandra Wright; Runtime: 21; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Charles Burnett; Milestone Films; 1969)
“If Bresson was a black American, this might be the type of film he would make.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Charles Burnett (“Killer of Sheep”) shot this improvised neo-realistic short while a student at UCLA’s Film School. His debut film as a director was shot on a shoestring budget with non-professionals on location in South Central L.A.. If Bresson was a black American, this might be the type of film he would make. It highlights black ghetto residents living dead-end lives. Four of them get together to talk in a parked car and separate when a nearby street fist fight takes place. At home they drink beer and fix an old car.
The film is undeveloped but is watchable because Burnett was later to make one of the great film’s of cinema, Killer of Sheep (1977), and fans of his might like to view whatever they can of his work.
REVIEWED ON 12/11/2009 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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