Who dis? John Singleton exemplifies quality and range in his directorial debut and firmly on the Mount Rushmore of Black cinema through bitch gods, dummy sucks and pulpit pussy! Meet us on the plastic couch with Boyz n the Hood this week.
Released: May 1991
Written & Directed by: John Singleton
Worldwide Gross: $57,529,070
Actors: Cuba Gooding Jr., Angela Bassett, Laurence Fishburne, Ice Cube, Morris Chestnut, Nia Long, Regina King
Breakdown and Analysis
- Growing up, Oti was well acquainted with this film and counts at least 6. Re-watching it as an adult, it felt like a different film. Beyond being just a hood movie. Watching with a different lens, he enjoys and is able to draw more from it. Oti gives further accolade to Singleton being so young and delivering Boyz n the Hood.
- KT reflects on the capacity to be able to consume the depth of cinema really reflects your life experience or lack of. So even though this film is timeless, there was only so much KT could absorb in her early 20s. Timeless is a compliment to Singleton but potentially a mirror to all of us. While it is timeless in it’s quality, unfortunately many of themes faced by Black Americans are still being experienced to this day.
- John Singleton had an exacting ability in merging the worlds of quality cinema and true Black experience. Symbiotic Singleton.
- A black movie can be enjoyed by everyone, it isn’t just for black people.
- There is so much quality outside of the behemoth mainstream ether that people are missing because it is being chalked up to just being a black film or show.
- We compare how ownership of stories allows for effortless reality. The Chi, Insecure & Taika Waititi films.
- Oti recalls our gentrification discussion in Candyman and praises Singleton’s approach.
- Oti highlights Tre as the grounding centre in this film. We experience the film through his character. KT disagrees in that it felt like things happened to and around him but not because of him.
- Doughboy wasn’t raised and nurtured in an environment where he was set to thrive but he had a good sense of the world. He also read a lot in prison. KT loved the effortless nuance with Doughboy. She mentions the scene where the baby is witnessing Ricky bleeding out on the couch. Acknowledging that a young child should never have to see it.
- There are times to watch and enjoy a film but absolutely moments where KT needs to take notes because there are discussion points.
- Gun violence/normalising of violence: young children seeking out a dead body, casually talking about hearing gunshots overnight.
- Drugs (crack cocaine): We see this in Cheryl and the baby being out in the streets. We see the parallels with Tre and Doughboy in that they shared the same concern for the child and wating Cheryl to do better. We discuss Furious’ facts of black people not owning the planes and ships that courier cocaine into the United States.
- Sex education (aids): Sex is happening in the community but is never talked about. Aside from the dismissal and threats to not bring babies home. Protection and contraception aren’t just about babies but also sexual health. We see the difference of having a father figure with Tre was compared to his friends. She briefly touch on Dooky being safe by not having sex but still getting his.
- Black men in the Army: Oti laments how black people have been plunged into wars for decades and decades. We discuss what Ricky’s motives might have been in enlisting even though he had prospects for the NFL.
- NFL after college: Statistically only a small percent actually make it to the NFL professionally. Oti references the film National Champions.
Unrelated but vital points
- John Singleton Reference Biblioteca: Snowfall S1-3, Snowfall S4 & Baby Boy.
- Furious Styles was the perfect example of a helpful Raiden.
- KT rates tongues: Morris Chestnut in Boyz n the Hood over Yahya Abdul Matieen II in Candyman.