Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Sight & Sound Challenge: Killer of Sheep (1978)

Film: Killer of Sheep (218/250) 
First Time/Rewatch: First Time

Stan works in a slaughterhouse. His life, and the lives of those around him, is a series of seemingly insignificant interactions. He's living life one day at a time, each day feeling the same as the last. What's the point? Will anything ever change? Will anything make him care? This film feels so genuine. Real people, real lived-in looking houses...I felt like I was spying on real people's lives. The comparisons to the great Italian neorealist films are certainly accurate. What would this film be? Neo-neo-realism? Gritty-looking, with no-name actors in real locations, but with a killer soundtrack. Speaking of music, I think I'm most grateful to this film for introducing me to the work of composer William Grant Still, whose "Afro American Symphony" gives this film an elevated sense of poetic, jazzy beauty in the vein of Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue." I can only blame my own ignorance for not knowing of this artist, but his music has been floating our house a lot since we watched this. Overall this was a quietly moving experience, a film about nothing that leaves an ache of sadness in your heart. 

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