Still from the film Killer of Sheep (1978) showing a boy leaping from one rooftop to another
Screenings

Killer of Sheep / Bless Their Little Hearts

Sunday Jan 19, 2020 7:00 PM This is a past program

The UCLA Film & Television Archive presents classic film and contemporary cinema in the Hammer's Billy Wilder Theater.

Part of the series American Neorealism, Part One: 1948–1984

Killer of Sheep

An official American classic, if not the American Bicycle Thieves that some have termed it. Killer of Sheep is astonishing poetry, a seamless tango of realist sting and stylized grace notes, penetrating wit, and agonizing heartbreak. The film centers on Stan (Gayle Sanders), whose brutal job in a Watts slaughterhouse can barely sustain his family whose humanity surfaces in their formidable daily struggle and moments of relishing beauty and hope. (1978, dir. Charles Burnett, 35mm print from the UCLA Film & Televsion Archive, black and white, 87 min.)

Restored by the UCLA Film & Television Archive. Preservation funded by the Ahmanson Foundation, in association with the Sundance Film Institute. Courtesy of Milestone Film & Video.

Bless Their Little Hearts

Billy Woodberry’s magnificent feature represents the closure and pinnacle of a neorealist strand within the L.A. Rebellion school of Black filmmakers. Chronicling the psychological and spiritual toll experienced by a family in the throes of economic hardship and underemployment—and seeking a dignified way to live and be happy—the film also constitutes a felicitous creative collaboration between Woodberry and screenwriter-cinematographer Charles Burnett. (1984, dir. Billy Woodberry, 35mm print from the UCLA Film & Television Archive, black and white, 84 min.)

Restored by the UCLA Film & Television Archive. Preservation funded by the National Film Preservation Foundation and The Packard Humanities Institute. Courtesy of Milestone Film & Video.