'Boyz in the Hood': Approaching 25 Years

September 10, 2014 6:50 PM

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I met an acquaintance of mine recently - a woman with many years' experience working in the world of feature films - and she had just read a piece I wrote called "Making Movies Matter." In it, I lamented the current state of mainstream American film, a product which seems farther removed from real people and real problems than at any point in the medium's history. (And yes, I am counting the Great Depression years.) She reminded me that we are approaching the 25-year anniversary of a movie that did matter a great deal when it was released, the debut feature from writer-director John Singleton, Boyz in the Hood (1991).

It's easy to get distracted when remembering Boyz in the Hood. For one thing, along with Francis Ford Coppola's The Outsiders (1983), it boasts the most extraordinary cast of new (or mostly new) actors assembled for a movie in the past thirty years. Almost all of the principals - Cuba Gooding, Jr., ...

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