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Netflix | ‘Os Donos da Rua’ turns 30 in 2021 and remains relevant and urgent

Boyz n the Hood is currently part of the Netflix movie collection, and first of all, here’s our top recommendation to watch the movie before it’s taken down – after all, as we know movies come and go on the platform. Os Donos da Rua turns 30 since its launch in 2021, and it’s the perfect opportunity to celebrate this important cinematic work, whether by watching it for the first time or revisiting it.

The production’s world premiere took place on May 13, 1991 at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival in France. For those who do not know, Os Donos da Rua also has great importance behind the camera, behind the scenes, as he holds two records for the seventh art prize, the Oscar, two records: one that can never be beaten and another that until today, thirty years later, this is still not the case. Both concern the director of the work, the late John Singleton, who died in 2019 at the age of 51.

Young John Singleton in his early twenties on the set of “The Street Owners”.

Singleton was the first black filmmaker to be named an Oscar director, 63 years after the ceremony began. Singleton was also the youngest director ever to be nominated for the award, at the time at the age of 24, thus breaking the previous record of a certain Orson Welles by a Citizen Kane (1941), at age 26 – a record that he has held for 50 years.

At the Oscars, the film’s two nominations sounded like grand prizes. Os Donos da Rua is the first film by young John Singleton, released by a big studio after a real epic. The result was his endorsement on the film’s biggest night, with nominations for original screenplay and directing, both for Singleton. The filmmaker got the idea for the film from his own experience in Crenshaw, a then violent suburb of Los Angeles, California. The land of the rich and famous was completely debunked by a black artist with a lot of possessions, after all he had precisely left that territory and the film tells about everything he saw and experienced there.

Carrier start. Morris Chestnut, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Ice Cube star in “The Landlords of the Street”.

Two years earlier, the talented and famous Spike Lee had already given his account of the cause in the timeless Do The Right Thing (1989), throwing the daily life of the residents of Bedford-Stuy, Brooklyn, in the face of society, New York. , the same neighborhood that serves as a stage much mentioned by Chris Rock in his series Everybody Hates Chris (2005-2009). The Owners of the Night completes Lee’s film, also showing the harshness of a black neighborhood on the West Coast of the United States. Now, more than thirty years later, both neighborhoods have greatly improved their condition for residents and Brooklyn has even undergone a makeover in New York City, becoming one of the city’s most expensive places to live.

In terms of Oscar accolades, Faz a Coisa Certa received two equally nominations, including one screenplay, but like Os Donos da Rua, he is seen as snubbed. They deserved more. They deserved the long-awaited nomination for Best Picture. At the time, the then more conservative members of the Academy were not prepared for such a performance.

Violence in the streets. The harsh reality of Los Angeles’ Crenshaw neighborhood.

In Do the Right Thing, Spike Lee is one of the characters in the movie in the middle of it all. In Os Donos da Rua, John Singleton is also included in the narrative, but he does not appear as an actor. The filmmaker uses the character of Tre, who in the film takes the form of a rookie Cuba Gooding Jr., in his first leading role as a protagonist in the cinema – the actor will win an Oscar five years later for Jerry Maguire: The Great Reversed. In the film, Tre grows up in the midst of violence and when, still in his childhood, he begins to be affected by it, he is taken by his mother to live with his father, the wise armed “preacher” Furious (and the name says so). all). So you can dodge the temptations and the easy way, building your character to be someone in life. Offscreen, John Singleton went through the same ordeal as the character, went to college, and became a prestigious director.

To get to where he is, Singleton had to continue to prove himself. The idea for the multi-part film came when an executive from Orion Pictures came to visit his university for a lecture. The student was not ashamed and in front of the whole class he expressed his displeasure with a recently released studio feature, Colors of Violence (1988): a brawl between California’s most violent gangs, the Crips and the Bloods which they divide by the blue colors. and red), using as protagonists of the story two white police officers (played by Sean Penn and Robert Duvall). And for Singleton, there was the whole problem with the movie. Os Donos da Rua, released three years later, tells the point of view of local residents caught in the middle of an urban war; many of whom grew up alongside young criminals are friends or relatives of those who kill and die.

After being given the nod from Columbia Pictures (now Sony) for his screenplay, due to the studio’s desire for his own Do The Right Thing (from Universal Pictures), Singleton had to put his voice to the test and set foot down to get the direction of the film. The executives wanted to entrust their text to another filmmaker to direct, fearing the lack of experience of a young man fresh out of film school, without any prior work in the field. Singleton was firm in his decision saying that only someone with such an experience would be able to bring the right aesthetic to the film.

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Protagonist Tre, meanwhile, almost took the form of an actor unknown at the time, but one who would go on to become one of today’s biggest stars in Hollywood. Will Smith was considered for the lead role, nearly lived it out, but had to turn it down due to his obligations on the recently released show, A Madman in the Piece, which debuted the year before and already had had great success. It is curious to note in the old films revisited, the presence of now popular actors. Here, for example, we have Regina King’s debut film as the flamboyant Shalika. King won the Supporting Actress Oscar for If the Street Beale Falasse (2019), became a sexy actress (Watchmen) and a handful of directors (A Night in Miami).

Regina King makes her film debut in “Os Donos da Rua”.

Rapper Ice Cube also made his film debut in Os Donos da Rua, at the time already in front of his rap group NWA (whose biography Straight Outta Compton, 2015, was a huge success in the cinema). Cube plays Doughboy, the troubled young man who is Tre’s counterpart in the film. Rounding out the main cast are Nia Long (as the loving protagonist of Brandi), Morris Chestnut (Ricky, Doughboy’s sporting brother), and veterans Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne as parents to Tre, Reva and the Furious. Interestingly, Bassett and Fishburne will both be nominated for an Oscar when they meet again for a film two years later, in itself of enormous significance and black racial representation: The Biography of Singer Tina Turner, What’s Love Got to Do With It (1993), title of a song by the singer, which in Brazil received the simplest title Tina – The True Story of Tina Turner. In the film, Angela Bassett played Tina and Laurence Fishburne was her abusive husband, Ike.

Os Donos da Rua was part of a movement that came to show how cinema should in fact be used to give voice to a racial minority: through themselves. Spike Lee earned his place and made history thanks to the fervor contained in his pressure cooker called Do the Right Thing. But John Singleton followed very closely, exposing with great realism, crudeness and drama the routine of neighborhoods dominated by gangs, crime and violence.

The great Laurence Fishburne and Angela Bassett will meet in the biography of Tina Turner.

With a budget of $ 6.5 million, Os Donos da Rua grossed $ 56.1 million at the box office, becoming, on the investment side, the most financially successful film of thirty years ago (1991) At the movie theater. Of course, its social value transcends its financial success, and in 2021, at a time when equality is still being demanded and the fight against racism and urban violence, whether in Brazil, the United States and the world, John Singleton’s film is, unfortunately, more urgent than ever.

Above all, Os Donos da Rua is a great study of the thought of the Swiss philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who defined man as a product of his environment. It is difficult to be the point outside the curve. But not impossible. And John Singleton was one of the biggest proofs of that.

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