Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Indie Memphis Black Independence Film Series Continues With My Brother's Wedding

Posted By on Wed, Sep 25, 2019 at 11:27 AM

click to enlarge Everett Silas in My Brother's Wedding
  • Everett Silas in My Brother's Wedding
Charles Burnett has been called "America's least-known great director." From Vicksburg, Mississippi by way of Los Angeles' storied Watts neighborhood, Burnett's debut film Killer of Sheep is considered a classic of the 1970s, winning Sundance in 1980 while it was still called the USA Film Festival.

His 1982 film My Brother's Wedding was long considered a lost treasure. Burnett describes it as a "tragic comedy" of a man named Pierce Mundy (Everett Silas) who is torn between his troubled best friend and his brother, who is planning to marry a woman from a respectable family.

"The story focuses on a young man who hasn't made much of his life as of yet, and at a crucial point in his life, he is unable to make the proper decision, a sober decision, a moral decision," said Burnett about the film. "This is a consequence of his not having developed beyond the embryonic stage, socially. He has a distinct romantic notion about life in the ghetto and yet, in spite of his naive sensitivity, he is given the task of being his brother's keeper; he feels rather than sees, and as a consequence his capacity for judging things off in the distance is limited."

Burnett submitted a rough cut of My Brother's Wedding to his producers, who entered it into the New York Film Festival over his objections that it was not yet done. After a lackluster festival reception, it was shelved for 25 years, until Burnett made a deal with Milestone Films to restore the film and let him finish the edit.

My Brother's Wedding plays tonight at 7 p.m. at Studio on the Square. You can purchase tickets on the Indie Memphis website.

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