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Nicholas Wennö: John Singleton, opened Hollywood's eyes to life on the street

The stroke victims american director John Singleton never woke up from his coma. On Monday announced the family to the – after life-support measures discontinued – mourning his ”beloved son, father and friend”.

John Singleton is mourned also by filmfans who appreciate titles such as ”Poetic justice”, ”Four brothers”, ”2 fast 2 furious”, ”Shaft”, ”Life's hard school” and ”Rosewood”. And, not least, the iconic succédebuten ”Boyz n the hood”. A film depicting his harsh upbringing in the slummiga South Central in Los Angeles – an epicenter of the Rodney King riots in 1992. The movie made the 24-year-old Singleton the youngest child ever to Oscarsnominerats, in the category best director.

the film saved him from a criminal path. Growing up also came to characterize him as a filmmaker. He talked about the structural racism in american society long before the #blacklivesmatter and ”oscarssowhite began trenda on Twitter. His films were about the racist police officers in New York city, ethnic tension on the campus, or white lynchmobbar in the 20th-century Florida.

" I always administers personal experiences through my films, even if they are not about me. I have always bothered me for the black man in the united states, he explained when I met him in Stockholm in connection with the premiere of his remake of ”Shaft” around the turn of the millennium.

From the ”Boyz n the hood”. Photo: Rights Managed

He was a tough and småtrulig director with attitude and authority. After a småbutter the start of the interview shone as he appeared when he was telling about one of his earliest childhood memories when he saw the original ”Shaft” at the Ballroom Theatre in Los Angeles:

– Wow! A black hero who... you know... looked good, kicked tail and got all the girls and so. Suddenly we got the black one equivalent to the white pop icons like John Wayne, Gary Cooper and Humphrey Bogart. And the fact is that he looked like my dad, told John Singleton obvious road.

his love to ”Do the right thing”, and the second of Spike Lee's movies. When Lee recently became the first african-american director who won an Oscar for best director tweeted the Singleton in February: ”My brother, Spike Lee just won his first Oscar. I am soooooo happy!”

Fixed Singeltons largest husgud was ”Shaft”director Gordon Parks – ”a renaissance man” who taught him that a good filmmaker must also be able to master other forms of art. Singleton thanked his teacher by giving the Parks a small descent in its own update of the blaxploitationvågens dödahavsrulle.


John Singleton had also has a reputation for being a pugnacious ”Shaft”-figure in Hollywood who never backed down. He told me that he had to ”beat back the huliganstil” when studiobossarna hired another writer who made his his own script.
– The most important thing is to have the right attitude: ”Fuck you! – you are not hip enough to work with me,” explained Singleton.
He also told me about how he loved Samuel L Jackson's torpedfigur Jules Winnfield in ”Pulp fiction” – a black character who was not only a pious sidekick to the white hero.
Even if he also had objections to Tarantino:
– But Quentin is like the cat looking at the fish in the aquarium – I'm from the aquarium, explained Singleton – not without delight.

also Read: John Singleton is dead

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