KILLER OF SHEEP on 35mm at The Royal!

Celebrating the best of black cinema and its icons from then 'til now, BLACK GOLD invites you to join us Tuesday, August 21st for a special 40th anniversary, dazzlingly restored 35mm screening of master filmmaker Charles Burnett's KILLER OF SHEEP!

"If KILLER OF SHEEP were an Italian film from 1953, we would have every scene memorized."

—Michael Tolkin

"There are first films like CITIZEN KANE or BREATHLESS, which, as radically new and fully achieved as they are, unfairly overshadow an entire oeuvre. And then there are first films, perhaps even more radical, which haunt an artist's career not through precocious virtuosity but because they have an innocence that can never be repeated. Charles Burnett's legendary KILLER OF SHEEP, which was finished in 1978 and, despite its enormous critical reputation, [only in 2007 received] a theatrical release, belongs with these.

Made while Burnett was a 33-year-old grad student at UCLA, KILLER OF SHEEP is a study of social paralysis in South Central Los Angeles a dozen years after the Watts insurrection. The subject matter harks back to the heyday of Italian neorealism but Burnett uses the film language of experimental documentaries like In the Street, Blood of the Beasts, and Kenneth Anger's Scorpio Rising. (Like Anger, Burnett never cleared the rights to his extensive pop-music score—one reason why his film could not be commercially shown [before its re-release in 2007].) Sui generis, Burnett's film is an urban pastoral—an episodic series of scenes that are sweet, sardonic, deeply sad, and very funny.

... As fresh and observational as it was [40] years ago, Killer of Sheep seems even more universal now. Today, I'd change my blurb to note that the KILLER OF SHEEP isn't only America, but life."

—Jonathan Rosenbaum



There will be prizes!

Generously sponsored by The Beguiling Books & Art and Eyesore Cinema.


We have 5 accessible sections in our theatre which you can reserve ahead of time by calling 416-466-4400 ext 0. One of our accessible seating areas has space for two mobility devices and a small section behind for the party to join. The other three are for single mobile devices with 2-3 seats beside it.

Please note that we do not have accessible washrooms. All of our washrooms are upstairs.

Black Gold wishes to acknowledge the Haudenosaunee, the Huron-Wendat, and, most recently, the Mississaugas of the New Credit, the original keepers of this land, for hosting Black Gold and The Royal Cinema. Today, the meeting place of Tkaronto is still the home to many Indigenous peoples from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work and present in this territory.

KILLER OF SHEEP on 35mm at The Royal!

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