Killer Of Sheep And Harmony Korine 's Gummo

1423 Words Dec 15th, 2016 6 Pages
Many popular mainstream movies have the story of the “underdog,” someone who overcomes all odds to be successful. People love to see the underdog succeed and achieve their dream. However, this is not a very realistic portrayal, as million of people across America live in small, dead end towns that are almost impossible to escape. In independent cinemas, the representation of people in small towns is more realistic because they lack a plot, use non actors and actual towns, and use objective shots. Films such as Charles Burnett’s Killer of Sheep and Harmony Korine’s Gummo are prime examples of these three aspects through their codes. Both Killer of Sheep and Gummo show what it really means to live in a small, dead end town with no real escape or purpose. Burnett’s 1978 film Killer of Sheep focuses on a struggling African American family living outside of Los Angeles. Burnett himself describes the subjects of the film as “a community of working-class strivers doing what they can to keep their families together” (Burnett 143). It focuses mainly on an over-working father struggling to make ends meet and his wife and children. Korine’s 1997 film Gummo is less specific in its focus. While there are several recurring characters, Korine chooses to look at the life of an entire town who is still struggling to bounce back twenty years after a tornado struck their town. Gummo is considered “a remarkable attempt to document the lives of the underclass of Middle America -- a social group…
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