Director John Singleton was a brash young film student at the University of Southern California in the late 1980s when he saw an advance screening of “Colors,” a drama that purported to give viewers a real glimpse of street life in his native South Central Los Angeles. At the post-screening Q&A with a producer, Singleton gave the film’s producer a piece of his mind.“You advertise this movie like it’s about my community, and it’s really about two white cops,” he recalled saying. “It’s not about what’s really going on there.”Singleton added that it was obvious that no black people had worked on the movie. When the producer countered with, “Well, Ice-T wrote the music,” he shot back: “Ice-T didn’t write the [expletive] script!”Singleton eventually made his own movie, “Boyz N the Hood,” a searing coming-of-age story set in a neighborhood overrun with gangs, drugs and automatic weapons. Originally released 25 years ago, on July 12, 1991, “Boyz N the Hood” received a 20-minute standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival and eventually yielded $58 million at the box office. In addition to making Singleton, who earned a pair of Oscar nominations, one of the hottest writer-directors in Hollywood, it also helped usher in the black film renaissance that flourished in Hollywood during the 1990s.
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