Danny Glover and Charles Burnett on "To Sleep with Anger" Set
Danny Glover and Charles Burnett on “To Sleep with Anger” Set

Unfortunately this is only for New Yorkers, kicking off tomorrow, September 9, for a 1-week run through the 15th, at Film Society of Lincoln Center; although it may travel.

Charles Burnett became known to world cinema when his 1978 UCLA thesis film, “Killer of Sheep,” won the Critics’ Prize at the 1981 Berlin Film Festival. His reputation among cinephiles never quite seeped into the mainstream, even though his 1990 classic “To Sleep with Anger” is one of the strongest films about the black experience in modern America.

Written and directed by Burnett, “Anger” is novelistic in its narrative density and rich characterization. Danny Glover stars as Harry Mention, a mysterious drifter from the South who visits an old acquaintance (Paul Butler), now living a middle-class life with his family in South Central Los Angeles. Though oozing with charm and manners, Harry has a knack for mischief that leads to clashes throughout the family.

Second only to “Sheep” in its notoriety, “Anger” connects the past to the present in emotionally resonant ways, making the film as imaginative and insightful as the former.

Winner of Sundance’s Special Jury Prize and the National Society of Film Critics’ Best Screenplay award, “To Sleep with Anger” played to acclaim at the 28th New York Film Festival, and returns to the Film Society in a digital restoration created from the original negative.

And if that’s not enticing enough, Burnett will appear in person at screenings during this opening weekend, and will also present a special screening of “The Glass Shield” (1994) on September 10 at 6:30pm – a cinematic indictment of the racist power structure of the LAPD, starring Ice Cube as a man wrongfully convicted of murder – with Charles Burnett present for Q&A afterward.

Charles Burnett appearances:
— September 9, 6:30pm – Q&A
— September 9, 9:15pm – Introduction
— September 10, 6:30pm – Q&A for The Glass Shield
— September 10, 9:15pm – Introduction

There will also be a beer and wine reception from 8:15pm – 9:30pm on September 9 in the Furman Gallery open to all ticket holders.

To pre-purchase tickets online for all screenings, click here.

Watch a trailer below for the original 1990 release of the film: