This week we honor the life and legacy of legendary creator for The Culture John Singleton and feature his film Poetic Justice as today’s #CultureClassic.
Poetic Justice is the 1993 romantic drama written and directed by John Singleton and starring Janet Jackson and Tupac Shakur as poet Justice and postal clerk Lucky repectively. The two have a chance encounter that leads to a roadtrip from LA to Oakland with Regina King and Joe Torry. Throughout the film, Justice recites poems at pivotal points and Jackson and Shakur’s characters grow closer but struggle to become friends then potentially something more. The poems featured were written by poet extrodianier Maya Angelou who also appears in the film as one of the three elderly sisters whom the characters meet at a roadside family reunion.
In ’93, black female leads were rare and Singleton giving a voice to young African American women was a bold move for The Culture. And it payed off as Poetic Justice opened at #1 at the box office it’s opening weekend, grossing nearly $12 million that week and eventually bringing in $27.5 million. Jackson received nominations for the Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, with her hit song “Again”. The film was also the breakout acting role for Tupac, doing for him what Singleton did for Ice Cube when he placed him in Boyz N the Hood.
Without a doubt, Poetic Justice is considered a cult classic film within The Culture, It’s artsy, deep, funny with numerous now classic lines and scenes that stay quoted to this day (“Cousin!”). And we can’t forget about the performances and the chemistry between Jackson and Shakur two of biggest and brightest musical stars transitioning into film and making romance cool yet real and relatable.
#FunFacts: #1 – The idea for Jackson’s iconic box braids was a collaboration between Singleton, Janet, (choreographer) Fatima Robinson and a dancer named Jossie Harris. Harris had the braids in Michael Jackson’s “Remember the Time” video (which Singleton had directed). Singleton introduced Robinson and Harris to Janet before filming on the movie started and the rest is black hair history. #2 – Ice Cube was offered the lead role of Lucky, but turned it down, stating that he was not at a point in his career that he would feel comfortable starring in romantic movies.
If you enjoyed that look at a throwback Film/TV classic. Check out more of our #CultureClassics:#
Written by @TalentedMrFord