"Being a black man in America isn’t easy. The hunt is on and you’re the prey."
When 20-year-old twin brothers Albert and Allen Hughes directed their first feature film in 1993, Menace II Society, they immediately showed audiences everywhere that they were storytellers who weren’t afraid to tell risky stories and filmmakers who understood the language of the medium. The film seemed dangerous. It was vicious. Gritty. Brutal. And it was authentic, which perhaps is the greatest testament to what these young filmmakers set out to do. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we kick off our Hughes Brothers series with their 1993 debut, Menace II Society.
We talk about the energy they bring to the film (with a lot of homages to Scorsese) and how that energy drives home the message of the film. We look at how the Hughes brothers got their start and got to this place where they were making this film. We discuss the actors – from Tyrin Turner to Larenz Tate, from Jada Pinkett (and her baggy clothes) to MC Eiht, and from Samuel L. Jackson and Bill Duke to Charles S. Dutton – and look at what they bring to the table. We touch on the cinematography that Lisa Rinzler lenses for the film here, working with the Hughes brothers to bring their vibrant world to life. And we talk about how well this film did for itself in ’93.
It’s a fantastic film that definitely has held up some 24 years after its release. It has the same vitality and energy that it did back then and warrants a watch. Check it out then tune in!
- Watch this film: iTunes • Amazon • Netflix
- Script Transcript
- Original theatrical trailer
- Original poster artwork