‘Cut Throat City’: RZA explains what John Singleton, Spike Lee & Quentin Tarantino have to do with new drama

(NEW YORK) — Cut Throat City director RZA is breaking down some of the major influences behind his new coming-of-age drama.

Set in New Orleans, the new film follows four childhood friends who return home post Hurricane Katrina and decide to rob a bank after seeing their neighborhoods decimated and no real job opportunities. RZA tells ABC Audio that there’s a “definite connection” between his film and John Singleton’s Boyz n the Hood.

“John Singleton was a good friend of mine,” RZA reveals. “John gave me some great advice on my second film called Love Beats Rhymes. I actually had a chance to hang with him for a few months and we was just doing film talking. I basically was doing a film class with him.”

“The way he did Boyz n the Hood is iconic, timeless,” he continues. “And I did want to have a piece of that pie in my movie. And you could feel it I think.”

While RZA says he’s “open to learn more,” and bring his own directing “elements” and “tricks” into his films, the Wu-Tang founder admits he doesn’t mind leaning on the greats either.

“You also [have] some F. Gary Gray energy in there. A little Set It Off,” he says.

“Hopefully you can feel some Spike Lee in there too,” RZA adds, before noting that he paid “tribute” to Lee by using one of his techniques in the film that included a “shot with the ring on a dolly.” 

RZA also acknowledges Academy Award winner, Quentin Tarantino, whom he says served as both teacher and mentor.

“Reservoir Dogs, that was a favorite of mines,” RZA says. “And I… put all these great filmmakers into me as a filmmaker and make my film.” 

Cut Throat City is available in limited release.

By Candice Williams
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