In “City of Lies,” director Brad Furman re-examines the infamous BIG case’s cold encounter and murder Tupac Shakur (Tupac Shakur)


In the early morning of March 9, 1997, when Christopher Wallace (known as the notorious BIG) was shot in Los Angeles, the hip-hop community was still mourning the death of Tupac Shakur , The latter was killed in Las Vegas less than a year ago.

At that time, there was a fierce battle between the east coast and west coast rappers, which eventually led to very public hatred and even violent conflict. Despite the turmoil, it is still hard to imagine that their deaths will have decades of impact on the music industry-both were killed in their 20s-or a quarter of the cases remain unsolved. A century later.

At the time of the murder, Brad Furman was a teenager, living in Lafayette Hill, Montgomery County. Interested in basketball and rap music (he spent two unforgettable seasons with the late NBA legend Kobe Bryant in the Narberth League), and finally Furman traded He gained his high standards in the New York University filmmaking class and went straight to Hollywood.

He now admits that the children who listened to Biggie’s “Big Poppa” and Tupac’s “Keep Ya Head Up” in his bedroom never imagined that they would tell about their unsolved murders in adulthood like a movie.

But Furman started his short film career, attracting the attention of directors such as John Singleton in the corner of “Boyz n the Hood”, but in the infamous BIG and Tupac (Tupac) More than two decades later, he finally told the crimes Shakur died in a fascinating script. It is inspired by the book “LAbyrinth” published by Randall Sullivan in 2002, which focuses on the cover-up of crimes by the police. This will become Fuman’s latest movie “City of Lies”.

At first, it seemed unlikely that Furman, a white man from Main Line, would make a movie about the most mythical and speculated murders of the two biggest hip-hop stars in the world, but he soon won the Wallace family and Shakur. family.

He said: “Unless I walk through every rock and make sure we show the truth and respect the lives of these two people, I won’t make this movie.”

Furman works closely with friends and family who know Biggie and Tupac best. The script of this movie, such as “Rabbi Lynn,” delved into unsolved homicides and reviewed the Los Angeles Police Department.

Although there are many theories about who killed these people, neither case was resolved, which inspired Furman, known for his gritty filmmaking style, to sign the project.

Brad Furman and Johnny Depp

The “City of Lies” is the culmination of years of investigative work.The focus of this movie is real life. Johnny Depp plays the former LAPD detective Russell Poole. After Johnny Depp retires, he starts his own detective agency. And try to close books about these cases.

When reporter Jack Johnson started asking Poole’s former colleagues at the police station, the film began to heat up. Johnson, played by Forest Whitaker, is based on Sullivan, the author of LAbyrinth. Just like in real life, the two men joined forces to unearth a staggering amount of police and political corruption in the late 1990s.

The “City of Lies” filmed in Los Angeles was originally scheduled to be released in 2018, which coincided with BIG’s 46th birthday. But production was plagued by problems from the beginning, partly because of Depp’s own problems. At the time, the actor was accused of abuse by his former romantic partner, Amber Heard.

To my frustration, Furman postponed the new release date, this time on the 22nd anniversary of Shakur’s murder-he was shot and killed in Las Vegas on September 7, 1996, and in September 1996. Died in the hospital on the 13th-but according to reports, the film was once again blocked by a lawsuit between Depp and the film’s location manager. However, the noise in the industry suggests that procrastination has little to do with leaders, and more because it portrays an unflattering and possibly criminal portrait of LAPD.

Furman said that he found a new distributor, set a new release date, and then closed the COVID-19 pandemic cinema.Just on demand now Especially Amazon Prime, The audience has the opportunity to watch this movie.

Furman said on the phone from the Los Angeles office: “I think this is a story that must be told.” The graduate of Friends’ Choice School admitted that he ultimately wanted to humanize the two killed stars. They are famous and influential artists of this generation. They are real men with family and relatives. They are still seeking justice.

Furman resolutely worked with the two rappers to ensure the historical accuracy of the film. Biggie’s mother, Voletta Wallace, appeared in the movie alone, reminding the audience that she, like the little-known mothers we see in the media, tried to find answers about the deaths of children who were victims of gun violence.

Furman said: “I don’t want to make a movie without the support of my family.”

Going through endless conspiracies to obtain actual evidence of these unsolved murders is a major challenge in creating a “city of lies”. The bigger obstacle is understanding and reshaping the climate change that existed in Los Angeles 25 years ago.

Many people, including Furman, believe that LAPD is not interested in solving the murder case. The director’s lens focuses on at least one LAPD officer who is closely related to Tupac record producer Suge Knight.

Furman said: “It’s a cold-hearted fact today. It’s crazy.” He read the case file carefully and met with the main characters in the story, including lawyers, for failing to disclose the notorious BIG murder case. Details and file a civil lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles.

This experience makes Furman unbelievable about the amount of corruption that fills the whole story.

The director’s research allowed him to obtain archives and documents that he had never seen in decades. Furman called Biggie’s shooting a “LAPD conspiracy.” He said that “City of Lies” focused on many key issues and details, “They don’t want you to see”, just like a record producer who allegedly wanted revenge and The link between the police and Los Angeles Angelis sheds blood on the street gang.

Furman’s previous work in the music industry and his interest in criminal justice in art also influenced the film. His previous director honours include Justin Bieber’s music video “What do you mean?”; the documentary about BB King, Buddy Guy and Sam Lay is called “The Living Bruce”. In 2011 “Lincoln Lawyer”, the role of Matthew McConaughey subverted the line between right and wrong in the pursuit of justice; and the movie “The Infiltrator”, based on the script written by his mother The adaptation tells the true story of the U.S. customs officer in the secret operation of the Medellin drug cartel.

These experiences prepared him for a case as big as the deaths of Biggie and Tupac, and racial justice was very important at that time. Even after the murders took place so many years, the Black Life Issues Movement and the verdicts in the Derek Chavin trial gave the “City of Lies” case a new currency. This timeliness can be seen from the film’s handling of race and police issues, which is actually the core of the story. Furman said: “Fifty percent of African-American murders are unsolved.” “This is a failure of agency protection and service.”

The life and death of Notorious BIG and Tupac still resonate between old and new hip-hop fans, which proves the power of their music, which has not been lost on Furman. Obviously, entertainment can create a landscape where new questions can be raised, even in the most controversial criminal cases.

The next project Furman wants to resolve is not so controversial, although as a Philly native who grew up in basketball is equally fascinating for him. This is the story of Pete Maravich, a basketball star born in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania. He is one of the youngest players to be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Furman said: “I am proud of the Phillies, I think I will return to the road of making movies.”



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