Devin Robins, NPR News
Charles Burnett in Tavis Smiley's Crenshaw District studio.
Director Charles Burnett's film Warming By The Devil's Fire will be featured as one of seven, 90-minute personal and impressionistic films about blues music that make up the highly anticipated PBS series The Blues.
Burnett joins directors Martin Scorsese, Clint Eastwood, Marc Levin, Mike Figgis, Richard Pearce and Wim Wenders in exploring the essence of blues music and its global influence — from its roots in Africa to its transformation as the basis of modern Western popular music.
Burnett's previous films include Killer of Sheep, My Brother's Wedding and To Sleep with Anger. Warming By The Devil's Fire focuses on a young Mississippi boy torn between two loves: gospel and the blues.
"I always wanted to do a story on the blues that not only reflected its nature and its content, but also alludes to the form itself," Burnett says. "In short, a story that gives you the impression of the blues."