After winning much acclaim at Sundance this year including the US Dramatic Directing Award and Special Jury Award – Creator Collaboration, THE LAST BLACK MAN IN SAN FRANCISCO made its way north to Toronto for a special screening at TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX. Here to ring-in the occasion was Director/Writer Joe Talbot and star/Co-Writer Jimmie Fails, whom the Film is based loosely on. Moderating the post-Film Q&A was Sarah Tai-Black.
The stylish Drama, produced among others by Brad Pitt, centers on an African-American man named Jimmie (Fails) and his best friend Montgomery(Jonathan Majors) determined to reclaim the home his grandfather built. The Film is a passion project for Talbot and Fails, sporting matching sneakers, both San Franciscans who dreamed of making a Movie together as teens.
Talbot talks about his relationship with Fails which goes back several years.
Talbot: “Jimmie and I grew-up in San Francisco. We started making movies when we were teenagers. Seven years ago, we talked about making this Movie, several parts which are based on Jimmie‘s life. Then five years ago, we began and we didn’t even know how Features were made, but we shot a funky Concept Trailer where we followed Jimmie around the city and he tells his grandfather’s story. We put it online and people started reaching out to us. And they became a part of our core team… It felt like we were wearing ten hats at all times.” .
Fails talks about this love letter to San Francisco and how they achieved authenticity.
Fails: “San Francisco is such a beautiful city in so many ways. I feel like all natives are kinda obsessed with the old San Francisco, the architecture, all the history it has, and all the movements like the Hippie movement, the Beatniks were there. It had a very vibrant culture. We pride ourselves on such a crossover culture.” .
“Whenever they shoot movies there they don’t actually use locations where natives actually are. It was important to make a Movie by people who were actually from there. We felt it was important to get that authenticity on-screen.” .
Both Talbot and Fails were thrilled to get fellow San Franciscan Danny Glover aboard the Film, joining about two weeks prior to filming. Fails recalls getting a call from Glover, who introduced himself only as “Danny” and they got so caught-up talking for 20 minutes about their love for San Francisco that they didn’t even talk about the Film itself. You can imagine how Talbot felt about that!
See some of Talbot + Fails’ Chat below:
Check-out the Trailer for THE LAST BLACK MAN IN SAN FRANCISCO:
See some Snaps from the evening:
Loved their unintentionally-matching shoes!
levelFILM release THE LAST BLACK MAN IN SAN FRANCISCOFriday, July 5, 2019.
Jimmie Fails (Jimmie Fails) has one dream in life: to reclaim the Victorian house his family once lived in and grandfather built. When Jimmie and his only friend Montgomery(Jonathan Majors) find out the current owners of the house have moved out, they squat there and recreate the home Jimmie once knew.
The Last Black Man In San Francisco is the astonishing first feature debut of Director Joe Talbot. The Film is a sophisticated examination of gentrification and the effects it has on communities and individuals. Through focusing on one man’s story, the real-life story of Jimmie Fails, the themes are specific and therefore become universal. Fails, in playing a fictionalized version of himself, is enthralling to watch. His subtle performance adds texture to the already flawless Script and direction, while Majors gives a breakout performance as Fails’ supportive Playwright best friend. This is an essential viewing experience and will be watched and revisited years from now.
The Last Black Man In San Francisco screens at Sundance on Jan 26 at 12:15PM at Eccles PC, Jan 27 at 9:30PM at Redstone 1 PC, Jan 31 at 6PM at Library Theatre SLC, Feb 1 at 8:30PM at Prospector PC, and Feb 2 at 8:45AM at Library PC.
If there’s one Film coming out of the 2019 Sundance Film Festival with a lot of buzz, that would be THE LAST BLACK MAN IN SAN FRANCISCO. The Drama directed by Joe Talbot centers on a man searching for home in a city that seems to have left him behind. It stars Co-Writer Jimmie Fails, Jonathan Majors, Rob Morgan, Thora Birch, Danny Glover and Finn Wittrock. Our Amanda Gilmore spotted Fails, Majors and Morgan causing a commotion with autograph seekers after the Film receive a warm reception last night at the Festival. A24 distributes the Film, while Brad Pitt‘s Plan B Entertainment produces. We hear there were 100+ people on-standby to screen the Film tonight!
Biographical Sports DramedyFIGHTING WITH MY FAMILY which is based on the true story of WWE star Paige is a surprise addition to the Festival, set to premiere tomorrow. Paige who is played in the February release by Florench Pugh, was spotted about and about with Pugh. Many are wondering if Dwayne Johnson might be making an appearance at Sundance now too!
While we know Wendi McLendon-Covey mostly for her comedic work, she comes to Sundance with IMAGINARY ORDER. The Drama sees an obsessive-compulsive suburban mom’s sexual and moral unravelling and fans went wild for the star who was seen out doing press.
Oscar-nominated Chiwetel Ejiofor makes his directorial debut with THE MAN WHO HARNESSED THE WIND, based on the Novel by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer. Ejiofor also writes the Adaptation and stars in the the Drama. Amanda spotted him out being very giving to fans!
She speaks highly of THE FAREWELL which sees breakout star of Ocean’s 8 and Crazy Rich Asians,Awkwafina, stretch her dramatic wings. Check-out her review here. The Film sold for $7 million to A24.
And of course, she was lucky enough to get into a screening of hotly-buzzed EXTREMELY WICKED, SHOCKINGLY EVIL AND VILE starring Zac Efron! He really is that good in it we’re hearing. More here.
Some Snaps from Amanda:
Jonathan Majors, The Last Black Man in San Francisco