Posts Tagged ‘Joe Talbot’

Jimmie Falls (at right)


121 minutes | MPAA rating: R

Less a conventional narrative than an extended tone poem, Joe Talbot’s “The Last Black Man in San Francisco” is bursting at the seams with color, movement and, quite often, stillness.

It dabbles in big contemporary issues (race, gentrification, crime, dead-end machismo, the changing urban landscape) but never makes a big statement, preferring just to sit back and soak it all up.

Most of all it’s the story of a friendship between two men — African American men — who share a dream against the odds.

In a sense, this is a love story about a man and a house.  Jimmie (Jimmie Fails) is quietly obsessed with a Victorian gingerbread home on one of San Francisco’s scenic streets. He has been told — and he absolutely believes — that this imposing structure was hand-built by his grandfather in the late 1940s.

The family somehow lost the property, but now Jimmie is determined to get it back.  He’s so committed to this project that he frequently sneaks onto the property when the current owners aren’t around to paint and make repairs.

Sharing his vision is his best friend Montgomery (Jonathan Majors). Montgomery is a fish monger by trade, a playwright by avocation.  (Neither of these guys is dumb, which makes their devotion to the cause all the more touching.)

Currently Jimmie is living with Montgomery and the latter’s blind grandpa (Danny Glover); a typical night at home usually involves an old noir movie with Montgomery providing a running commentary on the action so the old man can appreciate the visuals he can no longer see. (more…)

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