Joe Talbot, USA 2019, 121 mins M drug use, offensive language, nudity
Director Joe Talbot and writer-performer Jimmie Fails create a gorgeous, inventive meditation on art, architecture, black culture and gentrification in California’s Bay Area. Jimmie (Jimmie Fails) dreams of reclaiming the beautiful late 19th century home his grandfather built in the heart of the city, before harder times and changing demographics forced his family out. He and best friend Mont (Jonathan Majors) scheme to make this happen while Jimmie annoys the sitting tenants with guerrilla gardening on the beloved Fillmore house. A skateboarder and dreamy, suit-wearing playwright, the pair are at odds with the tough guys around the neighbourhood, and spend their time working to deliver Jimmie’s dream while living with Mont’s grandfather (Danny Glover). Occasionally, a film comes around that thrillingly invents its own cinematic rhythms, perfectly suited to its subject. The Last Black Man in San Francisco is such a film and it’s one to make your head sing and heart soar.
- Tricia Tuttle, London Film Festival 2019.