Podtalk: Reflecting on ‘The Last Black Man in San Francisco’

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CHICAGO – San Francisco is dying. Not from blight or fault lines, but by the excess of new tech money that has been buying the city block by block. The diversity that made the town is also going away, and this circumstance is poignantly rendered in the new film “The Last Black Man in San Francisco.”

Jimmie Fails & Joe Talbot of ‘The Last Black Man in San Francisco’
Photo credit: A24

“The Last Black Man …” has been put together by two childhood friends, Joe Talbot (director) and Jimmie Fails (Lead Actor, Co-Creator), who grew up in a different San Francisco, and are commemorating the city from their point of view. Fails portrays himself, as an obsessed young African American man who still feels his grandfather’s old house – now in an unbelievably expensive SF neighborhood – still belongs to his family. Despite the gentrification, he lovingly takes care of the property, and actually moves in when the house goes on the market. Conspiring with his best friend Mont (Jonathan Majors), Jimmie learns how to cope within, as a physical structure eludes his grasp.

The process for “The Last Black Man in San Francisco” began five years ago, as Talbot and Fails created the story, and culminated with the 2019 Sundance Film Festival – where it won acclaim for Best Directing and Creative Collaboration. The film also features Danny Glover, Mike Epps, Tichina Arnold and Thora Birch.

JImmie Fails Stakes a Claim in ‘The Last Black Man in San Francisco’
Photo credit: A24

In Part One of a Podtalk with Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com, Director Joe Talbot and Lead Actor/Co-Creator Jimmie Fails reflects on SF atmosphere, portray one’s self and the “black” within “The Last Black Man in San Francisco.”

In Part Two, Talbot and Fails talks about the heart they left in San Francisco.

“The Last Black Man in San Francisco” continues its release in Chicago on June 14th. See local listings for theaters and show times. Featuring Jimmie Fails, Jonathan Majors, Danny Glover, Mike Epps, Tichina Arnold and Thora Birch. Written by Joe Talbot and Rob Richert, from a story by Talbot and Jimmie Fails. Directed by Joe Talbot. Rated “R”

HollywoodChicago.com senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

Editor and Film Writer

© 2019 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

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