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'The Last Black Man in San Francisco' is less straightforward than it looks

We're 88Nine's Justin Barney and Milwaukee Film's Kpolly. We're buds, we like cinema -- we're  Cinebuds.

Read more and listen to the full episode below to hear us talk about "The Last Black Man in San Francisco."

'The Last Black Man in San Francisco'

Words by kpolly

This week on Cinebuds we are discussing the feature film debut of director Joe Talbot, "The Last Black Man in San Francisco." The film is the story of Jimmie and his best friend Mont who try to reclaim the house built by Jimmie's grandfather in the 1940's, which sends them on a journey that explores friendship, family, home, and the city on the bay. The film features supporting roles by Danny Glover, Mike Epps and Thora Birch in brief cameo.

Talbot collaborated on this film with the star/co-writer Jimmie Fails. The two are friends from childhood who grew up in San Francisco. Jimmie keeps his real name in the film, most likely because the story is loosely based on his life. You can easily see how the story they've created together is a love/hate letter to their home city and they back it up with a cast of characters that highlight the varied voices in their community. Nudists, a chorus of toxic masculinity, hippies-turned-yuppies-turned-hippies, skaters and outsiders and everything in between.

At first glance the trailer may lead you to believe this is a straightforward youthful drama with a lovely score. (Trailers, as we all know, are the great misleaders - doing their best to appeal to the broadest audience possible). However, this film is far from straightforward. There is a style that is established immediately and a tone that is infused with some great film influences, while still being wholly its own. Humor, quirk, and design is paired with heart, emotion, and a very honest character. Whether you love this movie or not, there is a sense that this filmmaking collaboration will continue to make distinct work that cannot be ignored - like a naked hippie at a bus stop....

This all sounds interesting, right? Well, we'll see about that. Listen to the podcast below and find out what we thought and how hard we thought it!