Last night I finally got to see “The Black List,” the new documentary by Elvis Mitchell and Timothy Greenfield-Sanders. (I blogged about this project in January.) It was screened in Beverly Hills.
Alas, I didn’t know the screening was part of the closing-night festivities for the American Black Film Festival. Dudes were rocking blazers, women had on heels... and I stepped up in there with jeans and tennis shoes. Straight bummin’.
I haven’t seen that many black folks in one spot in a while. Celebrity-wise, I spotted Eriq LaSalle across the crowded lobby. I also saw a (white) porn star, Nina Hartley. First I assumed they let her in on a Booty Waiver. (Yeah, fellas... she’s still got that bubble tush working.) But then I saw her chumming around with Greenfield-Sanders, who directed a porn-star documentary in 2004.
Speaking of getting dressed up, may I ask you ladies a question? What’s the deal with wearing a bra with a backless dress? I saw that twice, and it is messed-up-looking.
Anyway... “The Black List” rocked the place. Not only did Elvis and Tim get a standing ovation, not only were there numerous outbursts of applause throughout the movie... but there were murmurs, laughs and other sounds of affirmation indicating a fully engaged crowd.
Elvis declared that this was the best audience for “The Black List” ever.
And all the movie is is a series of interviews with notable Negroes... from Colin Powell to Chris Rock, from Toni Morrison to Serena Williams. “The Black List” has a cumulative power that belies its simple structure. It really does feel like you’re eavesdropping on the world’s coolest cocktail party.
Matter fact, “The Black List” works so well as a group experience, I wonder whether it’ll be as effective when it debuts on HBO two weeks from tonight.
Plus you’ll see a photo of Slash as a teenager with an Afro. And a picture of Louis Gossett, Jr. from his Greenwich Village “beatnik” days, strumming a guitar. (Who knew?)
A companion “Black List” coffee-table book, featuring Timothy Greenfield-Sanders’ photo portraits of the interviewees, goes on sale next month.