The Last Black Man in San Francisco: Review by @Kush_Hayes
I'm a sucker for feature length motion pictures set in my native home of San Francisco. However while sitting through this movies two hour run time, I kept wondering: "What exactly is the point of this movie? What exactly is its message?"
Very little material was given to me for this movie to help promote it. From what I've researched this movie was in production going as far back as its 2015 Kickstarter Campaign.
I love the DIY style that got this movie made. Its not an easy thing to accomplish and people never seem to get enough credit for doing their own funding to make the movie they want. Its the same hustle that makes me appreciate movies like "Baadasssss".
This is the story of two San Francisco natives who dont fit in. They don't fit in with the people of their own neighborhood and they definitely don't fit in with the new class of people moving in due to the 2nd wave of the Tech Boom. Increase in rents and lack of work that will actually pay for that rent add to the obstacle of life that is within this movie.
SF Archbishop Riordan alumni Jimmy Fails who developed the story with fellow native and Director Joe Talbot. plays what I imagine is a caricature of himself as he navigates his way through not just 21st century San Francisco but as well as all the characters youll see within this majestic city.
Accompanying him is Jonathan Majors who plays Jimmys conscience and best friend Montgomery Allen. Montgomery and his father played by Danny Glover have been letting Jimmy live with them for awhile and Jimmy knows he’s worn out his welcome.
Jimmy and Montgomery keep visiting a house in the Fillmore district and go about maintaining the property without the current owners consent and to their annoyance. One day they find out they owners are moving out and thats when Jimmy decides to break into the property and officially Squat. We come to find out that this House and its property used to belong to Jimmys family and the story is that Jimmys grandfather “built it with his own two hands”. We come to find out that its just a story though. And that the house was actually built 100 years earlier than stated.
While this is all going on Montgomery has not only been helping Jimmy move into the house, but has been conducting his own artistic endeavours including sketching the characters in the environment around him as well as writing a play surrounding one of the guys on his street.
What we never find out is, why it was Jimmy is told the story about the house in the first place? And what it is Jimmy does for money as he was maintaining the property out of his own pocket. These are just my usual nitpicks, but they are there.
I appreciate all the locations Joe Talbot used in this movie and feeling the authenticity of what San Francisco is in this moment in time. Whether its scenes on the Muni and BART, or creating a real estate office across the street from the New Mission theater, you are there in the story. I also appreciated the tiny nuances of the city natives experience when they identify one another like having to address what high school you went too. I would love to see more from Joe Talbot and Jimmy Fails as well as where the cinematic character of Fails ends up after this film.
Its good to always leave them audience wanting more, but it does feel like something necessary is missing.
Three out of Six Blueberries
Rated R for language, brief nudity and drug use