The Last Black Man in San Francisco

I met Joe in San Francisco years ago. He's a really informed creative that doesn't settle-something I've always admired and that continues to inspire me. 

His most recent project, "The Last Black Man in San Francisco," just brought me to tears as I was waiting for my iced carmel macchiato at the corner of 13th and U St NW here in DC. I rarely go to Starbucks, but today I woke up in a funk and needed something to remind me of who I was, am and can be. This drink from this place is my comfort food. I grew up in the suburbs. 

Joe did not. He grew up in Bernal Heights in the whirl of a city stuck between nostalgia and chaos, culture and convenience. He's a unicorn--a person that grows up in the city and stays to create something meaningful about it. 

I think his parents had a huge part of framing his outlook on life, culture and art, but I also think he's gone above and beyond to maintain the ties he made as a kid, when curiosity was the main objective. When art was the foundational layer of life and profit had no meaning. 

Produced by Rolla Selbak and writen/directed by Joe, "The Last Black Man in San Francisco," features Jimmie Fails, Joe's childhood friend, who dreams of buying back the home his grandfather built in the Fillmore. This film, to me, demonstrates the power to share a voice, a vision and a city. A city we glorify all over the world, in which only some have the courage and tenacity to create, and few have the talent to capture a unique perspective in an artistic and powerful way.  We all know what's going on in cities across America, this film tells one story that is worth being on the silver screen. A small attempt to drown out main-stream sensational media, but a really, really important one. 

"Now living in the city’s last, dwindling black neighborhood with his (Jimmie's) oddball best friend, Prentice, they search for belonging in the rapidly changing city that seems to have left them behind." (IndieWire)

Watch their Kickstarter film pitch and the concept teaser below.

Then, Help fund this project

It's not just about giving money to someone to make a movie, but helping to bring a universal concept to life. 

Environmental Film Festival: our day by day picks

With crazy weather swings, yet another snow storm and some confused birds flying around, it's perfect timing for the 2014 Environmental Film Festival to give us some silver screen escapism featuring our good friends global warming, endangered indigenous cultures, disappearing animal species and vanishing tropical sanctuaries. Optimists take along your most pessimistic friends. Pessimists look on the bright side, we still have movies!

Our day by day picks for this year's Environmental Film Festival:

Tuesday 3/18 FishingCarpattheRedNeckFishingTournamentinBay,IllinoisCARPE DIEM: A FISHY TALE // (Canada, 2013, 52 min.) Watch out Asian Carpe, we know what you did last summer. Narrated by David Suzuki. Directed by Scott Dobson. Produced by Charlotte Engel.

Embassy of Canada 501 Pennsylvania Ave., NW 6:30 pm, free with registration

Wednesday 3/19 ONCE UPON A FOREST (IL ÉTAIT UNE FORÊT) // (France, 2013, 78 min.) From the Director of March of the Penguins, Luc Jacquet dives into the tropical rainforest of the Peruvian Amazon and Gabon with ecologist/botanist Francis Hallé. In French with English subtitles. Directed by Luc Jacquet. Produced by Yves Darondeau, Christopher Lioud, and Emmanuel Priou.

Embassy of France 4101 Reservoir Rd., NW, Screening is currently booked, check site for updates


Thursday 3/20 ANGEL AZUL // (USA, 2014, 72 min.) Explore the connection with the underwater eco-system through the documentation of life-like statues and the algae that overtakes their man-made reefs they spawn. Directed by Marcelina Cravat. Produced by Marcelina Cravat, Kath Delaney and Erik Johnson.

Mexican Cultural Institute 2829 16th St., NW, Screening is currently booked, check site for updates

Friday 3/21 WOVEN LIVES: CONTEMPORARY TEXTILES FROM ANCIENT OAXACAN TRADITIONS // (USA, 2011, 76 min.) Documentary about the development of woven textiles in Zapotec communities of Oaxaca, Mexico. Discussion with filmmaker after the screening. Written, directed and produced by Carolyn Kallenborn. The George Washington University, Marvin Center, Third Floor Amphitheater, 800 21st St., NW, 7pm, free

Saturday 3/22 SLUMS: CITIES OF TOMORROW // (Canada, 2013, 82 min.) Explore the inspiring and tenacious individuals in slums from Mumbai, India to a tent city in New Jersey. In French, English, Arabic, and Hindi with English subtitles. Directed by Jean-Nicolas Orhon. Produced by Christine Falco.

Petworth Neighborhood Library 4200 Kansas Ave., NW, 2pm, free

Sunday 3/23 FIRE AND ICE (USA, 2013, 57 min.) Part of a 4-part series Standing on Sacred Ground, shows how indigenous customs protect biodiversity despite being pushed out by religious groups and threatened by climate change. Directed by Christopher McLeoud.

National Museum of the American Indian Fourth St. & Jefferson Dr., SW, 3pm, free


Monday 3/24 THE HADZA: THE LAST OF THE FIRST // (USA, 2014, 71 min.) One of the last remaining hunter-gather groups has lived in the Africa’s Rift Valley for over 50,000 years. Directed by Bill Benenson.

Carnegie Institution for Science, Elihu Root Auditorium 1530 P St., NW, 7pm, $10

Tuesday 3/25

Urban Legacies, Rural Traditions Short film program from journalists showing the social and environmental consequenses of urban industries.

Carnegie Institution for Science, Elihu Root Auditorium 1530 P St., NW 6:30pm, free with registration

Wednesday 3/26 THE BONOBO CONNECTION // (Congo / USA, 2012, 32 min.) One of our closes relatives can only be found in the Democratic Republic of Congo and may be first to go extinct. Narrated by Ashley Judd. Directed and produced by Irene Magafan.

Georgetown University, Edward B. Bunn Intercultural Center 37th & O Sts., NW, 7pm, free

Thursday 3/27 HAPPINESS // (France / Finland, 2013, 80 min.) Winner Cinematography Award for World Cinema Documentary at 2014 Sundance Film Festival, this film shows what happens when eight-year-old monk buys a TV-st. Directed by Thomas Balmès and Nina Bernfeld.

E Street Cinema 555 11th St., NW, 7:30pm, $10

Friday 3/28 STOP! RODANDO EL CAMBIO // (Spain, 2014, 70 min.) Follow the crew along the Spanish countryside, France and Portugal to experience those that have chosen to live a simpler life. In Spanish with English subtitles. Directed by Alba González de Molina Soler and Blanca Ordóñez de Tena.

American University, Forman Theater 201 McKinley Building, 4400 Massachusetts Ave., NW, 6:45pm, free

Saturday 3/29 NATUROPOLIS: NEW YORK, THE GREEN REVOLUTIONNATUROPOLIS: NEW YORK, THE GREEN REVOLUTION // (France, 2013, 89 min.) How do mega-cities like New York incorporate nature and wildlife in urban settings? Directed by Bernard Guerrini.

National Museum of American History, Warner Bros. Theater, 14th St. & Constitution Ave., NW, 2:30pm, free

Sunday 3/30 CALLE LOPEZ // (Mexico, 2013, 80 min.) See daily life on Calle Lopez in downtown Mexico City through the eyes of two photographers, shot in black and white. In Spanish with English subtitles. Directed by Gerardo Barroso Alcalá and Lisa Tillinger

AFI Silver Theatre, 8633 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring, Md., 7:30pm, $12

Get Mortified...the movie If you've never been to Get Mortified, you must see this. If you have been, you must see this. Think Halloween is scary? Try looking back at your 7th grade yearbook photo. Best way to laugh away the pain of growing up.

Sunday, November 3rd Brava Theater 5pm & 8pm Buy Tickets here Find showings in other cities

repost from This Recording: Anticipation...

Screen shot 2013-05-02 at 10.18.21 PM San Francisco. May. 2013.

I got high at the dentist. They offered me laughing gas for $50 and I took it. Laying nearly parallel with the floor, a view of the embarcadero and bay bridge at my feet, I enjoyed an hour of bliss while they drilled away at my teeth to prevent future decay. After a few short and sharp pricks I avoided all pain and took in the narcotics...Read more at thisrecording.