”Is that Black Enough for You?” with Elvis Mitchell

47:21
 
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Elvis Mitchell, longtime host of KCRW’s “The Treatment”, and producer of “The Black List”, joins Mike to discuss his new documentary “Is that Black Enough for You?” The film recounts an explosion of Black Film which occurred mainly in the period of 1968-1978, placing it within the context of both the prior failure of Hollywood to provide real representation of Black characters, as well as a strand of chiefly independent African American-produced film that Elvis traces back to as early as the 1910s and 1920s.

Elvis tells Mike how the movies affected his grandmother’s (literal) dreams, as well as how they drove the (figurative) dreams and fantasy life of his stellar cast. Elvis explains to Mike his nuanced view of the legacies of such luminaries as Alfred Hitchcock, Laurence Olivier, and Orson Welles. What role did Mohammed Ali play for Black filmmakers? And how did Diane Sands embody the promise of this era? Mike and Elvis also discuss his process–narration first, clips second–and why he passed on the declamatory “They call me Mr. Tibbs” moments in favor of clips which demonstrate the interiority and development of characters.

And, of course, Elvis and Mike had to talk about the music: Isaac Hayes; Earth, Wind & Fire; Curtis Mayfield… and Alessandro Alessandroni!?

“Is the Black Enough for You” streams on Netflix starting Friday, November 11th.

Hidden Gem:

Portrait of Jason

Follow on Twitter:

@ElvisMitchell

@topdocspod

The presenting sponsor of “Top Docs” is Netflix.

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