Me & The Legendary Film Maker-Melvin Van Peebles-Chat after National Black Arts Festival “The Legends Celebration” in Atlanta, GA-Sept., 6, 2014–(Rialto Center For The Arts)
Melvin Van Peebles–A Wealth of Knowledge. Very Chill talking with him. Multi-talented–Writer, Painter, Playwright, Actor, Composer, Poet, Author, Astute Business Man.
His Book stays in my Backpack Most of the Time.
* Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song: A Guerilla Filmmaking Manifesto
* Kindle Ebook
A MUST READ BOOK
The book is his journal while making his Legendary Movie:
(((Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song)))
…back in 1971. The book is a memoir, looking back at the movie making period. In the back is the script.
At one time Melvin was homeless in France. This was right after his independent films were a big hit with the French after they were screened.
Struggle…Something about struggle & hardship, no school can compete wt. Successful people not made overnight. Instant success has no staying power. Because it is like a Mirage in the desert. It ain’t real. Melvin couldn’t get a job in Hollywood as a writer or Film Maker. They did tell him he could be a janitor.
He wrote a book of his observations as a Streetcar driver in San Francisco. He hooked up wt a Photographer and Published a book. It was only a short period later he was fired. A friend told him his book was a movie. So he started the long, hard journey into film making. Self-taught. He made a few films.
Along the same time, his marriage started falling apart. Got divorced and decided to go back to school over in Europe on his GI Bill. Before he left, a Guy stopped by his house and asked him could he show his films in film festivals. Melvin agreed to it and went on to school over in Europe. While in School, the guy showed his films along wt others across Europe.
Melvin’s Films became a big hit wt the French people. They had a big showing of his film and invited him to come. He came and was a standing ovation……Then, he fell on hard times in France. Real Hard times. At one Point he was homeless. But, his boyhood days of selling wares and various items to homeless people in Chicago served him well in these very difficult times. He had setup shop among the homeless as a little boy, selling various items to homeless people for a cheap price. Melvin had a great business mind, even as a little boy. His daddy encouraged him and told him the importance of having all kind of hustles while a boy in Chicago. Melvin always had money in his pockets, even as a little boy–hardwork and grinding to make his goals a reality……during this time, while in France, homeless, he was learning French Language and he was always sharp and picked up fast.
He learned French so well, he became a journalist. A very good French journalist. He also learned if he was a journalist, he could put in for a Film Maker’s Grant. He put in for it and got a Big Grant. Now, he was really able to make movies the way he wanted to wt The Right Equipment. He got so good at it, America was having a Film Festival in California. France sent him as their best Representative.
The Rest is History Folks. He Kicked Down the Doors of Hollywood. Now, they started in after him. He did Watermelon Man wt Hollywood. Saved the Money from That & Bill Cosby Loaned him $50,000 and Melvin made his Own Movie and Became a Multi-Millionaire.