HBO’s The Black List, Vol. 1 Screening at Philadelphia’s Prince Theater Premiere’s Monday 8/25

On August 25th HBO will air The Black List, Vol. 1, ostensibly the first in a series of documentary films featuring segments of interviews with noteworthy African Americans. The film (part of a larger project including a touring photography exhibition and a book of portraits and interviews), conceived of and executed by photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders and critic Elvis Mitchell, highlights the stories of prominent figures like author Toni Morrison, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, and reigning lord of squeaky-wheels Rev. Al Sharpton. Refreshingly, it also showcases some unexpected people like guitarist Slash, curator and museum director Thelma Golden and Philadelphia’s own basketball player/coach Dawn Staley (Why oh why wasn’t she at the screening?) Last week Philadelphia’s own Prince Theater had a screening for the film. L-R writer, Elvis Mitchell and director Timothy Greenfield-Sanders pose on the Red Carpet for the photogs. Ought oh here comes trouble, and trouble is on the phone. A lot of times you might come across a celebrity going into or out of an event on the phone and they are just using it as an excuse not to pose; I use this method now when passing the eons of money asking folks around town, whether it’s the kids who may or may not be part of the (pick one) Baseball/Football/Basketball/Cheerleading team, the homeless guy on the corner who wants my attention or the Greenpeace $12 hr guys who want me to save the planet.Rev. Al has a manpurse and he has someone else carry it. I was trying to snoop to see what he was pulling out, but the bag was such a mess. I wonder what his office looks like?

I thought the set-up on the carpet that the PR firm of GaileyMurray was great. Chris Murray directed the folks onto the carpet, posed them and then after they walked away ID them all for us. In Philly that’s important as there are ofter folks that you really have no idea who they are, but when you send them to your photo agency, or write about them on a blog, it’s important that they are ID’d properly, or the photo just can’t be used, well on my blog I would use them!! Elvis Mitchell, Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, Rev. Al Sharpton and Payne Brown, whose day job is vice president of strategic initiatives at Comcast, shares executive producer credit with his Philly-based Freemind colleagues Chris McKee, and Michael Sloane, who shares producer credit with Mitchell and Greenfield-Sanders, is based in Blue Bell, and has been instrumental in the restoration of the Ambler moviehouse. I would have like to have gotten a shot of
of Philly Famous Paul Levy of the Center City District, a man who is responsible for the agency that cleans the sidewalks in the City, and has a hand at shaping and influencing the aesthetic of the City, and his wife someone who influences us on which films to see, Phila Inquirer film critic, Carrie Rickey, try and sneak past the Red Carpet as if my readers wouldn’t want to get a gander at them. Actually in the last year that I have been doing this, I have never seen them together at a function.

Unlike the lovely Sharon Pinkenson, who’s husband Joseph Weiss, was not by her side at the screening tonight. Sharon, who we saw a few weeks ago with a cast on, has recovered from her foot surgery, and is moving around just fine these days.The Rev on stage, say what you may, but this guy is smart. He was impressive in the 2004 debates. Everything else about him is a train wreck. I was trying to get the wording on the screen behind him, but realized that
I would have to shoot it straight without flash. I have an ISO of 2500 and all the professional camera’s there’s hardly any visible grain or blurr. Now I just have to get that white balanced
The Hargrove sisters are into fashion. L-R, Alexis is wearing Michael Kors and has her own fashion website, her sister Amanda is a doctor, has no idea what she is wearing, but looks fabulous in yellow, don’t you think?
R-L Oluwatoyin Adegbite Moore, Bonnie Motley Bowser, and I kid you not Marilyn Monroe. Seems it was the nurse who tended to baby Marilyn that was the huge fan. Mom and Dad Monroe hadn’t picked out a name yet, and the nurse said, Marilyn Monroe has a nice ring to it. Marilyn tells me she often gets the best tables when she calls for a reservation. Maybe they think she is the rumoured daughter given up for adoption?
Joe Brown of the Prince Theater poses with some of the subjects in the film. Joe has a wall of celebrity photos where they are posing with him.
Fox 29’s Sheinelle Jones and Timothy Greenfield-Sanders. I had a chance to talk to Greenfield-Sanders not about the movie but about his grandson. I had seen photos on my agencys site of the NY Screening and he had taken his grandson to the screening. Said it was the first time, the 3 year old was well behaved, and worked the red carpet like a pro taking looking at each photographer for 10 seconds before moving down the line. I told him that I wish 90% of my subjects had that clarity.
Justin Weintruab introduced me to John Westrum, heard about, maybe saw his photo, but never met. Seemed like a nice guy, but must be tough as nails to have the Trump like impressive CV he has. He’s the CEO, Westrum Development Company. Loves building stuff that revitalizes has-been neighborhoods. Recent projects include Brewerytown Square, a $200 million, well-known North Philly rehab, things are still going well, mostly sold out; His excited about the construction going on with his adult living communities in the Northeast and West Goshen; Finally Casino’s, he has a property that was once under consideration at 61st and Passyunk, maybe he knows something Rendell and Nutter are keeping to themselves.

Trivia: His first real estate deal, in Upper Dublin Township, sprang from a class project while he was still in college. It sold out before construction even started.
Al works the crowd inside the Prince.
Attendence was at a premium.
There was a Q&A afterwards, where Elvis called Timothy his big white chocolate brother. One of the things mentioned on stage was that the “Black List” was going on the internet. In conjunction with AOL Black Voices, they are going to start a project where everyday black folks can have a voice and tell their story. The target date, Feb09 Black History Month. So look for it. Sadly I didn’t get to see the show, for some reason photographers didn’t rate and I was told to wait in the lobby, I will tell you that several of my friends saw it that night, and they said it was powerful, moving and a great experience, and that was just the white peps. My African American friends can’t wait to see Vol 2, which Elvis says is practically already written.
From the NY Post two weeks ago: Film critic and KCRW host and writer of The Black List Elvis Mitchell was stopped recently at the U.S.-Canada border between Detroit and Windsor and a search of his luggage found a box of contraband cigars and nearly $11,000 in cash. That’s above the $10k threshold you are supposed to declare, so the feds want to keep the money. Mitchell tells today’s Page Six: “I have a fear of banks, so I keep cash in my house and I grabbed the wrong box. I took it into the country and out. The cigars, well I should have smoked them before I left.” Mitchell has filed papers to get the money back. “Apparently a black man with dreads can’t carry that much cash, but I think there are a few worse things to be embarrassed about. I haven’t cheated on my wife like some in the news,” Mitchell said. (He likes his cigar, he smoked one on the red carpet too)