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Danny Glover Be Kind Rewind Interview

3BlackChicks Review™... Be Kind Rewind - The Interviews (The Diva)

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Danny Glover
Star of
Be Kind Rewind (2008)



…

Question: Can you talk about your character? What kind of guy he represents. He is the old fashioned storyteller isn’t he?

Danny Glover : Yes he is a storyteller. There are always those grat stories. He is the griot, if you will, the maintainer of the communities legacy and history. But he’s more than that , his is the repository of the memory of the community and he keeps it alive the first thing we have is him reciting to the kids of the neighborhood, who Fats Waller was and what he meant to that community. That is the kind of man he is. I remember this beautiful scene in ‘Sugar Cane Alley” Euzhan Palcy by Where this incredible old man talks to this young kid. And he tells them about this magical world and the kid starts to write about it in school and he is not expected to have such a vivid memory or full fledged idea of himself outside of the conditions he lives in In some sense I think Mr. Fletcher represents all of that. But he is never able to actualize all of this, you know? Not until that incident happens, but he keeps it alive for himself. This act of going , every 5 or 10 years to the place where Fats Waller actually died with all these musicians and listen to his music. He’s keeping it alive himself. And he brings that spirit and energy back and kinda renews the community. That’s who he is and I think that in some point and time we all get to that point. I’ve essentially lived in the same neighborhood for 50 years. I lived in New York for a few years in the late 70s early 80s aside from that, I’ve always lived in the same 7 block radius of where I grew up in San Francisco. I’ve been walking down Haight street since I was 11 years old. It’s taken on different lives over the course of time – my life has taken on different lives from being a student at San Francisco State and living in the commune and what not. Like when I go to Golden Gate Park, it represents the Aqurium I used to go to as a kid and steal nickels and pennies from the Japanese well in the Tea Garden.From playing football in the park to seeing Jimi Hendrix in Mark’s Meadow. All of that represents golden gate park to me. It is a repository of my memories. And I like having those memories whether it Jimi Hendrix, or The grateful Dead, or the Airplane ,or Boz Scaggs or Stevie Wonder. Bob Marley in his first concert in 1975.

Question: The Neighborhood in the movie kinda has that too – a memory repository. They all know the stories of these movies and can recreate and reinterpret them.

Danny Glover : Well the movie is about imagination – eclectic imagination. How people reimagine their lives and see themselves. and empower themselves through their memories. And I’ve said this quote in probably every interview – I really have an appreciation for Albert Einstein. He was anti-racist, he was a progressive, he was the co-chair of the anti-lynching committee in ’46 a lot of people don’t know that – but he said “ Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Arguably one of the greatest scientists of the 20th century said that. This is a movie about imagination. The peoples imagination. Their collective imagination. People need their imagination to recycle themselves.

Question: You’ve been just as busy of camera as on camera with your social and political whether it’s with Chavez or the Haitian movie. Tell us a little bit about your off camera work.

Danny Glover : This year is the 40th anniversary of the student strike I was involved in at San Francisco State. 1968. This coincided with Parisian students strike which we supported. We went out on strike as the black student union along with a coalition that included the Hispanic, Asian, Native American student unions, and progressive whites and we shut down the campus for 9 months in order to get an ethic studies program. What also came into play was the faculty supported the strike as well. It was a major major major strike. I think that’s a lot of who I am. I’m a child of the Civil Rights movement and the movements that subsequently happened after that like the Black Panther Party. I wasn’t in the Black Panther party, however. I worked in a program called Breakfast For Children in 1968 and I lived in a commune in 1968 and 69. In the early 70s I was involved in the African Liberation Foundation. The center of my theatrical work is that of the works by Athol Fugard the great South African Playwright. I’ve probably done his work as much as anybody with this country with doing Fugards work which brought me to doing Mandela in 1986. Which got me me more involved with the situations going on in South Africa. Which has been a part of my existence for 40 years. For 40 years, I have had this consciousness about Africa. It is who I am. I majored in Economics because I thought I wanted to work in the Julius Nyerere Government in Tanzania when I read ‘African Socialism” I’ve been fortunate enough in my life to be a part of topical dscussions at times about political philosphy.You know to look at and read stories about the existence of exploited peoples in this country but about other people in the world. I’ve read just about everything written by the original people who were part of that movement. Leopold Senghor, Nelson Mandela, Julius Nyerere, Kwame Nkrumah, Sékou Touré, Frantz Fanon – these are the writer’s who I read at a young age.these are the thinkers that I read at a young age. So when I began to look at my relationship as a filmmaker – filmaking is a vehicale for the transioning and transporting of ideas We wanted to talk about the African Debt Crisis so we did a film called Bamako which was an honorable mention on the New York Times best movie of the year. It was #3 on the Guardian’s top 10 list.

Question: When does it come out?

Danny Glover : It came out last February. Interestingly enough when a film finds it’s audience…. It opened in 43 different locations the United States and was made for just under 2 million Euros and it recouped. It has shown all over Europe and all over Africa. It’s shown in film festivals and it hasn’t gone to DVD yet or the ancilory markets like Univercities.And we produced that film and invested in that film and made some movie with that film. Abderrahmane Sissako [writer and director of Bamako] is one of the great young filmmakers in the world. We have a film from a Palestinian filmmaker that we’re doing. Elia Suleiman whose movie “Divine Intervention” was one of the great films at Cannes 4 or 5 years ago and we’re producing his new movie. He’s one of the great filmmakers in the world. So what I wanted to do is work with filmmakers around the world. We’re producing a movie about Jangarh Singh Shyam who comes from a village in India and becomes this phenomenal artist in his 20s and his art is sold all over the world. He is inspired by his own spiritual sensibilities and yet he commits suicide in Japan in 2001 at the age of 36. We have a film we are doing about the relationship between Albert Einstein and Paul Robeson who were co-chairs on the anti-lynching committee. It’s being written by Oren Moverman who just did the Bob Dylan movie, “I’m Not There”

We’re doing a movie about migration as a vehicle for Angélique Kidjo it’s a music driven comedy. We want to go out to Beyonce with it. Susan Sarandon has an interest to play in it. It’s set in Harlem and you know if you got down to 116th between 7th and 8th it looks like little Dakar in Senegal or Bamako, Mali. What does it mean to have these issues around Migration and Gentrification? Within this traditionally Black Community. What does it mean? We’re doing a movie about Mohamed Amin the photo-journalist who revealed to us the famine in Ethopia. This is a man who was born in Kenya and from 1959 took pictures of every event that took place in Africa. Every event. We have movie in collaboration with his son Salim.

Question: When you say “We” who do you mean.?

Danny Glover : I have a company called Louverture Films.

Question: You have a movie coming out about Louverture, right?

Danny Glover : Yes you are getting right to the point, but I want to give you an idea of the kinds of cultural films I want to be engaged in. Bamako is that. We have an entirely different movie about New Orleans called “Trouble the Water” its in competition at Sundance. We have a film we did with the Marley family celebrating Bob Marley’s 60th birthday called Africa Unite. A film we’re shooting a movie right now called “Soundtrack to a Revolution” it looks at the role music plays in liberation movements. John Legend is going to sing on it. We have Bernice Reagan is involved. I think we’re going to have Stevie [Wonder], Ritchie Havens. With interviews with people who were there during the Civil Rights Movement and looking solely at music. These are the kinds of films my co-produce Jocelyn Barnes and I look at. We’re also doing Toussaint.

Question: How is it for you on Brothers and Sisters playing someone who politically is your polar opposite? Fun?

Danny Glover : Marshall is a man who has framed his life around the belief in certain values. I’m sure there are a lot of successful African Americans who are very honest and good people who will tell you straight up, I’m a Republican. I’m sure of that. I have a couple of people who are all of the above and engaged and with it and they are Republicans. How ever the got there… most people say “show me the money”. Where does the money flow? Where does it flow? It flows through he Republican Party. There are people who I know, and I’m not going to name them, but they are Republican. They’ll tell you they’re Republican and they are at the highest levels of corporate America.

Question: Are we going to see more of Marshall? Is something going on between him and Nora?

Danny Glover : Uhhh *laughs* you are going to see more of him.


Copyright Kamal "The Diva" Larsuel-Ulbricht, 2007 - Present


Copyright Kamal "The Diva" Larsuel-Ulbricht, 2007
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