Wendell B. Harris, Jr.'s Chameleon Street is one of The Great Films of the last twenty-five years, and in my top ten. Hilarious, harrowing, exhilarating, relevant, and a crowd-pleaser besides, I saw it for the first time at American Museum of the Moving Image in 1992 and the sold-out audience laughed and cringed and oohed and gave a standing ovation soon as end credits began, afterwards engaging in conversation with strangers sitting beside and behind them.
No films get me to a public movie theater these years, but this one did. A July 6th screening at BAM in Brooklyn, NY was followed by a discussion with Harris and Armond White. Shot on fly with trusty, versatile hand-me-down police brutality capturer, so please excuse shoddy quality - did my best to punch up/down picture/audio.
'Chameleon Street' is Now: Wendell B. Harris, Jr. and Armond White at BAM, Summer 2010 from Jay Blanco on Vimeo.
'Chameleon Street' is Now 2: Wendell B. Harris, Jr. and Armond White at BAM, Summer 2010 from Jay Blanco on Vimeo.
These also uploaded to youtube, for those sans Flash:
Also check out...
Wendell B. Harris on Spielberg's Catch Me If You Can, the term 'post-racial', and the history of Chameleon Street (also, the comment by that young woman in the audience is particularly relevant to this venue of blogspot, as well as facebook, and what we all do on these sites):
"If you are in any way empowering the masses, giving the masses more tools, then you are circumscribed."
Clips from the film...
'Has anyone ever told you that white people who get caught in the rain smell exactly like wet dogs? This is fact.'