Filmmaker Joe Talbot

24th June 2019

Joe Talbot is the director of ‘The Last Black Man in San Francisco.’ It’s a beautiful film about a guy named Jimmie and his desire to reclaim a San Francisco house built by his grandfather, many moons before tech booms rolled in and massive amounts of money changed the city. Joe talks about gentrification, his thoughts on authenticity in the Bay Area and the best reaction to a movie Jesse has ever heard.

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Photo: Jesse Thorn
Joe Talbot on his new film “The Last Black Man in San Francisco.”
Filmmaker Joe Talbot grew up in San Francisco, just a few blocks away from Bullseye’s Jesse Thorn. The two shared similar backgrounds: a love for film and the local movie theaters that played their favorites, Candlestick Park and the local culture that surrounded them. Both men witnessed their town change over the years. As money moved in, housing prices skyrocketed and many of the people who made the city such a unique place to live moved out, Joe began to feel a sense of nostalgia for the way things were.

He decided to make a film about it.

Talbot makes his feature-length film debut with the strikingly beautiful, The Last Black Man in San Francisco. It tells the story of a man named Jimmie and his best friend Walt attempting to get back a home Jimmie believes was built by his grandfather. The cast features Danny Glover, Tichina Arnold, Thora Birch and Jonathan Majors in a mesmerizing and heartbreaking performance.

Photo: Adam Newport-Berra
The film acts in equal parts as a love letter to the city and an indictment of capitalism in its most corrupted form. The big stuff is covered, like gentrification, race, money, so much money. But you don’t have to be from the Bay to appreciate the movie. At its heart, it’s trying to figure out what home really means and how we long for a yesterday that might have never truly existed.

The Last Black Man in San Francisco is in theaters now.

In this episode...

Senior Producer
Maximum Fun Producer
Maximum Fun Production Fellow


  • Joe Talbot

About the show

Bullseye is a celebration of the best of arts and culture in public radio form. Host Jesse Thorn sifts the wheat from the chaff to bring you in-depth interviews with the most revered and revolutionary minds in our culture.

Bullseye has been featured in Time, The New York Times, GQ and McSweeney’s, which called it “the kind of show people listen to in a more perfect world.” Since April 2013, the show has been distributed by NPR.

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Senior Producer


Maximum Fun Producer

Maximum Fun Production Fellow

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