Out on DVD today is Joe Angio’s documentary, How to Eat Your Watermelon in White Company (And Enjoy It), on the life and work of Melvin Van Peebles.
I saw the film at its premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival a few years back and when I watched it again on IFC not too long ago I was reminded by how well done the film is. Angio not only examines how Van Peebles’ Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song invented the Blaxploitation genre, but spotlights his renaissance life which includes working on Broadway and the New York Stock Exchange. But I think what works best about the film is Melvin himself. You could seriously just film 90 minutes of him riffing about anything that comes off the top of his head and it would be watchable. The man has always had a knack for what’s entertaining and thought-provoking.
Here’s a Q&A Movie Web did with Angio about the doc. Enjoy.