Critics raved about the Coen Bros. 2013 film, INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS. The drama focused on a week in the life of a young singer trying to make it in the Greenwich Village folk music scene of 1961. I hadn't seen the movie. I asked a Black friend of mine, an actor with a respectable list of TV and film credits, if he had. He responded that he had and the movie irritated him. He said, "Greenwich Village, the folk music scene, the 1960s and there's no Black people in it. Not even on the sidewalks." We both lived in New York City at the time.
I saw the movie because of what he said -- and he was right! There was no Black actor in a key lead or supporting role and I had a hard time finding Black people in the exterior shots on the sidewalks of the Village. Folk music and jazz -- two music scenes that were alive and kickin' then in the Village and Black talent was definitely involved. Writers Lorraine Hansberry and James Baldwin lived in the Village. The Civil Rights movement was in progress. INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS gave us a non-racially mixed Greenwich Village. Again, if I had been a film critic on TV, I would've pointed out that fact -- a fact I don't recall any white critic addressing verbally or in print.
In New York City, following a nighttime preview screening of 1993's MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING directed by Kenneth Branagh, there was a reception with a couple of castmembers -- and food. Branagh's MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING gave us Keanu Reeves, Michael Keaton and Denzel Washington doing Shakespeare.
Thanks, Kenneth Branagh.