MAC PERKINS: "...We promised that if the political climate ever got to situation HYENA again we'd have to get back together and go back out into the streets."
THE LAST REVOLUTIONARY
DIRECTOR: Michael Brewer
SCREENWRITER: Levy Lee Simon
STARRING: Levy Lee Simon, John Marshall Jones
FEATURING: Marla Gibbs
Mac Perkins (LEVY LEE SIMON) is in his Los Angeles throwback hideout, plotting to stop anti Obama sentiment from the far right and racist groups around the country. In the neighborhood where Mac Perkins is holed up, his only friend is an older woman named Millie, (MARLA GIBBS.) When his old ex revolutionary buddy, Jack Armstrong (JOHN MARSHALL JONES) whom he has not seen in over 10 years, finds him, Jack challenges Mac's political stance and his notion that there is a need for a, so called, revolution. The two men hash out political ideas and ideology as Jack attempts to make Mac see that his methods are archaic and his plans old fashion. During the dramatic and humorous interchange between these two old friends whose lives have taken much different paths, secrets are exposed about both men personally and politically that lead to a life and death confrontation.
The making of The Last Revolutionary - Genesis
In 2011, HBO produced Sunset Limited, a film by Cormac McCarthy, based his play by the same name. The film starred Samuel L. Jackson and Tommy Lee Jones. It took place in one location, an apartment and was about two men exploring the meaning of life. One man, (Tommy Lee Jones) was about to attempt suicide because he felt he had nothing to live for. The other, (Samuel L. Jackson) had been to hell and back and found reason to live and have joy in life. It’s an exploration of the spirit in many ways. It was a compelling film to me for many reasons. First, it was an adaptation of a play. Second, it took place in one primary location. Third, it was beautifully shot and staged. And lastly, it depended on the script, actors' performances, and directing to pull it off. Well, of course, you cannot go wrong with Tommy Lee Jones and Samuel L. Jackson. Not only are they both great actors, but they brought star power with them.
When I wrote The Last Revolutionary in 2010, I was not aware of Sunset Limited, or playwright, Cormac McCarthy. A friend brought the play to my attention when she asked me to do a reading of it the year before the film was made. Well, immediately, I saw the possibility for The Last Revolutionary as a film. I am sure Sunset Limited may never have been made without Sam and Tommy Lee, but it showed me that making the The Last Revolutionary film, was possible and doable.
Enter Michael Brewer. When I met Michael Brewer in the summer of 2015, at the National Black Theatre festival, he invited me to see his documentary film, In Full Bloom. It’s a film about the transgendered experience in Los Angeles, conceived and written by "Jazzmun," someone I happened to know. I thought the film was excellent, and Michael’s cinematic efforts were extraordinary. I loved his choice of shots and use of lighting. It was the kind of art that I gravitate to. After he saw the stage production of The Last Revolutionary, he approached me about making it into a movie. The stars seemed to be lining up. Of course, we’d make a movie!
Michael Brewer is one of those cats who’s labored in the business for a long time as a camera man, while making films when opportunities presented itself. He’s worked with everyone and has traveled all over the globe. A true professional, Michael Brewer, has a special gift when it comes to knowing and using cameras. With The Last Revolutionary he will finally get a chance to showcase his talent to the world in a narrative. What’s needed in the film like this, is a director who can make the camera dance. I cannot wait to see what Michael is going to do.
Adding to the mix is, actor John Marshall Jones, who many of you know. JJ, as he likes to be called, is simply one of the most underrated actors in Hollywood. Being called underrated is not a bad thing, so to speak. In fact it’s a high compliment. What it does mean, is that other people are not seeing the true value of the actors talent. JJ is a huge talent. He simply has not had the plumb roles, that challenge his immense talent and skill level. He proved it to me when he came to NY in 2007, to act in my play The Guest at Central Park West, and blew everyone away with his portrayal of Terrence, the homeless drifter. His performance earned him a prestigious Audelco Award for “Best Actor.” In the Last Revolutionary he will bring the complex character of Jack Armstrong to life. Who is Jack, and why is he there? We need to find out in The Last Revolutionary.
Rounding out our team is, Madeleine Liebert. Madeleine’s producing credits include 2 feature length documentaries, one completed, In Full Bloom: transcending gender, one in post-production, Politics of Rhythm, which she also wrote and directed, and Spratling, a documentary in the making about the late Renaissance Man, William Spratling. She produced a travelogue and short film Panicale, and the pilot presentation Photofinish. Madeleine brings a tenacity and determination to her work that we truly need in this process. She is a woman that won’t be denied.
We can make this movie with your help. It’s timely, relevant and important, if I say so myself. By the way, Sunset Limited was a compelling film and recognized critically. We have that kind of potential with this film.
Levy Lee Simon - Actor/Writer/Producer