In the second half of the 20th Century, I would argue that there isn't an individual with a more impressive resume than Melvin Van Peebles. You name it, the man has done it. Author. Filmmaker. Musician. Talk Show Host. Broadway Showman. Stock Broker. Sexual Deal Sealer. Seriously, name it. He's done it. Name something else. He's done that too. Yes, that too. Uh-huh. Yep. That too.
Which brings us to IFC tonight (February 15th). At 9pm, Joe Angio's thoroughly entertaining portrait of this modern Renaissance man makes its television debut. Even if you think you're familiar with Melvin Van Peebles, I guarantee you there's something in this documentary that you will learn for the first time. And if you aren't aware of his place in the cultural canon, HOW TO EAT YOUR WATERMELON IN WHITE COMPANY (AND ENJOY IT) is a must-see.
Edited by the brilliant Jane Rizzo (SILVER JEW, the documentary footage in GREAT WORLD OF SOUND), the film covers a ton of ground without feeling too clipped or rushed. And when you're dealing with someone like Melvin, whose past exploits deserve their own mini-series, that's no small feat.