Ten Minutes To Live
DIRECTOR: OSCAR MICHEAUX
Frustrated by the stagebound atmosphere of his first talkie feature (1931’s The Exile), Micheaux looked for ways to shoot this gangster musical on location, without cumbersome and expensive audio recording equipment. He did this by making one of his characters (Morvis, the Killer) deaf, and having what little dialogue there is spoken offscreen and post-dubbed. Though clumsily executed, these scenes give the film a pleasurable off-kilter quality, while proving Micheaux had a more canny understanding of the medium than he is often given credit for. Featuring a surprisingly provocative dance performance of Duke Ellington’s “Diga Diga Doo” by a bevy of feathered Cotton Club chorines.
Mastered in 2K from 35mm film elements preserved by The Museum of Modern Art, New York.