Iceberg Slim is either a name you adore or haven’t heard of. He was a pimp in the early half of the 20th century, then went to prison, got out, raised a family, and in middle-age reinvented himself as an author. His autobiographical first novel “Pimp: The Story of My Life” became an instant underground classic and he followed it up with equally excellent and candid stories of the streets, the mafia, and conmen. He released an album (Reflections) and had his book “Trick Baby” turned into a movie. Yet, thanks to crooked publishers and literary prejudice, Slim died practically penniless.
Slim’s story has been vividly brought to life in the new film Iceberg Slim: Portrait Of A Pimp, featuring interviews with surviving family members, colleges and celebrity fans like Snoop Dog (or Lion), Chris Rock, and Ice T. The man holds special importance to Ice T who took his name from the author and produced the movie that was directed by his longtime manager Jorge Hinojosa. The director and producer made a visit to the Toronto International Film Festival to promote their new documentary and Collider got a chance to speak with them about the legacy of Iceberg Slim and the challenges of making the film. Hit the jump for all the details along with some predictably saucy language.
It’s not everyday that The Toronto International Film Festival features a documentary that honors a pimp, but then not every pimp is Iceberg Slim. Author of the 1969 pulp best seller Pimp: The Story Of My Life, Slim defined the rules of the game and also managed to pull himself out of it through a successful writing career. In his own way, Slim was a pioneer for African American authors with a unique voice that still resonates to this day. Though he never achieved mainstream success or acceptance in his lifetime, the legacy remains unquestioned. Director Jorge Hinojosa’s exhaustive, inventive, and entertaining new documentary Iceberg Slim: Portrait of a Pimp honors the legend and tells his remarkable lifestory to introduce new audiences and fill in the gaps for longtime fans with questions.
Last week, the Toronto International Film Festival announced the movies playing in its Special Presentations and Galas programs. Today, they’ve provided the line-up for their other programs, and they’ve got some strong flicks in the Documentary category. This year’s line-up includes new movies from Ken Burns‘ The Central Park Five (co-directed by David McMahon and Sarah Burns), Alex Gibney‘s Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God, Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Act of Killing, and Marina Zenovich’s Roman Polanski: Odd Man Out (the follow-up to her great 2008 documentary, Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired).
Hit the jump for the full documentary line-up and synopses. The 2012 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 6 – 16th. Click here for the Midnight Madness line-up.