I have been known to describe interviews I’ve done in the past as “the best interview I’ve ever done.” I say this because I mean it, but I’m also saying it from a place where objectivity doesn’t exist. The truth is that every interview I do, in general, is better than the one I’ve done before it, and that makes logical sense: The more you do something, the more practiced you become at it, the stronger you become at it. Duh.
I say all of this to you now because when I describe my interview with Raoul Peck as the best interview I’ve ever done, I do so from a place of objectivity: It’s a really good interview, if I do say so myself, not just because I have grown more comfortable with interviewing but because I’ve gotten good at it. It helps that Raoul, director of the Oscar nominated documentary I Am Not Your Negro, is a great interview subject, eloquent, insightful, and chatty. But it also helps that I don’t flop-sweat like Ted Buckland or stammer constantly when I talk to important and talented and influential people in the industry anymore.
Anyways. You should see I Am Not Your Negro, because it’s great. You should also read my interview with Raoul for Paste Magazine. You can probably guess why. (Also: Go read James Baldwin’s work. I’m relatively certain most of the critics praising the film are only faintly aware of Baldwin as an author. My suggestion is that you should not be like those critics. Go to your local library and take out a collection of his essays.)