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“A motion picture stealthily operating as an interactive double-murder-mystery dinner show,
Nuances of African American culture, economics, politics, rhythm, and sensibility are inscribed within the music, dance, and design of Ten Minutes to Live, a window into 1930s urbane Blackness in all its sensual maneuvering, performative attitude, and agitated splendor. Wearing its aspirations, bravado, and underfunding on its sleeve, Ten Minutes showcases: stilted acting, compromised sound, beguiling music, trickster casting, continuity gaffes, swing-band swagger, campy combat choreography, ferociously fashionable Harlemites, resilient Black heroines, alarming blackface, stunning cityscape tracking shots, wooden dialogue-dubbing, enjambed flashbacks/-forwards, mesmerizing tap sequences providing caesuras between plot-points—and abundant suspenseful glancing.”
–Lisa Collins, excerpted from Among Others: Blackness at MoMA, 2019
Organized by Dave Kehr, Curator, Department of Film.