Before there was Tyson…
Toback’s Tyson documentary was definitely one of the screen highlights of last year – amid the tragedy, watch out for his bizarre (“decrepit old ladies” being the lobby witnesses to his Don King stompdown) turns-of-phrase and huge definition of what he deems an “insignificant” amount of cash. In an ideal world, April’s DVD release would be split over 3 discs to incorporate hours of bonus interview footage, as his career does feel a little zip-filed into a frugal 90 minute running time.
Thankfully, it looks like Tyson’s putting out an autobiography soon.
But long before Tyson and even Liston, there was Jack Johnson. Ken Burns’s ‘Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson’ might be the greatest boxing documentary ever made. It’s not a tale that can be filtered into a handful of paragraphs ‘after the jump…’ or anything like that, and at a heavyweight 220 minutes, it’s a long sitting, but it’s pretty-much perfect. Get familiar. Cheers to Jason Dill for the heads up.
“What a boxer ideally wants to do in the ring is turn the opponent into an assistant in his own ass-whipping. That’s really what you want the other guy to do – to assist you in whipping his ass.”