The Salon

Director: Mark Brown
Screenwriters: Mark Brown, Shelly Garrett

Institute History

  • 2005 Sundance Film Festival


There exists a long tradition of films about black hair and where it gets coifed. For writer/director Mark Brown, the subject of the African American hair shop has become a fruitful and ongoing passion. He has managed to pen two studio box-office hits on the subject, but it is with this independent effort that he really reaches the height of his game. The Salon brings more warmth and homegrown intimacy to the genre than we have seen in years. And yes, you are going to split a gut laughing once you enter the door at Jennifer Smithe's beauty shop!

It's the ladies' turn this time, and they make full use of their safe haven to air a double load of hilarious dirty laundry about sex, politics, chauvinism, homophobia, racism, gentrification, and child raising. The testifying and the impeccably timed jokes come fast and furious as Brown deftly transforms Shelley Garrett's original stage play into a keenly balanced and cinematically lean, mean laughing machine.

A uniformly strong cast, led by Vivica Fox, Monica Calhoun, Garrett Morris, and a brilliant Kym Whitley, brings energy and humanity to the characters. Current, smart, and fun to watch, The Salon hits all its comedic marks while managing to contribute substantively to many of the social and political discussions of our times.

— Shari Frilot

Screening Details

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