Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Curt Johnson's The Wicked City: Chicago from Kenna to Capone...and a list of heros

Only just dived into this one, and I'll say it is a keeper. I could spend a month with this one and all its delicious depraved history. This one reminds me that I want to take a closer look at those Hebert Asbury books. The only thing that could make me love this book more would be even more photos. Those old black and whites fascinate me.

Speaking of old Black and Whites, today Samuel Fuller's Forty Guns comes out on DVD. I got to get me some of that. Fuller is among my short list of artistic/cultural heros. On that list in no particular order

Samuel Fuller - His commitment to democracy as laid out in his autobiography is to me one of the most direct and simpliest bits of inspiration.

Sam Peckinpah - Before he hit rock bottom (even as he was in the midst of his terrible falling descent), this man made some of the most powerful and meaningful movies ever made. The difference between machoismo and masculinity can be discerned here. And his magnum opus Pat Garret and Billy the Kid is like Hemingway's Old Man and The Sea.

Studs Terkel - When it comes to a storyteller connecting with his audience and creating a tangible sense of community through the work, this man has no equal. What I wouldn't give to have a few dinners with this guy while he is still around.

Sam Shepard - Lotta Sams on this list. If I ever have a boy, I think I'll name his Sam.

Johnny Cash - He taught me that one can be profound without being obtuse, academic, or overtly complex. Parables can not be indiscernable. Dont make your audience struggle to comprehend. Tell them exactly what you mean as simply as possible.

Maria Irene Fornes - The Play entitled Mud, is to my mind, the perfect example of someone showing the audience instead of telling the audience.

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