December 28, 2009
On Wednesday evening, PBS will be showcasing the documentary,
"Patti Smith: Dream of Life". December 30th happens to be Patti's 63rd
birthday as well. Of interest to Sam Shepard fans is the fact that a segment of
the film shows Sam dropping by her apartment for a tranquil jam session. These
long-time pals will also be appearing together in a
92Y literary event in NYC on January 21st as they read from their respective new
Just recently I watched "Black White + Gray" highlighting the
lives of art curator Sam Wagstaff and photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, who were
close friends of Patti's. She was interviewed throughout the film and I was
struck by how articulate she was, so I'm definitely looking forward to viewing
this documentary. The synopsis reads: Shot over 11 years by renowned fashion
photographer Steven Sebring, Patti Smith: Dream of Life is an intimate portrait
of the legendary rocker, poet and artist. Following Smith's personal reflections
over a decade, the film explores her many art forms and the friends and poets
who inspired her — William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Bob Dylan, Robert
Mapplethorpe and Michael Stipe. She emerges as a crucial, contemporary link
between the Beats, punks and today's music. Shot in lush, dark tones, featuring
rare performance clips and narrated by the artist herself, Patti Smith: Dream of
Life is an impressionistic journal of a multi-faceted artist that underscores
her unique place in American culture.
December 22, 2009
Spotlight on Shepard
James Wolcott describes Sam's new collection of stories as "Short but Shepard"
in Vanity Fair's January issue. Wolcott writes, "For a laconic splinter whose
platinum presence suggests a merger of Samuel Beckett and Gary Cooper (those two
craggy minimalists of parched utterance), Sam Shepard has sure slung a lot of
words around in his long, unruly career. From the resonant cavity of his
literary voice has come a locust army: more than 45 plays (among them True
West, Curse of the Starving Class, and The Tooth of Crime),
numerous screenplays (including Paris, Texas), and a pair of nonfiction
entries (one of them a diary of Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder tour, that
runny-clown-paint masquerade), and none of them pecked out on a dinky netbook
neither, but on a manly typewriter. Now the latest addition to the Shepard
library - DAY OUT OF DAYS, which the
publisher (Knopf) calls 'a new collection of short fiction,' and they do mean
short. Some of the chapters are only a page long; others consist of a single
tombstone paragraph. But the cumulative effect is expansive, panoramic. Like Bob
Dylan, Shepard is a geographer of the rawboned surrealism of America’s shadow
interior, story after story bearing the name of a town or highway, our national
portrait dabbed with a thousand points of darkness." The photograph above of Sam
with his Hermes typewriter in NYC, was taken by Bruce Weber, no stranger to
placing his camera lens on Sam. The book will be available for purchase on
December 19, 2009
A film classic becomes available on Blu-Ray
Terrence Malick's 1978 film is coming to Blu-ray in March.
The Criterion Collection has announced that it will release DAYS OF HEAVEN
on Blu-ray on March 23, 2010. This release will feature a new, restored
high-definition digital transfer, supervised and approved by director Terrence
Malick, editor Billy Weber, and camera operator John Bailey. Special features
will include: Audio commentary featuring Weber, art director Jack Fisk, costume
designer Patricia Norris, and casting director Dianne Crittenden,
new video interviews with cinematographers Haskell Wexler and John Bailey, and a
booklet featuring essays by critic Adrian Martin and director of photography
This classic, infused with melancholy and mesmerizing beauty,
continues to be among my favorites over the past thirty years. Every time I hear
the music, "Carnival of the Animals", I am immediately intoxicated and
transported to those golden wheat fields and Farmer Sam's austere Victorian home
dominating the prairie. What a film!
Another publicty photo
I came across this sweet photo from
BROTHERS showing Sam as the Cahill patriarch
reading to his granddaughters. According to several reviews, young actresses
Bailee Madison and Taylor Geare are definitely scene stealers! By the way,
congrats to Tobey Maguire for his Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor.
Nominations for Jessica
After winning an Emmy for her performance in the TV drama, "Grey
Gardens", Jessica has gone on to nab both a Golden Globe and SAG nomination
as well. And she will again have to compete against her co-star, Drew Barrymore!
They are certainly both deserving of this recognition.
December 3, 2009
Praise for BROTHERS!
the eve of the US theatrical release of BROTHERS,
the reviews are
trickling in and it gives me great pleasure to learn that Jim Sheridan's latest
film is receiving a positive response from film critics, who also have kind
words for Sam's performance. Bill Goodykoontz from the Arizona Republic
describes the film as "a powerful statement on loyalty, love and the cost of
war" while film critic James Berardinelli describes it as "the most successful
remake of a
foreign film since Martin Scorsese reworked 'Infernal Affairs' into 'The
Departed' and won the Oscar... Excellent support is provided by Sam Shepard
as the military Dad whose past has laid the seeds for the present."
Roger Ebert writes, "Sheridan and his screenplay sources make 'Brothers'
much more than a drama about war and marriage. It is about what we can forgive
ourselves for — and that, too, has been a theme running through Sheridan's
films... The principal actors, with Shepard's well-timed and not
overacted appearances, make this a specific story about particular people, and
it avoids temptations toward melodrama."
Also from Chicago is the Tribune's Michael Phillips - "The
film is gripping - an honorable and beautifully acted addition to the tradition
of homefront war stories... Sam Shepard, at his intuitive and subtle
finest, plays their taciturn father, a retired Marine himself. Typical of the
small moments in 'Brothers' that make it special: In the cramped kitchen, when
Tommy sees his father for the first time in a long while, the muttered words
between them speak volumes, quietly." David Edelstein of the New York Magazine
says Sam has never been better.Stephanie Zacharek of Salon writes, "When
Shepard and Gyllenhaal appear in a scene together, the air around them is
charged - it's as if the searching, vulnerable quality in Tommy's eyes
registers as a taunt in the manly-man world of his father." This is a must-see
Among all the reviews I've read, I believe the
most interesting comments come from Jonathan Kiefer of The Fast Times:
With Sam Shepard in its cast, we’re not wrong to hope for
something more poetic and philosophical... I mentioned Shepard not just
because he’s written great plays involving manly, ghostly, family drama, but
because his presence is what’s best about “Brothers.” Yes, Gyllenhaal has
some nice moments of drunken desperation and amends-making; and Maguire acts
his heart out, or at least bugs his eyes out, during imperative breakdown
scenes; and Portman sharpens the blade of her beauty into recognizable
signifiers of maternal inclination and grief; but Shepard’s portrayal of the
young men’s father, a favorite-playing combat-veteran Marine himself, is the
movie’s anchor. He’s the faded patriarch, at once burrowed into old grudges
and woundedly aloof, and this marvelously coiled-up performance precludes
all the potential cliches. Mare Winningham, underused, plays the brothers’
mother, but it’s in Shepard’s face and testy manner that the full family
backstory is revealed.
November 23, 2009
Opening Nights for Sam and Jessica
previously posted back in June, following a sell-out run in the Peacock Theatre
earlier this year, AGES OF THE MOON returned with
16 performances from November 13-28. Both Stephen Rea and Seán McGinley reprised
their original roles. The play will be staged once again for an American
premiere with the duo starring in an off Broadway venue at the Linda Gross
Theater. The Irish Herald reports that Sam and Jessica attended the
opening night of "Ages" and later flew back to New York in time for the premiere
of BROTHERS. The event, sponsored by the
Cinema Society, Details magazine and DKNY, was held at the SVA Theater last
night. The pair also attended the after party at Abe & Arthur's. It appears that
Sam skipped the photo shoot but photographers managed to get a couple of shots
of the couple.
Attending the premiere was director Jim Sheridan and cast members Tobey Maguire
and Natalie Portman, who certainly got most of the attention. The Herald
reports that Sam was thrilled to be in a movie directed by Sheridan. "The way
Jim directs, it's like something is really at stake and it makes you take things
as an actor to another level," he said. "It's not like working with other
directors where you're just trying to get it over with."
A press conference for the film was held in NYC last Saturday with Sheridan,
Maguire, Portman and Gyllenhaal in attendance. The photo to the left shows Jim Sheridan directing Maguire and Gyllenhaal in a
Mike Goodridge of Screen Daily
heaped some praise on the film with his review - "'Brothers' is that rare animal, a US remake of a fine foreign language film
which works on both a creative and thematic level in its conversion to an
American setting. Susanne Bier’s explosive 2004 film is effectively re-imagined
by writer David Benioff and director Jim Sheridan, and their 'Brothers' is tight,
tense and emotional, addressing the issue of soldiers returning from the war in
Afghanistan in the context of an expertly told melodrama... Sheridan has always
had a knack for drawing exceptional performances from actors and he continues to
do so in 'Brothers'."
Sam discusses BROTHERS
part of the promotional campaign for the film, Sam, dressed in black and dark
sunglasses (what's that about?) offered a rare interview. The filmmakers just
released a total of 24 videos, which include interviews with director Jim
Sheridan, cast members Jake Gyllenhaal, Tobey Maguire, Natalie Portman, Bailee
Madison, Mare Winningham, Sam Shepard, and Taylor Geare as well as screenwriter
David Benioff, production designer Tony Fanning, and cinematographer Frederick
Elmes. You can view Sam's interview by clicking on the above photo. I have taken
the time to transcribe the video for archive purposes.
On why he chose to work on this film:
It was all around wanting to work with a director like that. The script in
itself was very interesting and powerful. It was mainly Jim who was the
inspiration for me wanting to do it.
On the movie:
I think it's very classic in its orientation. It's very biblical but an
interesting thing is that Jim approaches it in such a deeply personal way that
given the circumstances of the story, he makes it extraordinarily personal. And
you're never quite sure where he's digging this stuff up but you know it's from
experience which is very interesting. He always seems so perplexed about it.
He's in a dilemma all the time which is great. I mean he's in the right kind of
dilemma, questioning the essence of the story. Where the human factor is.
On the atmosphere the director creates:
I don't know if you're always comfortable. Sometimes you're very uncomfortable
but you're inspired because of his dilemma. You almost feel like you have to
take care of him (laughing). It's an interesting situation. I never quite felt
like that with any other director... He's walking this line between truth and
falsehood. It's amazing to work with someone like that. You know That's the way
I feel about writing. There's something deeply at stake in it and you don't
always feel like that working in film.
On the relationship between Sam and Hank:
I grew up in a military family myself. My dad was in the Air Force and I find it
bizarre... this thing... First of all, the brainwashing. That part of it is very
bizarre to me. It actually conspires to take the humanity out of an individual,
that you're no longer an individual. You're a fighting machine and you no longer
have emotions. You no longer have feelings. And yet it's considered a
brotherhood and it obviously is. These guys don't leave anybody behind. They're
courageous. They have a code of ethics and yet, at the same time, there's this
underside of it which is, I feel, a kind of brainwashing where the humanity is
sucked out of you in order for you to become a weapon and a number. It has this
incredible dichotomy to it, which is part of the dilemma these characters find
On co-star Mare Winningham:
Oh, she's wonderful. She's my wife. She's not the actual physical mother of
these boys. She's their stepmom. I don't know if it's a needless complication or
not but it's kind of interesting because the boys relate to her in a slightly
different way than they would if she were their natural mother, and then my
relationship. It just throws a kink into the situation which makes it
interesting. And Mare, of course, is such a wonderful actress. She just makes
the thing happen without a lot of tags on it. She's just there.
On Jim Sheridan:
He's far more patient than I am. He has incredible patience and he's extremely
good-natured. I don't think he has a mean bone in his body although he pretends
sometimes to have one. As a person, he's quite different than me. I don't have
that kind of patience. In fact, I have hardly any patience. (laughing).
Consequently, I'm not a very good director. I do it and I force myself to have
patience but I think it's either part of your character or it isn't. I think
he's endowed with a lot of patience.
November 20, 2009
Upcoming TV Pilot
Our thespian has been tapped to star in TOUGH TRADE,
the first original drama pilot set for the fledgling Epix feevee channel. The
provocative, contemporary one-hour drama tells the story of the sprawling Tucker
family, a three-generational Nashville music dynasty whose penchant for drink,
debauchery and divorce has left them morally corrupt and on the verge of
The family with little left is pinning its hopes on its former black sheep, a
budding country star turned alternative rock heart throb.
Sam will play the patriarch of the Tucker clan.
Mark Greenberg, President and CEO of EPIX says, “Sam Shepard is the
ideal actor to star in ‘Tough Trade’ and we are proud to have him be a part of
EPIX’s first original series."
Kevin Beggs, Lionsgate’s president of television programming and
production, adds, "It's a tremendous coup to have Sam leading our cast. He's a
brilliant multi-talented artist who will bring great authenticity to the
Executive producer of the project is Jenji Kohan of "Weeds" with a script
penned by Chris Offutt ("True Blood"). Gavin Hood is directing the pilot, slated
to start production on December 3 in Nashville.
More on BLACKTHORN
I have more details on Sam's upcoming project, BLACKTHORN.
Variety reports that Stephen Rea will also have a role in this reprise of
the Butch Cassidy legend. This is not the first time that the paths of the two
men have crossed. It's been said that Sam wrote the play, "Geography of a Horse
Dreamer" with the Irish actor in mind. More recently he wrote two plays for him
- “Kicking a Dead Horse”, which he also dedicated to the Irish actor, and then
"Ages of the Moon", which will be presented in January for an Amerian premiere
in which Stephen reprises his role.
"Blackthorn" is looking at a March shoot in Alicante, Spain,
and on location in Bolivia. Set around 1910, the film has Shepard as an
incognito Butch Cassidy 15 years after his supposed gunning down by the Bolivian
police, plotting to return to the states and retire. Eduardo Noriega plays a
trigger-happy cowboy who loses Butch's life savings, pushing Butch into a final
job, a mine heist. Stephen Rea plays a railroad employee, who was originally
sent after Butch following a string of bank robberies and who's still keen on
hunting him down.
Praise for BROTHERS
Film critic and entertainment reporter Stephen Schaefer of
the Boston Herald reports that he has just seen
BROTHERS. He writes, " For some reason, I had
only modest expectations for this drama. First, it’s an American adaptation of
Suzanne Bier’s extraordinary 2004 Danish original and remakes can be depressing
affairs if you are even slightly familiar with the original. Yet I found the
film to be extraordinarily involving with an astonishing level of performance
that began with Maguire’s Oscar-worthy work and continued right down to smaller
roles such as Sam Shepard as the boys’ troubled, semi-alcoholic military
Bam Cafe Event in 2010
As part of the Brooklyn
Academy of Music's "Eat, Drink and be Literary" program,
BAM Cafe invites contemporary authors for intimate evenings of
readings, discussion as well as dinner and wine. Sam will be their guest
on Thursday, June 3, 2010 at 6:30 pm.
“No one knows better than Sam Shepard that the true
American West is gone forever, but there may be no writer alive more
gifted at reinventing it out of pure literary air.”
- The New York Times
Doors will open at 6 pm and Deborah Treisman will act as the
evening's moderator. BAM Cafe is located at 30 Lafayette Avenue in Brooklyn.
an effort to highlight the release of Sam's book, "Day
out of Days", in
January, The New Yorker has once again published another one of his
stories in their November 23 issue. It's called, "Indianapolis (Highway 74)".
Remember Sam will be reading some of his stories at a 92Y literary event in NYC
on Thursday, January 21, 2010 at 8 pm. It will be held at the Kaufmann Concert
Hall with tickets priced at $27. Patti Smith will also join Sam with readings
from her memoir Just Kids.
November 11, 2009
Opening December 4th
three weeks, BROTHERS will be opening across
Pete Hammond of the LA Times believes the upcoming
film has Oscars pedigree - Oscar nominee and Golden Globe winner Natalie
Portman, Oscar nominee Jake Gyllenhaal, Oscar, Golden Globe and Emmy nominee Sam
Shepard, Oscar nominee Mare Winningham as well as director Jim Sheridan whose
films have earned 16 nominations. Hammond writes, "Sheridan received a
tremendous ovation when he was introduced for a Q&A after a very well-received
Directors Guild of America screening. I wouldn't underestimate the Academy's
respect for Sheridan, and if Lionsgate can gain any traction for this tough
little movie, it could surprise."
(FYI, Sam's three best actor nominations were for his roles in "The Right
Stuff", "Dash and Lilly" and "Ruffian")
On the opposite spectrum, there's a review in the recent issue of Film
Comment, written by Laura Kern, who thinks fans of Susanne Bier's 2004 film
should steer clear of this remake. Though she faults Natalie Portman's
performance when compared to Connie Nielsen's in the original film, she does
think Jake Gyllenhaal gives a "respectable performance" and says the appearance
of Sam Shepard and Carey Mulligan add some clout, "but not nearly enough."
We shall see...
I came across this interesting tidbit
from the film's director. While stage actors adhere to a playwright's words, movie
actors, more committed to the action portrayed, often change dialogue. For a
dinner scene in the film, Jim Sheridan remembers actors Jake Gyllenhaal, Natalie Portman and
Tobey Maguire talking about who would say what: "We were having a grand old time
rewriting the script, when in walked Sam Shepard, who was playing the father but
who, of course, is a great playwright. And Sam said, 'Isn't this a fantastic
scene?' Immediately, we shut up and performed David Benioff's scene just as he
That crooked-tooth grin
In an interview with Eva Marie Saint, the veteran
actress commented on playing Sam's mother on screen- "Oh yes, I loved
playing that lady in 'Don't Come Knocking'. I met Sam and Wim and he said, 'Well
do you want to do this?' And I said, Sam Shepard, I'm so happy but I don't feel
like your mother!' She continues, ""Who
doesn't think Sam's sexy? Not only women, but men too - like my husband. I think
it's partly because there's this shyness about him. I also really like that
crooked smile he has. I told him, 'Don't go to the dentist and have them fix
that crooked tooth.' He said, 'What tooth?' I said, 'Aw come on Sam, that sexy,
crazy, crooked tooth.' We women recognize it! It's the imperfection of his teeth
that makes him sexy. He's not out of a mould; he's not perfect. He doesn't have
the white, perfect teeth and he's offbeat a little bit, and that's always
Well, to the disappointment of Ms. Saint but perhaps the delight of
others, I believe that tooth has now been fixed due to an incident with a horse.
Ms. Saint's comments reminded me of what EW film critic Owen
Gleiberman mentioned in his review of that film - "Sam Shepard, with his
snaggle-toothed rawhide glamour, is just about the only actor of his generation
who can still wear a cowboy hat that looks as though it utterly belongs on his
November 2, 2009
Behind and in front of the camera lens
have photograph books by celebrities (Jessica Lange, for one) and then we have
photograph books of celebrities. Five
years ago today,
Steidl/Matthew Marks Gallery published
a book by British photographer Sam Taylor-Wood called "Men Crying". (The
name is misleading as the photographer is actually a woman and what man would
want to photograph a bunch of men crying!) The
56-page coffee table book in limited edition of 2500 copies presents 28
photographs of well-known actors – including our very own Sam, Tim Roth, Ed
Harris, Jude Law, Benicio Del Toro, Laurence Fishburne and Sean Penn – in various states of
emotional break down. In 2004 Taylor-Wood arranged with these actors’ agents for
them to participate in a photographic project - but the actors were unaware of
the subject's theme. When each actor arrived for the photo shoot, they were
simply asked to cry.
Taylor-Wood says, "People can decide for themselves which they think are the
authentic tears and which they think are fake. It's about the idea of taking
these big, masculine men and showing a different side." Hey, these are
accomplished actors so there's no authenticity here! However, what makes this
collection fascinating is that it is a photographic re-enactment of the "screen
test" where the role calls for conveying weakness without undermining the
actor's perceived masculine mage. This series had several exhibitions and the
book is now considered highly collectible, similar to Bruce Weber's photographs
If it were put to a vote, I would definitely choose Daniel Craig who
makes crying look dead sexy. As for Sam, I would say he's in pensive mode, but
seriously worried. Of course, the buzz he's sporting is disappointing
(perhaps done for the play "A Number" that same year) because his classic looks
are enhanced with his hair combed back. Personally I do believe Sam belongs to a
unique group of film actors who have the ability to successfully exhibit deep
sorrow on screen. Let me point you to two films that quickly come to mind -
"Voyager" and "The Only Thrill".
October 24, 2009
Back in the saddle
According to Screen Daily, Sam and Spanish star
Eduardo Noriega will head the cast of Mateo Gil’s new project BLACKTHORN,
a western set to shoot in Bolivia next year. Sam will play James Blackthorn
(alias Butch Cassidy) who raises horses in Bolivia but is dying and wants to
return to the US. However, along the way he crosses paths with a young Spanish
mining engineer (Noreiga) accused of robbing a mine, and the two slowly strike
up a friendship. The photo below is being used in the media announcement, but
it's actually from his "Jesse James" film.
Director Gil says,“One of the things I like most about
westerns is that it’s a truly moral genre. The characters face life and death,
and other very important matters (freedom, commitment, loyalty, courage,
treacher, justice, friendship… and even love) in very pure and simple terms. The
decisions they make are not only very dramatic, but set examples. What more can
you ask from a film?"
The film will be produced by Spanish outfits Aiete-Arianne Films and Arcadia
Motion Pictures alongside Taiwanese company Zeus Films. Spanish broadcaster TVE
has pre-bought the TV rights for Spain. Originally Nick Nolte was intended to
take the leading role.
As reported last summer, Sam has amassed a collection of
short stories, which will be published in a book called "Day
out of Days" and will be available for purchase on January 12th. Three
publications - The New Yorker, Zoetrope and The Paris Review - have recently
premiered some of these stories, and if you wish, you can peruse some of them at
the above book link.
October road trips
this month Sam and Jessica were on a road trip, along with their dog, traveling
from their horse farm in Kentucky to New Orleans and then back to
Manhattan. Jessica was visiting the Big Easy for her exhibition at The Gallery
for Fine Photography and a presentation at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art
where she shared her passion for photography. After her talk and Q&A, according
to witnesses, "she and Sam raced off into the New Orleans rain, catching their
awaiting car which whooshed them off to an ongoing Saints game at the
Superdome." In an interview, Jessica described her return trip - "The drive back
was interesting, very interesting. I mean, we kind of tried to, I think, pack in
too many miles the second day, because the tempers got a little frayed." Why do
I imagine myself riding in that back seat.... Anyway, it just so happens that my
husband and I were also doing a road trip at the same time and I often thought
of Sam, who's no stranger to driving across the country. Over five weeks we
drove through 20 states from New York to California and back and Sam's writings
were continually envisioned throughout the landscape of the American West. By
the way, instead of a dog, we traveled with a gnome named Monty posing here at
the Arches National Park in Moab, Utah. These red rock arches should look
familiar if you've seen Don't Come Knocking,
the 40th anniversary of Jack Kerouac's death, on October 20th a new documentary
was released on DVD called "One Fast Move or I'm Gone: Kerouac's Big Sur."
Presented by F-Stop/Atlantic Records, the film is a journey through the places
and soul searching that inspired Kerouac's 1962 novel, "Big Sur." Among
the folks who help piece together this trip are Sam, Patti Smith, Tom Waits,
John Ventimiglia, Lawrence Ferlinghette and Aram Saroyan.
Kerouac was one of Sam’s early idols. The producers filmed him in New York City
one afternoon for a series of readings from "Big Sur" as well as excerpts from
Kerouac’s poem called "Sea".
September 24, 2009
Premiere date announced
Jim Sheridan's film, BROTHERS, will premiere
on December 4th. Sam joins an outstanding cast that includes Jake Gyllenhaal,
Natalie Portman and Tobey Maguire. The film is a remake of the award-winning
2004 Danish film by Susanna Bier that won several international awards both for
the film itself and performances from Connie Nielsen and Ulrich Thomsen.
"Brothers" tells the powerful story of two siblings, thirtysomething Captain Sam
Cahill (Maguire) and younger brother Tommy Cahill (Gyllenhaal), who are polar
opposites. A Marine about to embark on his fourth tour of duty, Sam is a
steadfast family man married to his high school sweetheart, the aptly named
Grace (Portman), with whom he has two young daughters. Tommy, his charismatic
younger brother, is a drifter just out of jail who's always gotten by on wit and
charm. The boys' father is a retired Marine named Hank Cahill, played by Sam,
with Mare Winningham in the role of their mother, Elsie.
Strolling through Soho
I've added a new photo
collection of Sam and Jessica. On a September day in New York City, the
pair were seen strolling through Soho looking very happy and surprisingly not
annoyed by the snapping of a photographer's camera.
September 1, 2009
Dream of Life
I recently came across a movie clip from the documentary, "Patti
Smith: Dream of Life" which features Sam having a jam session with the
punkpoet. You can view it by clicking on the photo below:
Director Steven Sebring chronicled Smith's life on film
from 1996 to 2007 through life performances, lyrics, visual art and interviews.
After screening at various film festivals last year, it was released on DVD in
January. Film critic Elizabeth Bachner writes "Part of Patti Smith's mystique
has always been that she's elusive and hard to pin down." That could be said of
Sam as well so perhaps it's no surprise the duo became fast friends many
Accidental Husband was to be a spring 2008 release, then summer, fall,
spring 2009, and now it finally makes its way to a DVD store near you on
November 10th. The movie features a steady stream of shenanigans when a jilted
firefighter (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) seeks revenge on relationship expert and talk
show host, Dr. Emma Lloyd (Uma Thurman), who advises his fiancée to leave him at
the altar. Directed by Griffin Dunne and produced by Thurman, the cast also
includes Colin Firth, Isabella Rossellina, Justina Machado and Sam as Uma's
father. The film had both a theatrical and DVD release in the UK.
August 17, 2009
Smith & Shepard
Shepard and Patti Smith have been close friends since the early 1970s, when they
co-wrote and co-starred in the play "Cowboy Mouth". Upon the
publication of their new books - Sam's "Day Out of Days" and Smith's memoir
"Just Kids" - they will read together at the Poetry Center for the first time.
This event, sponsored by the 92Y Center in NYC, will take place on Thursday,
January 21, 2010 at 8:00 pm at the Kaufmann Concert Hall. Living only two hours from the Big Apple, I would have
definitely planned to attend this reading but alas, I will be in a much warmer
climate next winter. Shucks....
August 12, 2009
Sam, the writer
Five months from today Sam's third book, "Day out of Days"
will be published! Yes, exciting news! Knopf Doubleday Publishing has released
From one of our
most acclaimed and inimitable writers: a collection of tales set mainly in
the fertile imaginative landscape of the West, written with the terse
lyricism, cinematic detail, and wry humor that have become Sam Shepard’s
A man traveling down Highway 90 West gets trapped alone overnight inside a
Cracker Barrel restaurant, where he is tormented by an endless loop of
Shania Twain songs on the overhead sound system . . . A wandering actor
returns to his hometown against his better instincts and runs into an old
friend, who recounts their teenage days of stealing cars, buying Benzedrine,
and sleeping with whores in Tijuana . . . A Minnesota family travels south
for a winter vacation but, being caught up in the ordinary tyrannies of
family life, remains oblivious to the beauty of the Yucatán peninsula . . .
A solitary horse rancher muses on Sitting Bull and Beckett amid the stuff
that inhabits his kitchen . . .
These are tales at once magisterial and spare, elegant and violent, personal
and all-encompassing. Comprised of narratives, lyrics, and dialogues, Day
out of Days is a work of stunning vision and clarity imbued with the vivid
reverberations of myth—Shepard at his flinty-eyed, unwavering best.
The 304-page book will be released on January 12, 2010.
Atlantic Theater Company has just announced that Stephen Rea
and Sean McGinley will reprise their starring roles in the American premiere of
The Abbey Theatre's production of AGES OF THE MOON.
The play will begin previews Tuesday, January 12; open Wednesday, January 27;
and play a limited engagement through Sunday, March 7, 2010. It will be staged
Off-Broadway at Atlantic's main stage, The Linda Gross Theater at 336 West 20
Street, NYC. The acclaimed world premiere was held in Dublin last winter.
July 20, 2009
Jessica receives an Emmy nomination!
cannot be happier to announce that both Jessica and Drew Barrymore have received
Emmy nominations for their superb performances in HBO's "Grey Gardens". I
have indulged myself in the world of the Beales for the past year and find both
Big Edie and Little Edie to be fascinating women. I personally think it's a tie
between the two actresses and Jessica has commented that she can't think of a
better scenario. The film was just released on DVD and comes highly recommended.
The Emmy show will be broadcast on Sunday evening, September 20th.
During a recent interview, Jessica was asked about the secret
to her enduring relationship with Sam, who she met in 1982 on the set of "Frances".
They have been together ever since but have never married. “I don’t know,” she
says, growing quiet and charmingly flustered, “You’ve got to have some deep
connection… it’s a lot of history and knowing somebody really well, and… It’s
being interested in somebody after 25 years; they still fascinate you.”
January - June 2009
July - December 2008
January - June 2008
November 2005 - December 2006