The fascinating documentary Shepard & Dark focuses on the rich, complex and decades-long friendship between legendary playwright/actor Sam Shepard and Johnny Dark, a writer and archivist who lives in Deming, New Mexico and works behind a deli counter. An earnest, intimate and often comedic portrait of two male friends whose relationship has spanned some 50 years, the award-winning flick is the first directorial effort by filmmaker Treva Wurmfeld.
Receiving unprecedented access to her subjects, Wurmfeld began filming the two friends, both separately and together, in 2010, and continued the process for an 18-month period in New Mexico, California, Kentucky and Texas. It was a period of transition and reflection for Shepard, who had quietly ended his relationship with actress Jessica Lange and accepted a proposal to publish his correspondence with Dark. (The forthcoming book, Two Prospectors, is slated for publication in October, 2013).
Shephard & Dark required its leading players to meet and sift through years of their shared history, stirring memories both good and bad. And though the pair frequently engaged in spirited bickering over such subjects as Bing Crosby vs. Tony Bennett or what time they should eat dinner, it wasn’t all light-hearted and fun. Tracing back four decades of experiences, Sam and Johnny tap into the deeper subjects of love, duty, fatherhood, grief, passion, money, art, freedom and isolation.
Music Box Films Home Entertainment will release the film on DVD and VOD on October 22, 2013.
Just fascinating this is!
Shepard & Dark paints an indelible portrait of the complex friendship between Sam Shepard Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and Academy Award-nominated actor Sam Shepard and Johnny Dark, a homebody with a penchant for letter writing, photography, and supporting himself with odd jobs from dog-catcher to deli worker. The two met in Greenwich Village in the early ’60s and, despite their embarking onto very different lives, have remained close friends ever since. Through the decades, they stayed bonded by family ties, with Dark marrying an older woman named Scarlett and Shepard marrying her daughter. For years the two couples lived together, until Shepard broke away in 1983 for a relationship with actress Jessica Lange, leaving Johnny to help father his first son. Nevertheless, he and Dark continued writing to each other, amassing hundreds of letters.|
First-time director Treva Wurmfeld began filming the two friends in 2010 during a period of transition and reflection, after Shepard had ended his relationship with Lange and accepted a proposal to publish his correspondence with Dark. The task required them to meet and sift through years of their shared history, stirring memories both good and bad. Tracing back a half-century of experience, the two tap into the deeper subjects of love, duty, fatherhood, grief, passion, money, art, freedom and isolation.
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Shepard & Dark