Friday, May 18, 2012

Art Imitating Art

For those of you who were unable to be with us Tuesday night for William Walsh's presentation on the making of the movie Wise Blood you missed a real treat.  The program lasted an hour and could have easily gone on twice that long given the interest of the small but enthusiastic audience.  Mr. Walsh has dedicated the last several years of his life to finding out all he can about the making of this John Huston classic.  During that period Mr. Walsh has walked and driven down the streets of Macon (where most of the movie was shot) as well as every other Georgia back road that had any connection to the movie. There is not one locale in Wise Blood that Mr. Walsh has not visited. In addition to providing a lot of inside baseball information on the making of the movie, Mr. Walsh shared pictures that were taken during the filming.  He was kind enough to have a number of these mounted on foam boards and gave them away free of charge to anyone in the audience who wanted one.  In an essay in the 2011 edition of the Flannery O'Connor Review, Mr. Walsh says "Wise Blood (the movie) and Wise Blood (the novel) were never meant to mirror each other - they were designed separately and individually, art influencing art." (Flannery O'Connor Review, vol. 9, 2011, p. 96) And, boy, did they ever do that!  In fact, the story of the making of the movie could be a Flannery O'Connor story by itself.  How many other movies can you name where two of the actors (who were children at the time) went on to become career criminals (one of whom is still in prison serving a life term for homicide)?  Or how many other movies can you name that a professional prostitute was cast in the role of a fictional street walker?  Yes, the story of the making of the movie, Wise Blood, is as twisted and riveting as any of Flannery's stories.  For those interested in learning more about it, I heartily encourage you to read William Walsh's essay in the Flannery O'Connor Review.
- Mark

No comments: