Ralphie I served 1966–78
Ralphie I served 1966–78 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

THE SCREEN IN SANTA FE scheduled three showings of this Docudrama.

Huh? Sam ol boy lives in Santa Fe. I’ve had bar chats with him, everyone has, and he’s our mascot for independence, accessibility, and still a flush hand of rugged classic looks. Like he should be Ralph Lauren‘s model, not Ralphie.

I figured the theater would be packed so I brought earplugs.  I take my films too seriously, and refuse to be interrupted with slurping and munching.  Into the first scene; my concentration was so acute I would have protested if anyone said a word.  Beginning with the footage; unbelievable home-made movies and photographs. You will see Sam as a youngster on the ranch where he grew up in Central California, Sam leaving home and working his way through puberty.   Then we see that chiseled frame of masculine sensitivity as a young playwright in Greenwich Village where you meet Johnny Dark.  The dialog between the two men and the dramatization of their feelings about the  collected letters they exchanged over a forty-year period is something beyond a reality show.

It is as honest and genuine a continuum of conversation between two men that you’ve ever witnessed.  The subjects: their father’s, destiny, fate, women, writing, dogs, tragedy, and loss. Just to name a few. So if you wrap the cinematography around the humor, philosophy and ending that left me in tears, you have a masterpiece of film for the audience.

Yes, there is a dusting of emotions  on Jessica Lange.

I walked away feeling as if my life had not even begun. So much life squeezed into one man lead me to question my limits on adventuring. Several lines I recall in particular, to paraphrase Sam;

We can change our lives, our work, our wardrobes, our women, but we never really change. Our essence remains constant. I’ve always felt outside the whole thing, sometimes more than others. As a writer  you have to be selfish with your time. I’m always moving, going on the road, I didn’t know that was how my life was going to turn out, but it did.  

That kind of admission for a floundering but dedicated writer will last me a while.  On documentaries; they don’t get enough attention. I hope this film tears that fence down and let’s the HONEST-REAL-BULLS come through.

2 thoughts on “SHEPARD & DARK

  1. I don’t believe what I just read. Of any critique, on any film, play or documentary, that one was written by a person with extreme passion for the Arts. So well paraphrased and an incredibly in depth accounting, acknowledgement and understanding of the Film and the Actor. Great read and well written


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