Sunday, January 07, 2007

Back to Detroit

I'm back in an airport patiently awaiting my flight back to Detroit. So far it's on time but we can only hope that NWA keeps up their end of this air travel bargain. The airport looks virtually empty, at least this part of the terminal. I'm sure a walk over a few yards would find clusters of folks grouped around TVs at the terminal pub watching the Philadelphia Eagles. These Philly people seem to take their football rather seriously.

Any and all fears I had of this being a geekfest have been laid to rest. Yesterday I had a wonderful time at the Society Hill Playhouse attending all of the various programs. Highlights included a crusty boxer and younger boxing fan who talked of Goodis's apparent love of the sport. It was amazing to hear these guys rattle off the stats and names of boxing matches and boxers from days gone by. Also present was an old pool player, "Dutch" Silver. He was the definition of "a character." He looked rather frail sitting up at the front of the cabaret but spoke with a booming, Philly-accented voice about teaching Goodis how to play pool. He had a Henny Youngman wit and wasn't afraid to use it. "When I was sixteen my doctor told me not to go back to work until I heard from him. Well, he died the next day and I've been a bum ever since."

Today the group's numbers had dwindled to just a handful of folks who met up at the Samuel Paley library at Temple to look at the David Goodis archives. These aren't exactly what I had hoped they would be but I hope to contribute to them in any way I possibly can. We were treated to a nice lunch and shown a copy of an episode of the Showtime series "Fallen Angels" by screenwriter Howard A. Rodman. It was a treat to hear the backstory behind "Fallen Angels" and the production of this episode.

I got a ride back to the airport from festival organizer Lou Boxer and pummelled Rodman the entire way here with questions about his gigs (and near gigs) working with Steven Soderberg and David Lynch. I'll admit that I fawned over the guy, probably too much. I've agreed to send him a few issues of Cashiers du Cinemart. I just hope he doesn't take offense to my unkind words about TAkEDOWN (HACKERS 2).

I found today on the bus ride to the library that three out of five David Goodis fans are Jean-Pierre Melville fans as well. At least three out of the five of us that were on the bus. I'll be sharing the wealth with some folks in the coming weeks as they'd never heard of TWO MEN IN MANHATTAN or MAGNET OF DOOM, though I'll admit that I butchered their French titles.

All in all, it was a fantastic opportunity to interface with some fellow Goodis fans of all stripes and I think it will help me get some closure for the piece I've been penning (and mulling over) for the last few years. I have two more adaptations of Goodis work to track down -- an episode of the TV show "Bourbon Street Beat" and of the show "The Edge" -- and then I'll be able to finally put this beast to bed.

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