WATCHERS OF THE SKY
A PASSIONATE DOCUMENTARY ILLUMINATING THE POWERS OF GLOBAL ACTIVISM AND LOBBYING EFFORTS TO END TO GENOCIDE
MSophia PR, Press Day, Jan 16, 2015
MUSIC BOX FILMS HOME ENTERTAINMENT ANNOUNCES
AN ENGROSSING CHRONICLE OF THE UNIQUE FRIENDSHIP BETWEEN LEGENDARY PLAYWRIGHT SAM SHEPARD AND JOURNEYMAN JOHNNY DARK
FIRST-TIME DIRECTOR TREVA WURMFELD’S IRRESISTIBLE DOCUMENTARY FEATURES INTIMATE INTERVIEWS AND FOOTAGE AND A NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN TROVE OF RARE PHOTOGRAPHS AND HOME MOVIES
“A FASCINATING JOURNEY! Unfolds—just like real life—in ways that are honest and unexpected.” –Bruce DeMara, TORONTO STAR
“A thoughtfully observed portrait of a romantic friendship.” –Michelle Orange, THE VILLAGE VILLAGE
“The stories Sam Shepard and his best friend Johnny Dark tell, triggered by old letters and photographs, are tragic and tender, full of the passion of lives lived fully on their own terms.” -Steve Dollar, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
“Offers not just an intimate perspective on the playwright’s biography but some touching reflections on the comforts and perils of long-term friendship.” -John DeFore, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
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 SHEPARD & DARK 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).
SHEPARD & 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 SHEPARD & DARK on DVD and VOD for the first time on October 22, 2013 (prebook September 17th ). The DVD disc of SHEPARD & DARK will include a host of bonus features and carry the suggested retail price of $ 29.95
Declared to be “One of the 50 Best Undistributed Films of 2012” by Film Comment, SHEPARD & DARK garnered universal acclaim on the national film festival circuit. It took home Best Documentary and Best Editing honors at the 2012 Woodstock Film Festival and was the winner of the Nesnadny and Schwartz Documentary Film Competition at the 2013 Cleveland International Film Festival.
With rare intimacy and the access to a rich archive of photographs and old family movies, SHEPARD & DARK unveils the past in a way that speaks to Shepard’s work, current state of mind, and arresting cinematic presence, opposite the auspicious debut of Johnny Dark.
SHEPARD & DARK — Synopsis:
SHEPARD & DARK paints an indelible portrait of the complex friendship between Sam Shepard Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright (Buried Child) 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 1960s 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.
Shepard & Dark Music Box Films Home Entertainment STREET DATE: Oct. 22, 2013 Pre-book Date: September 17, 2013 SRP: $ 29.95 DVD Director: Treva Wurmfed Cast: Sam Shepard, Johnny Dark Running Time: 89 minutes Format: Widescreen 16×9 Sound Format: 5.1 Dolby Digital Rating: NR Country: U.S. Language: English