Friday, August 26, 2016

John Wayne in “Red River” is the September Classic Movie in Bigfork

Red River” is a 1948 Western starring John Wayne and Montgomery Clift, produced and directed by Howard Hanks, shot on location, and full of action, tension, hostile Natives, some comic relief from Walter Brennan, and even a love interest provided by Joanne Dru. It has all the making of a great movie, and it succeeded in what might be the greatest of its kind ever made. “Red River” will be shown by Jack Nachbar at The Edge Center in Bigfork on September 8th at 6:30PM free of charge. The movie will be accompanied by Jack’s presentation providing a better understanding of the film at the time period of the picture's release.

To really be appreciated, “Red River” needs the big screen to let you take in the scope of this movie. It is a movie about a Texas rancher, Wayne, who has built a successful ranch and is now almost broke after the Civil War.  Wayne and “adopted” son, Clift, and their ranch hands, take cattle from Texas to Kansas looking for a better market…being the first to open the Chisholm Trail. Tensions fly along with  bullets driving away raiding Natives, and a woman to complicated things. The screenplay is based on a serialized story in “Saturday evening Post.” The movie was selected by the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “Culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. In June 2008, the American Film Institute (AFI) listed “Red River” as the fifth-best Western ever made. Ref:

Director John Ford, upon seeing Wayne in this film, was quoted as saying, “I never knew the big son-of-a-bitch, could act”, which resulted in Ford casting Wayne in more challenging roles such as “The Searchers (1956).”  Ref:

John Wayne, (1907-1979) was born Marion Mitchell Morrison in Iowa.  John Wayne’s family relocated to Los Angeles when he was nine. He started his movie career as a stunt rider and worked his way up to being a first rate star. Through his career he won an Oscar, a Golden Globe, and a Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement, but his most endearing legacy to his fans was the character the “Duke” played on and off the screen. This persona has been the basis of many stars screen personality and it has served them well. In this film, he plays a rough and demanding boss, but it never affected the popularity of his fans. He was among the top box office draws for three decades which made him very special to studios.  An enduring American icon, he epitomized rugged masculinity and is famous for his demeanor, including his distinctive calm voice, walk, and height," Ref:

Montgomery Clift nervous about playing a role that challenged the bigger and more experienced Wayne.  The director Howard Hawks, gave him advice that cliff play the role with a David against Goliath attitude. That work very well for Clift when he needed it.

Edward Montgomery “Monty” Clift(1920-1966) was a film and stage actor, best known for his portrayal of moody and sensitive young men. He is best remembered for this role in “Red River.”  He was among the original “method actors” in Hollywood. As a youngster did not adjust well to school and, instead, picked an acting career with his debut on Broadway when he was 15. At 20 he was in a Broadway production which won the 1941 Pulitzer Prize.  At 25 he moved to Hollywood and his first movie role was this one in “Red River.” He has been honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and received four Oscar Nominations. Ref:

Walter Andrew Brennan (1894-1974), who plays Groot the cook, is one of only three men to win three acting Oscars.  School gave him an interest in acting and he began to perform in vaudeville at the age of 15. After military service he eventually settled in Los Angeles and became a movie actor. His physical appearance lent itself to playing character acting parts, which was just fine with him and it served it him well in over 200 movies. Ref:

If you still need a little more coaxing to come out to see this movie, consider what one critic said about the movie. A noted New York Times reviewer of the period said…“it stands sixteen hands above the level of routine horse opera these days. So strap on your trusty six-shooters and race to the wind-swept Capitol, you lovers of good old Western fiction. It's round-up and brandin' time! From the moment this Howard Hawks' super-special fades in on the open Western plains and picks up a wagon-train of settlers heading out towards the perilous frontier, it's plain that you're in for a picture with the genuine tang of the outdoors. For the beauty and scope of that first look is an unmistakable tip that Mr. Hawks has used real Western scenery for its most vivid and picturesque effects. And from the moment (right at the beginning) that John Wayne and Walter Brennan cut away from the train and strike off for their own realms, you know that you're riding with stout men.” Ref:

So if you would like to see what is considered the best cattle drive movie ever made, on the “Big Screen ” mosey on over to of the Edge Center in Bigfork. You can see this movie free of charge.  Some appropriate snacks will be served courtesy of Jack and his wife/projectionist, Lynn.  Place: The Edge Center for the Arts, Bigfork. Date and time: Thursday September 8that 6:30PM. It will be worth going to Bigfork, because Jack will give you lots of background about the movie and a cartoon of the period will give you some laughs.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Art Gallery Exhibit Shows the Heart of an Artist at the Edge Center Gallery

The August exhibit in the Edge Center Gallery is David Richter:  The Heart of an Artist. Judging from some of this artist’s work you might suspect a witty, humorous, sensitive, and thoughtful person. For instance, compare Dr. Pepper which combines a can of Dr. Pepper and an array of hot peppers with an earlier piece depicting apples and deer antlers.  Then there are the images of faces showing yet another contrasting style. They all provide a wonderful range of color, subjects and feelings you can enjoy.  Come and see the differences from this talented artist at the Edge Center Gallery, next to the Bigfork School, from August 4 until September 3. The Opening Reception is Friday, August 5 from 5-7 pm with refreshments to enjoy while looking at the art.  Normal Gallery hours are from 10:00-4:00 on Thursday, Fridays, and Saturdays.    

David Richter has loved art for as long as he can remember.  He says, ”I still have memories of spending the entire day lost in my colored pencils and crayons. Not much has changed; I still spend entire days alone with my colored pencils. The only thing that changed is the freedom I had as a child, not a care in the world. Just me and my art.” 

Richter works principally in colored pencil. This is not the colored pencil of most children.  He explains, “I love the translucent look I can achieve with colored pencil. I can build up layer after layer to achieve my final look I am after.”  Although colored pencil work is usually called “drawing”, Richter prefers to call them paintings for two reasons.  His color is intense and it is hard to tell it from a work using paint.  Also, in his experimenting, he often uses mineral spirits along with colored pencils.  When added correctly with a brush or q-tip, it turns colored pencil beautifully fluid, making his work look more painterly. 

Bigfork resident, David Richter, finished art school recently.  His introduction to Renaissance artists Holbein, Durer and Titian has influenced his own realistic style. He is grateful that art school “did not dull my love for the process.” 

The exhibit, David Richter: The Heart of an Artist is in the Edge Center Gallery, next to the Bigfork School, from August 4 until September 3.   The Opening Reception is Friday, August 5 from 5-7 pm with refreshments to enjoy while looking at the art.   The Gallery hours are from 10:00-4:00 on Thursday, Fridays, and Saturdays.