Friday, January 2, 2015

AFS Viewfinders Podcast Episode 2: Louis Black - Growing Up in Cinema-Mad New York in the '60s

The new AFS Viewfinders podcast episode is up. You can listen to it here or search AFS Viewfinders in iTunes to listen to it there. In this installment we talk to Austin Chronicle editor, SXSW co-founder, AFS founding board member and Texas Film Awards Lifetime Achievement Award winner Louis Black.
Louis Black, an unidentified Disney staffer and Leonard Maltin

Black grew up in Teaneck, New Jersey, just a short hop from Manhattan, which during the '60s had the most thriving film exhibition scene imaginable. In the podcast he talks about how he and his best friend Len (known to the rest of us as Leonard Maltin) used to spend all weekend going into the city, browsing through film stills and memorabilia at the many bookstores and bookstalls near Union Square, then visiting museum screenings where they had to ask adults to get tickets for them, and then attending 16mm screenings at some of New York's film societies, which met in leaky office buildings and basements.

Black recalls encounters with the man who inspired Robert Bloch to create Norman Bates, and a memorable meeting with Buster Keaton, while Samuel Beckett stood nearby and tapped his foot. Our conversation digresses at times into television of comic books but I hope you'll forgive us, it all helps to paint a picture of this marvelous, irretrievable culture.

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