Monday, December 3, 2007

Writing For Kinski: Sam Shepard


Illinois native San Shepard came into this world in the late fall of 1943. The child of two teachers, Shepard spent much of his time as a youth working on a farm before he graduated high school and briefly attended college. He quickly dropped out though and moved to New York to be a part of a traveling theater group.
His famed play writing began in the mid sixties, and Shepard found himself firmly entrenched in the counterculture movement of the day. This was perhaps personified best for his subversive screen play for Michelangelo Antonioni's incredible ZABRISKIE POINT in 1970, and his coupling with New York punk poetress Patti Smith.

Shepard would began acting in the mid seventies on the screen, and his career since has been an intriguing mixture of performing, music, and of course writing for the stage and screen. In his career he has won a Pulitzer Prize, garnered an Academy award nomination, won many Obie's and has been honored with many other awards and nominations.
His most recent play is KICKING A DEAD HORSE from earlier this year, and his most recent screenplay is 2005's DON'T COMER KNOCKING for none other than Wim Wenders.
It is his first collaboration with Wenders though, PARIS, TEXAS, that remains arguably his greatest contribution to the screen. His script is absolutely haunting and among the best in modern English language film.
For more on Shepard please visit this fine tribute site.