Back in December Joe Carducci and I did a joint book reading and Q&A at Permanent Records in Chicago. At the time, he was doing pre-promotion for “Stone Male—Requiem for the Living Picture” I’m reporting here that it’s done and due for release on April 26.
“The Western transplanted Greek nostos to the new world where an American hero stepped out from the chorus as the first filmmakers left NY, NJ, Phi and Chi for Colorado, Texas, and finally Hollywood. Carducci has worked on Stone Male since the 1990 publication of his rewrite of rock and roll history, Rock and the Pop Narcotic.
Now he traces the development of action-film Acting after the Western-makers went west. The realism of late 19th century filmed Actualities continued into these Westerns of the 1910s which featured cowboys and Indians born before the closing of the frontier in 1890. Their untheatrical style of acting developed further within the 2nd unit culture of the action genres in the sound era via John Wayne and others, until a Montgomery Clift took training from stuntman Richard Farnsworth for ‘Red River’, and a Marlon Brando spent his downtime on ‘One-Eyed Jacks’ studying his co-star Ben Johnson.
Finally, Carducci looks at the cultural collision of the sixties and seventies as Manhattan cinephiles reject the style triumphant in the careers of Bronson and Eastwood.”
Joe’s books and writing have never been known as “easy reads” but he never sacrifices completeness or insight for middle-ground myth-mongering. Just like his grasp of rock & roll history, his knowledge of film and, especially, the genre of the American Western, is extensive. I haven’t read an advance copy but we’ve talked about the subject at length. I’m sure it’ll be one of those frustrating, thorough texts that’ll flex your head (and your aim) at 30 paces when you really should be getting some sleep.
Pre-orders? Yep. At nightheronbooks.com/redoubt-press.html