AIFF on the Small Screen: Shepard & Dark

Shepard & Dark

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89 minutes
Director: Treva Wurmfeld
Year: AIFF2013
Country: USA

Remember when close friends corresponded by letters? When intimate thoughts about life, family, and mortality were written on the page? This is the kind of friendship that Sam Shepard and Johnny Dark shared — a beautiful but complicated relationship maintained over fifty years and hundreds of letters. Shepard was a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and actor. Dark, his former housemate, has been his close friend since their beatnik days in Greenwich Village and now lives a solitary life in New Mexico with his dogs, working at a supermarket deli counter. At first glance, Shepard and Dark are an odd duo — the restless, iconic writer and his happily reclusive pal. When the pair agree to collaborate on a book of their correspondence, it forces them to confront painful memories and personal shortcomings. Shepard & Dark is an honest and often funny meditation on love, companionship, and loneliness, and the remarkable connection of the written word. [mature]