Shepard & Dark | Chicago Reader

Shepard & Dark

89 minutes 2013

Timing is everything: filmmaker Treva Wurmfeld set out to document the 50-year friendship between playwright Sam Shepard and writer-archivist Johnny Dark, and wound up recording its breakdown. Shepard is a restless traveler and moody drinker, whereas Dark is a mellow stoner who sticks to home. They lived together for over a decade, when Shepard was married to Dark's stepdaughter, O-Lan, and remained friends even after the playwright left her for Jessica Lange. His relationship with Lange now ended, Shepard is shown living in a motel and angling to sell his and Dark's massive collection of correspondence, photos, and home movies for a book deal. The stress of their reunion yields fascinating insights into Shepard's work.

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