×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Shepard and Dark

The ups and downs of a decades-long friendship are charted with warmth and sensitivity in "Shepard and Dark," documentarian Treva Wurmfeld's intimate portrait of playwright-actor Sam Shepard and his far less accomplished buddy Johnny Dark.

With:
With: Sam Shepard, Johnny Dark.

The ups and downs of a decades-long friendship are charted with warmth and sensitivity in “Shepard and Dark,” documentarian Treva Wurmfeld’s intimate portrait of playwright-actor Sam Shepard and his far less accomplished buddy Johnny Dark. Spanning 18 months, the pic follows the pair as they sift through the reams of soul-baring correspondence that have passed between them and ponder how to package the letters in book form. Somewhat taking the place of that unrealized project, Wurmfeld’s film subtly reveals the tensions that emerge between two kindred spirits with vastly different views of work. A limited but appreciative audience awaits.

Shepard devotees will naturally find the film essential, in part for its unstinting focus on the artist’s early ’80s decision to leave the surrogate family he had established with Dark in order to take up with Jessica Lange. At the same time, Wurmfeld is careful to locate the universal truths in the men’s friendship and to engage even those who’ve never heard of Shepard. Among the pic’s gently observed subjects is that of whether a couple’s collective talent for disclosure and reflection inevitably threatens to turn toxic over the long haul.

Popular on Variety

Shepard and Dark

Documentary

Production: A Hobby Films presentation of a Vile Bohea production. Produced by Amy Hobby. Executive producers, Emily Wachtel, Treva Wurmfeld. Directed by Treva Wurmfeld.

Crew: Camera (color, HD), Wurmfeld; editor, Sandra Adair; music, Graham Reynolds; sound, Wurmfeld; supervising sound editor, Jacob Ribicoff; re-recording mixer, Ribicoff; associate producer, Adair. Reviewed at Toronto Film Festival (TIFF Docs), Sept. 12, 2012. Running time: 88 MIN.

Cast: With: Sam Shepard, Johnny Dark.

More Scene

  • Cara Delevingne'Carnival Row' TV show premiere,

    Cara Delevingne Talks Immigration, Taylor Swift's Battle With Scooter Braun

    Cara Delevingne, whose faerie character in “Carnival Row” finds herself washed ashore as a refugee in a foreign land, said she was immediately drawn by the show’s fantastical take on issues of immigration and assimilation. “It’s a cause that I have been involved in for a long time,” Delevingne told Variety at the premiere of [...]

  • John Travolta, Fred Durst. John Travolta,

    John Travolta Recalls Fans Breaking Into His House: 'I Was Scared the First Time'

    Nobody can accuse John Travolta of not being gracious to his fans, whether it’s an autograph, a selfie or, you know, a home invasion or two. “I’ve only had two people that actually invaded my house,” Travolta told Variety at the premiere of “The Fanatic” at the Egyptian Theater on Thursday night. “They were just [...]

  • Sublime Primetime

    How Emmy-Nominated Writers’ Rooms Keep Politics in Mind

    In a world filled with elections, social movements and national tragedies, how open should the doors of a writers’ room actually be? For some of this year’s Emmy-nominated shows, those doors are wide open. Before the 71st annual Primetime Emmy Awards air on Sept. 22, the Writers Guild of America West and Writers Guild Foundation, [...]

  • 50 Cent Power S6 Premiere

    50 Cent, Snoop Dogg & Trey Songz 'Power' Up New York City for Massive Season 6 Premiere

    “Power” is entering its final season, but you would never know if you walked by Madison Square Garden in Manhattan on Tuesday night. Starz pulled out all the stops for its ratings powerhouse “Power,” throwing a massive premiere event, complete with a full-length concert at Madison Square Garden from Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and a [...]

  • Diane Warren'Late Night' Film Premiere, Arrivals,

    Songs of Hope to Honor Diane Warren, Marc Shaiman, Boi-1da, More at 15th Annual Event

    Cancer research and treatment center City of Hope today announced the initial lineup of presenters and honorees who will celebrate the song and songwriter at its 15th annual Songs of Hope event. Among the music and entertainment industry VIPs in attendance will be veteran executive and producer Clive Davis, producer Boi-1da (Drake, Kendrick Lamar), award-winning [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content