AirTalk for April 8, 2011

The influence of Arthur Penn

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John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images

Arthur Penn was the director and producer of such films as The Miracle Worker and Bonnie and Clyde.

Director Arthur Penn is perhaps best known for Bonnie and Clyde and Alice’s Restaurant – a pair films that deftly tapped into the zeitgeist of late 60s counterculture. But Penn’s career spanned Broadway, Hollywood and the Golden Age of television - influencing pop culture in ways still felt today. After becoming interested in cinema while serving in the army during World War II, Penn returned to New York and built a reputation as a stage and television director. Penn’s stage version of Helen Keller’s life, The Miracle Worker won four Tony Awards before he adapted it as a feature film - which then went on to win a pair of Academy Awards for its leads, Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke. His other films include the Left Handed Gun with Paul Newman, Little Big Man with Dustin Hoffman and Night Moves. Author Nat Segaloff’s new book, Arthur Penn: American Director tells the story of Penn’s unique and influential life in reverential detail. Which of Arthur Penn’s films resonates most in modern cinema?

Guest:

Nat Segaloff, author of Arthur Penn: American Director


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