Friday, August 9, 2013

The Big Screen in the Sky

Werth here. I am heartbroken to announce that actress Karen Black has passed away after a long battle with cancer. Black came to prominence in the game-changing Easy Rider (1969) and her stardom seemed somehow linked to the new era in movies. She excelled at playing flawed characters, her unique looks masking deeper, more complicated psyches. She worked with some of the great directors, including Hitchcock (Family Plot (1976)) and Robert Altman (Nashville (1975)) and held her own opposite screen legends like Jack Nicholson (Five Easy Pieces (1970)), Robert Redford (The Great Gatsby (1974)), and Bette Davis (Burnt Offerings (1976)). As the wild era of the Seventies faded, so too did Black—almost as if this amazing creature could not breathe the stale air of corporate Eighties Hollywood. She was too complex to symbolize anything as broad as "The Seventies Woman," but for me, she will always represent the ecstatic possibilities that the Seventies brought to cinema.

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