Last week’s mini-discussion of Arthur Miller got me to wondering why musicians and painters have so much more frequently been the subjects of picture book biographies than have actors, writers and filmmakers.
Is it because painters’ visual imagery and musicians’ minutes-long recordings are much more immediately accessible to children than the creative work page, stage and screen? Or is there some other reason?
I think you may be onto it. The only thing my kids have seen of Brando is his turn as Jor-El in the first Christopher Reeve Superman film. The next thing they could probably stomach is “On the Waterfront,” but that’s a bit old for them. The Godfather? You can sort of explain what organized crime is about to a kid, but . . . it’s gonna be a few years before we put that on their Netflix queue.
I think that, unless we’re talking about someone like Frank Capra, it’s going to be hard to profile a filmmaker or actor whose work is aimed at adults. Jimmy Stewart, you could do.
In particular, I don’t see a picture biography of Dennis Hopper anytime soon.