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Artistic Suicide: A Book

"Artistic Suicide" presents dozens of interviews with leading talents in film, theatre, and dance to discuss how we can salvage and save the arts.

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Artistic Suicide


    From the time I began to write "Follies of God" (Knopf, 2014), a book about Tennessee Williams and his special relationships with a remarkable group of women, I also spoke to others in theatre and film and dance who had loved and worked with the playwright. Almost all of them were fascinated by a topic that obsessed Tennessee: Artistic suicide. Was it possible that artists and the forum in which they worked were sabotaging themselves? How could we change or alter the path of destruction on which the arts seemed to be stuck? 
 

     Tennessee was the first to ask the question, and I took it a group of artists who were happy to answer it. Among those interviewed were:

  • Eva Le Gallienne
  • Bette Davis
  • Elia Kazan
  • Alec Guinness
  • John Gielgud
  • Katharine Hepburn
  • Agnes de Mille
  • Martha Graham
  • Anna Sokolow
  • Arthur Miller
  • Arthur Penn
  • Sidney Lumet
  • Irene Worth
  • Maureen Stapleton
  • Marian Seldes
  • Lee Grant
  • Marlon Brando
  • Jessica Tandy

     Both my publisher and a producer interested in developing this book into a one-hour documentary have requested additional interviews and a search for archival materials. I expect this additional work  to take four to six weeks. I have received a grant toward this work, but require an additional $2500 to complete this work by mid-July.

    Everyone contributing to the development of "Artistic Suicide" will be credited in both the published book and the documentary.

     In addition, anyone contributing to the book/film, who also works in the arts, will be asked to contribute their own ideas as to how the arts have suffered and how they can be saved. 

  • Please tell as many people as you can about this project.
  • If you would like to be interviewed for this project, please let me know.

Material that will be included in "Artistic Suicide" can be found at jamesgrissom.blogspot.com (a blog created for "Follies of God") and at the "Follies of God" Facebook page. There have been requests for a separate "Artistic Suicide" Facebook page, but that will probably go up as we approach production/publication time.

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