Francis Ford Iowa

rushmore-132-x-196When I first saw Rushmore, I identified closely with the protagonist, Max Fischer, a kid who attempts to enact adult-sized dreams in a playground-sized world. And his stagings of feature films under the proscenium arch evoked something I can only call the shock of recognition: my own sixth-grade magnum opus was a five-reel Super-8 movie called “A Day to Die,” in which I directed myself as an Indiana Jones-type hero called “Rick Hawk.” I even wore a bandolier.

As I’ve gotten to know Daniel Kraus, I’ve found that we have some similar touchstones. And I’m guessing that if, for me, Rushmore was startling, for him, it must have been mind-blowing. As part of the lead-up to the release of his first novel, The Monster Variations, he’s digging up video of movies he made with his friends while growing up in Iowa and screening them at Francis Ford Iowa. And, yes, some of them were remakes of movies that he really liked.

Unlike me, Daniel grew up to be an honest-to-god talented filmmaker. But, as you’ll see from the apologetic annotations that accompany his clips, it wasn’t always obvious that things would turn out that way.



About the Author:

Keir Graff is Executive Editor of Booklist Publications and the author of five books. His most recent is the middle-grade novel, The Other Felix (2011). Follow him on Twitter at @Booklist_Keir.

3 Comments on "Francis Ford Iowa"

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  1. Donna Seaman says:

    This reminds me of the brilliant and hilarious British film, Son of Rambow? Look here:

  2. Daniel says:

    Keir, get “Rick Hawk” on YouTube, STAT! Then I’ll feature it on the blog. I’m hoping to lure more Francis Ford Iowas out of the woodwork.

  3. Keir says:

    Do you have a Super-8 projector I can borrow? And a video camera? And a YouTube account? Wait, I have my own YouTube account. And I’m pretty sure I have the film around somewhere….

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