Tag Archives: joan darling interview
Kim’s Video and Music is a famed unofficial landmark of NYC which stocks a wide variety of movies and records from the popular to the impossible-to-find, and has been around in the East Village of Manhattan for almost 30 years, in some form or another. There were five or six locations at one point, but over the last decade or so, they’ve been disappearing, and now it appears there will soon be none—on April 21st, it was announced that the final location, located on 1st Ave between E 7th street and St. Marks Place, will be closing sometime soon.
This has been sad news for a lot of people—none more so, I’m sure, than the owners and employees who have built and maintained this institution for so long. My heart goes out to them, and they have my deepest sympathies.
However, I’ve never had much interest in Kim’s, and I’d be lying if I said I care at all about its imminent closure. I’ve lived in this city all my life, but I’ve been there maybe twice—they’re overpriced, and I’m a deal hound. And although Eddie Huang’s recent eulogy to the store is brilliant, and does tug on my heart strings somewhat, I honestly don’t see this loss as much of a blow to the city I love, or its cinephile inhabitants. There has never been a better time in history to be a film fan, and there have never been more or better “portals”, as he so aptly puts it.
Joan Darling (bottom left), part of the cast of Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law (1971-1973)
Joan Darling entered show business as an actress on the New York theater scene in the 1960s, then became a fixture of early 70’s television. In 1974, she made the leap from acting to directing and quickly made history as one of the first and most successful women directors in television. She had an instant knack for it—her debut, Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, a soap opera parody, has become an enduring cult classic for its dark-edged humor and deep understanding of the desperation and sadness of the American home.
Highlights of her career include a Mary Tyler Moore episode, Chuckles Bites the Dust, which, for its deft tightrope-walk between comedy and pathos, TV Guide calls the greatest television episode ever; a classic M*A*S*H episode, The Nurses, which revolutionized the way the show portrayed women; and a leading role in an episode of The Psychiatrist, directed by a pre-Jaws, pre-Duel Spielberg.
These days, Joan teaches acting and directing classes at the Sundance Filmmakers Lab. She agreed to a phone interview, and in about an hour, I learned more about the arts of acting and directing than I ever thought possible: