Thursday, August 14, 2008

Grandma meets Gus

My review of Daniel Bowers' second film, Gus, is in today's St. Louis American, complete with a couple of stupid typos the editor (me) let pass by; and it's posted on our website with the art from a completely different story (ooops, they're working on that). But it's out there, in advance of the DVD release party this Friday at Mad Art Gallery.

In an email exchange, Daniel Bowers said he was entertaining my idea of also screening the corporate video of the company that transformed the gritty and quirky Gus' Fashions into yet more downtown luxury lofts, as I suggested in a previous post. It would make for quite a contrast: old vs. new St. Louis, or (more like it) the real vs. the speculative St. Louis.

My friend Andrew Torch, a card-carrying Surrealist and antique toy merchant, responded to that previous post with a comment that I think is worth putting in a more visible location here:


This brings back one (of many) memories of the colorful man. "Grandma meets Gus." I like to witness the bizarre interactions of chance encounters (a new series of paintings I'm working on investigates this further, like what happens when/if a penguin meets a goat). I took my Aunt and Grandmother to Chris' Pancakes on the Hill for a late lunch. Holding court in the sun room was Gus with some family and an entourage of wonderful Hill folk, the kind who make St. Louis a special place to live. After 15 minutes of Gus running around talking to everyone left in the sunroom, stories start to roll.

One visitor to the pancake house that day was a former minor league ball player and had apparently attended school on the Hill. A quick run-down of everyone who might have lived on the Hill during this 10-year time span commenced. It was like a bombastic oral history tradition that you would have loved, Chris.

Grandma, near 90, a product of the Depression and South City (not the Hill), was amused at Gus, the voice, the charm, the total memory recall of a thousand faces and places. ... I just watched her face for 10 minutes straight, then she says in a rather loud voice, "Who the hell is that man?!" That is Gus.

And Gus, being Gus, came over and introduced himself to her.


Picture of director Daniel Bowers with vintage photo of Gus Torregrossa from the Gus MySpace page.

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