By Other Voices voices@moviecitynews.com

Larry Gross on the Passing of L. M. Kit Carson

Kit Carson’s passing really got me.

I knew him on and off for thirty years.

Definitely one of those rare guys in the film universe who danced to his own kind of music.

Never figured out Hollywood to Hollywood’s detriment. A terrific writer. I wished my stuff was as good as his.

David Holzman’s Diary, Paris, Texas, American Dreamer, Bottle Rocket, Breathless, all of which he contributed to substantially albeit in varying degrees, constitute an authentic track record. He also wrote an article on Hollywood’s New Wave for Esquire that was one of the few journalistic pieces to become part of the history it was covering.

Kit wasn’t easy. Lived deeper inside his own head than even the rest of us who live inside our own heads. He could disappear on you, and you didn’t know why. Was fairly quick to take offense. There was a disappointed kid there somewhere. That being said, he was consistently funny, smart, had fantastic artistic taste and judgment. Whatever time you had with him left you wishing you could find a way to have more. And now there won’t be any more. Sad.

One Response to “Larry Gross on the Passing of L. M. Kit Carson”

  1. Greg says:

    I loved him in RUNNING ON EMPTY. His scenes with Christine Lahti were something else. Magnificent acting chops as well……

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“A shot is a story. A shot on its own should be a piece of a story. Which is why I talk a lot about watching films, even the films we’re working on, with the sound off. Just to analyze how the film works, because a film should work for an audience without any sound. The biggest problem I see is that someone may have a superficial understanding of what a shot is propositionally, but they don’t have an understanding of how all of these shots are part of a family that needs to connect, and so you’ll get something that’s like a sentence arranged poorly with six nouns in a row. That surprises me, because I think that’s something that can be learned. Some things can’t be, but that can. It’s a grammar. In a classroom I could walk somebody through the difference between a sequence in which the filmmaker has a deep understanding of how images connect, and someone who doesn’t. It’s not really an intellectual process. Some people are just born with it and are just sort of savants at that deep mathematical understanding of shot construction.  I’m better than I used to be, but there are some people I’m just never going to catch. Spielberg. His staging ability. I’m never going to catch him. But when you’re trying to figure out how to get better—I’m not competitive in the sense of looking around at other filmmakers and comparing myself to them. What I do have to think about in trying to navigate myself through a career is: what can I get better at, and what do I have that I can enhance that somebody else doesn’t have?”
~ Steven Soderbergh

“It’s not going to be huge. He and I had been corresponding for a while. When I finally met him, he said, ‘We should collaborate.’ When John Ashbery says that to you, you don’t say when, you just say yes. It has not been easy to conjure this out of nothing. Sean Price Williams and I spent time with him, and it will appear on FilmStruck before the year is out…. I have figured out how to streamline things. I still have dreams of making movies with bigger budgets, and they might be considered to have more of a voice in pop culture. I don’t want to let go of that. I also realize that you grow up a lot of your life with wishful thinking and waiting. I have figured out ways to avoid doing that. I am working on a bigger movie about Nikola Tesla, set in the past, so it is not an easy film to make. I am also working on an adaptation of Don DeLillo’s ‘White Noise.’ That seems more likely to catch fire.”
Michael Almereyda Steps It Up