Monday, June 22, 2020

Director Joel Schumacher Is Dead at 80

Director Joel Schumacher, whose "St. Elmo's Fire" further fueled my desire to move to the East Coast, has died at 80. Schumacher, who was also at the helm of "The Lost Boys," "Flatliners," "Flawless,"  childhood favorite "The Incredible Shrinking Woman" and turning the Batman franchise gay, died in New York City after a yearlong battle with cancer.

It's hard to overstate what an influence "St. Elmo's Fire" had on 18-year-old me. After lapping up films like "Pretty in Pink" and "The Breakfast Club" in high school, it was the aspirational celluloid moment that reminded me that I wasn't going to be stuck in my parents' house in Phoenix my entire life -- and that I too could create whatever kind of life I wanted for myself, with a big group of friends in a big city. (At least I found the big city!)

While the film was in no way explicitly gay -- if you don't count the casting of Rob Lowe -- there were nods to homosexuality in Jules's belief that Kevin was a closet case -- that fix-up with her decorator, Ron D'Alessandro, was as cringeworthy as it was plausible! -- and his Holden Caulfield-esque interactions with the prostitute Naomi ("You want a date?).

My friend Greg and I were in Birmingham, Ala., for the Davis Cup in 2009 but dropped everything one night when we found out "St. Elmo's Fire" was screening as part of a revival downtown at the luminous Alabama Theatre!


My husband's first crush was Charles Grodin ...

Grocery shopping with Pat Kramer

Read his New York Times obit now HERE.

1 comment:

JP Aragon said...

He had a great eye for young male actors.