A glimpse into an upcoming introduction for a Biography on the late filmmaker - Yvon Jean Guillermin. Written to preface and champion a filmmaker who's life has not only inspired mine, but has also through kismet, destiny or some other hands of the universe crossed paths with mine after his passing.
This highlight is gleaned from 15 pages that are still being edited and was written as an introduction for my chapter on "The Towering Inferno", and intended to celebrate my love for the filmmaker's body of work that has forever altered my life.
“I was forever altered. I had just been delivered from Skull Island to the top of the World Trade Center and experienced my very first bittersweet tragedy on screen. John Guillermin had grabbed hold of my passions, my primal fears, and my hopes. And to this day, he still has hold of that 8-year-old boy’s imagination. ”
March 10th 1975,
On March 10th, 1975, my parents took me to the local movie theater in St. Anne, Missouri to celebrate my 7th birthday. I was ecstatic to see the film that had been highlighting the marquee for several months: “The Towering Inferno”. Now over 40 years later, I still have vivid memories of the opening frame and the impassioned score that seized my childhood attention until the house lights came back on 2 hours and 45 minutes later. I can still feel the enthusiasm and hear the buzz of audiences as they left the theater. This was the first of many birthdays celebrated at the cinema as well as my first exposure to the magnificence of John Guillermin’s work. And it would certainly not be my last.
One year later our family migrated to Michigan with the addition of my then newborn brother. In December of 1976, during a brutal winter, my parents would once again change my life forever by surprising our entire family, newborn included, to see the film that I had been consumed with… “King Kong”. I lucidly recall the “larger than life” experience. The giant cardboard Kong artwork loomed in the lobby. The vast theater was so overcrowded, my parents allowed me to sit off to the side by myself in order to get a better view. The theater lights dimmed, and the projectors illuminated the silver screen with John Guillermin’s imagery. John Barry’s music triumphantly echoed throughout the theater and I was hooked. I would never be the same again. When the house lights came back on some two hours later… I was forever altered. I had just been delivered from Skull Island to the top of the World Trade Center and experienced my very first bittersweet tragedy on screen. John Guillermin had grabbed hold of my passions, my primal fears, and my hopes. And to this day, he still has hold of that 8-year-old boy’s imagination...
The lovely and brilliant Mary Guillermin, is editing the contributions of nearly a dozen talented authors for this love note celebrating her late husband. This is the first & only Biography on a filmmaker and passionate artist that is well over due his time in the spotlight!
I'll update on the progress as it nears publication.