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Remembering Bob Clark

I was working from home on Wednesday afternoon when a friend phoned me with the news that director Bob Clark had been killed that morning in head-on traffic collision on the Pacific Coast Highway. As is so often the case, the driver of the oncoming car was drunk, and largely uninjured. Such a loss would be a tragedy under any circumstances, but Clark's struck an especially personal chord, given that just 11 days earlier, I had found myself seated next to him at the dinner that gave rise to the "Grindhouse Gang" feature that appears in the current issue of L.A. Weekly.

Clark was in spirited form that evening, reminiscing about a long and remarkably varied career that stretched from his early days as a shoestring horror auteur in the Miami film industry to the modern-day holiday perennial A Christmas Story and the surprise hit Baby Geniuses. And yet, for all his success, Clark appeared genuinely humbled by the praise Quentin Tarantino and others present that evening lavished on his work. Upon learning of Clark's death, I did the only thing I could think of, which was to contact the other "Grindhouse Gang" participants, all of whom were similarly shocked and dismayed by the news. Remembering the enthusiasm with which Clark had talked about several upcoming projects, Brian Trenchard-Smith said "It was as though he'd gotten a new lease on his career." A lease that has now all too prematurely been revoked.Click here to read Scott Foundas' interview with the Grindhouse Gang; Bob Clark, Quentin Tarantino, Brian Trenchard-Smith, Robert Rodriguez, Richard Rush, Allan Arkush, George Armitage and Lewis Teague

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