Okay, those Dos Equis commercials are good for a chuckle, but wouldn’t it be nice if a man like that really once roamed the Earth? There might not have been a more interesting man than George Plimpton, who lived a life worthy of several movies. The author, editor, and bon vivant edited The Paris Review (where he interviewed Hemingway and published a young Philip Roth), establishing a new literary force in the post-war period. Meanwhile, the author found time to quarterback the Detroit Lions (pictured), join the circus and wrestle the gun away from Robert Kennedy’s assassin, Sirhan Sirhan. He also threw many swanky parties.
And he tricked a whole lot of Mets fans, a feat not quite as impressive (sorry Mets fans).
All of that sublime nuttiness mentioned before served as material for the more than thirty books he wrote and edited, including Paper Lion, The Bogey Man and Out of My League. Plimpton, who died in 2003, believed writers should actually participate in what they write about and not simply serve as passive observers. A life filled with celebrity hobnobbing, unending media coverage and absurd exploits is built for film, and now that film is almost here.
Documentaries have been made about Paris Review founders before, and now Plimpton might be getting screen time in the new documentary Plimpton! by filmmakers Luke Poling and Tom Bean. (Poling has production credits with The Pink Panther 2 and 21 and worked as a staff assistant on The Departed; Bean has worked with Poling on No Good Scripts, a script coverage service that apparently offered two readings instead of the typical one.) They’ve launched a public funding campaign on Kickstarter to raise the $25,000 needed to finish their film. According to the filmmakers, the biggest costs are tied up in licensing footage of Plimpton from his television show, which is owned by Warner Brothers, and of a cameo he once made on The Simpsons.
Bean and Poling probably like The Simpsons about as much as this guy likes cameras.
The Kickstarter pitch: