Ford Madox Ford: A Man Mad About Writing
Ford Madox Ford: A Man Mad About Writing
"Literary citizen of the world" and forever the writer's writer, Ford Madox Ford is reimagined on film for a new generation.
"Literary citizen of the world" and forever the writer's writer, Ford Madox Ford is reimagined on film for a new generation. Read more
About this project
On behalf of the entire film team, I'd like to thank everyone who has been a part of this Kickstarter campaign. The process has been really amazing and even though we may not make our goal this time around, the work and the campaign will continue this spring and summer and this film will be made.
I believe that Ford is the most important and relevant literary voice to be re-discovered and re-imagined by today's readers and writers. Stay tuned for the next step. We may use Kickstarter again. And if we do, we will return more determined and organized in an effort to succeed on behalf of all literary citizens of the world.
Paul Lewis, Producer
On behalf of everyone associated with Ford Madox Ford: A Man Mad About Writing, I would like to welcome you to our Kickstarter Campaign. We are excited to share our film-journey with the wider world. This film is an unapologetic and literary look at this experimental, modernist bohemian-in-tweed who often appears more contemporary and relevant today than he did while he was living.
Why Kickstarter? Kickstarter allows us to engage the global combined community of those who already know of Ford, those who would like to get to know him, and those who are simply interested in progressing the story of an extraordinary literary voice, a voice still echoing and making his spirit felt today.
“This film isn't meant to be just a biography of an author's life but an ambient exploration of a literary nature. We want you to feel like you've just had a walk with Ford ... or a conversation over a "long, long lunch.”
— Paul Lewis
WHO IS FORD MADOX FORD?
Ford Madox Ford is considered one of our finest modernist writers and one of the greatest literary editors in 20th century letters. He is best known as the author of the novels The Good Soldier, the Parade's End tetralogy and The Fifth Queen, but wrote over 75 other books.
Ford also co-authored three books with Joseph Conrad — Romance, The Inheritors and Nature of a Crime. He was both founder and editor of the groundbreaking literary magazine, The English Review, which brought together some of the finest writers of the pre-World War l period, including Thomas Hardy, Henry James, Joseph Conrad, D.H. Lawrence and more. He fought and was wounded during the war, survived and recovered. In the early 20's he found himself in Paris. Once again he would launch a literary magazine that would define a new world of letters - The Transatlantic Review. In it, he published, as well as many others, James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, Hilda Doolittle and Gertrude Stein.
In the 20's and 30's Ford spent his time mainly moving between France and New York, living the last ten years of his life alongside the young American painter, Janice Biala. It was also in this period that he wrote some of his best fictionalized memoirs, including It Was the Nightingale. He died in the summer of 1939 in Deauville, France, while traveling from New York to Provence. Along with Biala, his funeral was attended by just two others.
Graham Greene on Ford:
“... I don't suppose failure disturbed him much: he had never really believed in human happiness, his middle life had been made miserable by passion, and he had come through — with his humour intact, his stock of unreliable anecdotes, the kind of enemies a man ought to have, and a half-belief in a posterity which would care for good writing.”
For complete information on all aspects of this film's production, please visit our website: www.fordmadoxford.com
WHY FUNDRAISING NOW?
Funds raised in the campaign will be used for critical editing and post-production work to complete the film for commercial release. Funds will also be used to help market the film for screening and broadcast here in the U.S. and in Europe.
Until now, much of the production has been achieved through the almost volunteer efforts of our key personnel and the generosity of the participants. They've given generously of their time and talent. But to finish our film in the next four months or so, cold hard cash is needed to ensure that what was begun with passion and blind faith is finished properly, as intended.
We are very confident that meeting our Kickstarter goal will result in a strong, completed film available for release by summer 2013.
Producer / Writer: Paul Lewis
Director of Photography: Ryan Poe
Associate Producer / Post-Production Supervisor: Kelley Baker
Principle On-Camera Participants:
Max Saunders: Ford Biographer / Professor of English, Kings College London
Sara Haslam: Senior Lecturer, The Open University
Paul Skinner: Independent Scholar and Writer
Alan Judd: Novelist / Ford Biographer
Seamus O'Malley: Ford Scholar
Joseph Wiesenfarth: Professor Emeritus, University Wisconsin-Madison
Hermine Ford: Painter
Mary Gordon: Novelist
Janice Biala: Painter
Nathan Asch: Poet / Novelist
This documentary on Ford originated from conversation and friendship — emulating qualities that Ford spent a lifetime weaving together so masterfully to advance the art of the writer.
Ford Madox Ford: A Man Mad About Writing is a feature-length documentary with an emphasis on Ford's life and work. It is also a treatment on the art of the writer as envisioned and championed by Ford, as well as an exploration of his extensive association with so many of our greatest literary personalities.
Principle shooting for Ford began in the UK in July 2011 and finished here in the U.S. in late 2012. The film features extensive interviews with scholars, writers, biographers and artists with deep and intimate connections to Ford and who are greatly responsible for bringing Ford into view for a new generation of readers. The film features original materials as well as rediscovered and forgotten archival elements that have never been reproduced for the viewing public.
The style and tone of the film is unapologetically conversational, allowing for discussion to unfold circularly and with some conscious understanding of Ford's belief in the impressionistic style.
Ford Fun Fact of the Week
Ford was never mentioned by name in Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris, (a fact we find hard to forgive despite our great affection for Mr. Allen's films) but was alluded to by the actor playing Gertrude Stein who pulls Hemingway aside and asks about "that editor of yours." Ford, of course, took on Hemingway as a sub-editor with Ford's Transatlantic Review — a subordinate position it seems Hemingway was loathe to forgive.
Our Bi-Weekly Quote Not-To-Be-Missed
NEW: “I was not telling the strict truth when I said I had not seen the Tower before I wrote my classic about Dick Whittington's city. I went there once when I was nineteen. But I went with a young lady from Richmond, Va., long since dead, and of such charm and vivacity and accent. So of course I did see the Tower, but not to notice! . . .”
— FMF, It Was the Nightingale
The attraction of that city (New York) lies in the fact that, for me, she is the expression of hope. She is the expression of the hope of all humanity. And she is the negation of the thing I hate the most - of nationality. — Ford, It Was the Nightingale
After this I drifted into the sphere of influence of New York as inevitably as a soapsud in an emptying bath drifts toward a plughole.
— Ford, It Was the Nightingale
A Producer's Tale
Ford is experiencing something of a renaissance with his World War I masterwork, Parade's End, having been produced into a new miniseries from HBO and the BBC, and many of his 81 books being republished.
And it's no wonder. If he was writing today, he'd still be among the most experimental, progressive voices writing.
This project began with my own passion (some might call it obsession) for Ford. Like many before me, I found him almost by accident when I picked up a copy of The Good Soldier twenty years ago. I immediately found myself transfixed, unable to make sense of the feelings within me. "Where had this writer come from?" That impact has never subsided.
I soon found out that I was not alone and that so-called Fordians were strewn across the globe, often living lives of secret desperation, defenders of this magnificent personality and talent who was largely forgotten in the shadow of so many of the other great names of European and American letters.
But over the last 20 years their voices have grown louder, their case for Ford's contemporary and historical importance gaining ground against a long neglect. He seems more relevant to the contemporary reader that at any point during his lifetime.
On behalf of the entire team, I would like to say thank you to everyone who has made our journey possible. You've given generously and we are deeply indebted.
And to everyone who joins this 30 day burst to the finish line — thank you from the deepest recesses of our creative spirit. We will not have achieved it without you!
Risks and challenges
As with all film projects, ours is a collaborative project between the film team, our audience, and the marketplace. We cannot 100% guarantee that our project will be completed as intended, but we unequivocally state here that we will do our very best. After nearly three years of pre-production and production work, our aim is to reward all those who have given so much of their valuable energy and talent with a finished film and a new perspective on the irresistible Ford Madox Ford. Thank you for punching the “I believe” button for this project and for Ford, of course!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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