Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Tribute to David: Amanda Shubert

David Churchill and Kevin Courrier, circa 1987, in the offices of CJRT-FM in Toronto

Given the sad passing of our friend and colleague David Churchill, we've decided to honour him in a manner totally fitting to our memory of him. We felt strongly that we could best salute our late columnist by creating an Omnibus of David. From April 16 until April 24, we plan to publish – daily – the best of David Churchill as chosen by our writers.

Today's piece is from Amanda Shubert

The Editors at Critics at Large

I want to pay tribute to David through this first Critics at Large podcast – one of his creative initiatives for the website – because those who are familiar with his writing but never knew him personally will immediately recognize the cadences of his speech. The living energy and infectious pace of David’s voice permeated his prose. I think you will also hear in this podcast the open curiosity and intelligence that mark David’s best work.

David and Kevin’s podcast review of Hemingway & Gelhorn also captures the very qualities that went into the formation of Critics at Large and that continue to make this site possible: intellectual excitement for the arts, abiding integrity and respect, and the sheer pleasure of good conversation. While listening to the dialogue of two critics who can literally finish each other’s sentences, you may be reminded, as I am, that the foundational spirit of Critics at Large lies in the long-lasting friendship of colleagues who drew sustenance from each other’s imagination. May that shared imagination continue to sustain all of us who mourn David’s passing.

Amanda Shubert is a doctoral student in English at the University of Chicago. Previously, she held a curatorial fellowship at the Smith College Museum of Art in Northampton, Massachusetts, working with their collection of prints, drawings and photographs. She is a founding editor of the literary journal Full Stop.

Critics at Large Podcast #1: Philip Kaufman's Hemingway & Gellhorn

Nicole Kidman and Clive Owen star in Hemingway & Gellhorn

(Note: If the player doesn't appear for you above, you can also listen to the podcast here.)

During the 1980s, Critics at Large’s Kevin Courrier worked as assistant producer and co-host of the radio show On the Arts at CJRT-FM (now JAZZ 91-FM) in Toronto. Between 1987 and 1989, Critics at Large’s David Churchill was asked by Kevin to join him on the show to review the current cinema. During that era, one of the filmmakers who had a major impact on both critics was Philip Kaufman, director of such superior films as Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978), The Right Stuff (1983), The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988), and others. So, when Kaufman’s first new work in eight years, Hemingway & Gellhorn, debuted this past May on HBO, they thought it might be time to temporarily resurrect their radio review segment with Critics at Large’s first podcast.

Hemingway & Gellhorn tells the story of the tempestuous relationship between author Ernest Hemingway and war correspondent Martha Gellhorn as they fall in love during the Spanish Civil War, and then tear each other apart in the years that followed.

The podcast was produced by Sean Rasmussen.

– originally published on July 14, 2012.

Kevin Courrier is a writer/broadcaster, film critic, teacher and author (Dangerous Kitchen: The Subversive World of Zappa). His forthcoming book is Reflections in the Hall of Mirrors: American Movies and the Politics of Idealism. With John Corcelli, Courrier is currently working on another radio documentary for CBC Radio's Inside the Music called The Other Me: The Avant-Garde Music of Paul McCartney.

David Churchill is a critic and author of the novel The Empire of Death. You can read an excerpt here. Or go to for more information (where you can order the book, but only in traditional form!). And yes, he’s begun the long and arduous task of writing his second novel.

1 comment:

  1. This was amazing- not just the dialogue between my 2 genius friends, but to hear David's voice for the first time. Thank you for choosing this one. :)