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Goodbye to LM Kit Carson.

WE REPORT WITH great sadness that L.M. Kit Carson, whose “Africa Diary” production blog ran here in The Fortnightly Review several years ago, has died in Texas. His accomplishments and his unaffected intellectual powers were both impressive, and his great personal charm made him a wonderful friend, colleague, and occasional contributor.

By birth and by personal philosophy, Carson was the quintessential Texan, a man much, much larger than his sadly abbreviated life. We excerpt below the perceptive obituary published in the Dallas News:

By ROBERT WILONSKY [Dallas News] — Long ago I referred to L.M. Kit Carson as “perhaps the most influential local-born filmmaker,” and with good reason: He more or less birthed the mockumentary in 1968 with the film David Holzman’s Diary(which he wrote and starred in), co-founded the USA Film Festival in 1970, landed on the National Film Registry, co-wrote Wim Wenders’ beloved Paris, Texas (co-starring Kit’s son Hunter) and helped young comers named Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson turn a short film into the debut feature known as Bottle Rocket. And he was once married to actress Karen Black, Hunter’s mother. Those are but the best-known highlights.

We revisit them this morning with a heavy heart: Kit Carson died at 11:34 last night at the age of 73 after a long illness. As Austin Chronicle founder Louis Black puts it in an email this morning, “One of the greats has left us.”…

To call his career eclectic is understatement. The University Park-born, Irving-raised Carson, a product of the University of Dallas, was an actor, his filmography ranging from Sidney Lumet’s Running on Empty to an episode of Miami Vice in which he soared. He co-wrote Jim McBride’s 1983 remake of Breathless starring Richard Gere, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre II three years later. He served as inspiration and mentor to Roman Coppola, son of Francis and maker of the movie CQ, which was partially cribbed from David Holzman, a black-and-white parody of cinema verite. He was an art-house-hold name.

Continued at the Dallas News | “Two things you can learn about Stanley Kubrick by talking to Jan Harlan,” by L.M. Kit Carson in The Fortnightly | The Fortnightly‘s coverage of the David Holzman MOMA revival | More Chronicle & Notices.

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