In the latest episode of the Deerfield Public Library Podcast, we had the pleasure of talking to J.R. Jones, a film critic at the Chicago Reader. I always wondered what it’s like writing movie reviews, and Jones fills us in on the day-to-day of reviewing in the age of sites like Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.
Jones is also the author of The Lives of Robert Ryan, a biography of the film actor. Robert Ryan was known for playing bigoted, violent characters in movies like The Wild Bunch, The Dirty Dozen, and Bad Day at Black Rock, but off the screen, he was a civil rights activist and pacifist. This is a fascinating dichotomy that Jones brings to life in his book and in our conversation.
Finally, I asked J.R. Jones to share some of his memories of a writer we both admire: the novelist and short story writer Richard Yates. Jones also grew up in Deerfield, so we hear a bit about how the Deerfield library and community inspired his early interest in film.
We hope you enjoy our fourteenth episode! Each month we’ll be releasing an episode featuring a conversation with a dynamic guest with a Deerfield connection. Learn more about the podcast on our podcast page.
You can listen to all of our episodes in the player below or on iTunes, Stitcher, or Google Play. We welcome your comments and feedback–please send to [email protected].