Earlier this month, Hollywood director, Andrew Davis (The Fugitive, Chain Reaction, Holes, The Guardian), was in Chicago for the screenings of the re-release of his 1978 Chicago music movie classic, Stony Island, which is available for the first time on DVD April 24.
Stony Island is the story of a young white kid, Richie Bloom, played by Chicago Catz founding member, Richie Davis, from the all-black Chicago neighborhood of Stony Island who puts together a band for their one chance of making it. There is much to love here from a movie standpoint: made on a shoestring budget with incredible budding and established acting and music talents at the time, it is a heartfelt story that is both funny and charming with a certain bold innocence that one rarely sees on the big screen today. However, it is the original, soulful, R&B with a bit of Jazz soundtrack to this movie that is also particularly of interest. Sax player Gene Barge, New Orleans musician Ronnie Barron, Susanna Hoffs (who went on to the Bangles), back-up singer Windy Barnes (went on to work with Stevie Wonder), Tennyson Stephens, and Jazz vocalist Oscar Brown, Jr. are only some of the incredible music talents in the film. And if you like bell bottoms, sideburns, red hats and vintage Southside of Chicago images circa 1978, then this film is for you.
I sat down with Davis for Fear No ART to talk about making this film and what currently inspires him to make movies. Davis is relaxed, forthright and funny about filming in Chicago in the '70s in this candid and warm interview. Enjoy!