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- February 29, 1988
- Vol. 29
- No. 8
Lawrence Curtin, Jane's Brother, Gets Control of His Reel Life
"I had to extricate from myself all the hurt that's been going on in my life," says Curtin, 44, who regards the tragicomic movie as cathartic. As depicted in Midnight, Curtin is the misunderstood victim of bad luck, bad marriages and a bungling legal system, a perception not shared by everyone who knows him. Larry thinks "he's right and everybody else is wrong," says second wife Kim, 33. The two are now estranged, but Curtin says he remains faithful to her. Lawrence's sister, Jane, refuses to comment on his movie or his life. He says he's not surprised: "She's basically as cold as ice."
Critics have been only lukewarm to Curtin's effort, with the Miami News declaring that he "shows the humor" of his dilemma but "challenges the tolerance level of his audience." Still, the remarkable thing about the 98-minute film—as Samuel Johnson said in comparing a woman's preaching to a dog walking on its hind legs—is not that it was done well but that it was done at all. The second eldest of four children, Curtin grew up well-to-do in Wellesley, Mass. He says that he was "the typical problematic, alone kid," and never fit in with his family's "lowbrow copy of the Kennedys" life-style. Prior to making Midnight, he had worked for his father's insurance company, sold stock and invented lighting circuitry for billboards. After reading dozens of books on filmmaking, he raised the project's $400,000 cost through a public offering that attracted 237 investors.
So far, Midnight has been a financial loser, but Curtin hopes to make a killing in video. "There are 15 million divorced people in the U.S.," he says, "all of whom are potential viewers."
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