I was extremely saddened to hear yesterday about the passing of Joseph W. Sarno, one of American Independent film's most distinctive and visionary filmmakers. Sarno's long and varied career as a writer and director produced some of the most memorable films of the sixties and seventies and more than a few of my personal favorites. Oddly enough, I have been thinking about Sarno (seen to the right with one of his most remarkable discoveries, Marie Forsa) quite abit lately due to the DVD re-release of two of his most extraordinary films, Abigail Lesley is Back in Town and Laura's Toys. In fact, just recently, I graced Moon in the Gutter with a template I made from Abigail Lesley is Back in Town, a haunting film featuring Sarno favorite Jamie Gillis who sadly also recently passed away.
Sarno had a long and, by all accounts, good life but he never got the respect he deserved from many critics and film fans who routinely passed over his work as just sexploitation. Sarno was a fiercely intelligent filmmaker who approached eroticism in an adult manner quite unlike any other filmmaker, and his best films seem more and more resonate with each passing year. I am planning on doing something special for Joe Sarno here at Moon in the Gutter in the upcoming weeks but, for now, I just wanted to wish my best to his surviving friends, colleagues and family. For more on his career and passing, please read this report from Tim Lucas' Video Watchblog.