Ezra Glinter, deputy arts director for The Forward, recently got to chat with animation pioneer Ralph Bakshi. As per usual with Bakshi, the interview does not disappoint.
After a long absence from cinema’s frontier, where Bakshi paved the way for South Park, Adult Swim and more, the 75-year-old artist is busy working on his first feature since 1992’s Cool World and first project of any kind since the 1997 TV series Spicy City. It’s called Last Days of Coney Island, with Bakshi planning to release Part 1 online in the coming months:
The first segment centers on Shorty, a four-foot tall dwarf and enforcer for the mob, voiced by Matthew Modine, and other characters include cops named Louis and Max, and a call girl named Mollie, who has recently gotten out of prison…
“Coney Island was a place where poor people could go and not feel poor,” Bakshi said. “You wouldn’t run into any Rolls Royces, and you didn’t feel that there was anything that you could not afford to do. But it ended up trashed, and I felt that America was headed the same way.”
Brooklyn native Bakshi now makes his home in Silver City, New Mexico. We very much look forward to the release of that first segment. Meanwhile, to read Glinter’s great lede and Bakshi’s thoughts on the JFK assassination, click here.
[Photo of Bakshi at Coney Island at age seven, courtesy: ralphbakshi.com]