ACC honors late EIU academic

Earlier tonight, I found myself wandering through downtown Champaign‘s “One Stop Pop Culture Shop,” Exile on Main Street, and decided to make a rare purchase of the long-running fanzine, Asian Cult Cinema. I wanted to read it through as well as examine the way ACC utilizes color, design, and pacing as a digest format publication. Upon returning to the front of issue no.61 after a cursory flip-through, I discovered editor Thomas Weisser‘s introduction honoring ACC contributor Graham R. Lewis, who passed away just before Halloween 2008 at age 46.

An award-winning poet as well as an English professor at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Lewis had contributed material to every ACC since issue 16. “Over the years,” wrote Weisser, “his unique vision helped shape this magazine. He was always ahead of the curve, recognizing new trends with uncanny perception. Graham was also one hell of a writer.”

Fellow ACC contributor Tony Williams, a member of the English faculty at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, posted to this EIU biography page that “Graham was so full of life, so positive a person, willing to [lend] films and share information on all subjects that a deep loss will always remain with us.”

C-U Blogfidential sends belated condolances to Lewis’ family and friends, and we’re saddened further that our “so close, yet so far away” relationship with the Charleston area prevented us from learning about Lewis and his work until now. Graham’s final ACC piece, a review of BRUTAL HOPELESSNESS OF LOVE, appeared in issue 60, while an earlier piece examining the thriller BLOODY ARIA can be found in its entirety here.  

The current issue 61 also features an interview with legendary Hong Kong director John Woo (THE KILLER, RED CLIFF) along with commentary on the TRANSPORTER series, CRUEL RESTAURANT, LOVE EXPOSURE, and – coincidentally – the film appearances of Japanese author Yukio Mishima [see item: 2/12/09].

~ Jason Pankoke

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