More About the Author
Charles Derry was born in Cleveland, Ohio in an inner-city Italian neighborhood, then grew up in suburban Maple Heights. After an undergraduate degree from Northwestern University, he got an MA in film at the University of Southern California, studying with John Russell Taylor, Arthur Knight, and philosopher John Hospers. Derry returned to Northwestern for his Ph.D., where he studied with Stuart Kaminsky, Jack Ellis, and Paddy Whannel. Now a Professor Emeritus at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, Derry taught screenwriting and film history/criticism there for thirty-one years as well as being Coordinator of its Film Studies program.
Derry is the author of several books on film, including DARK DREAMS 2.0, an analysis of contemporary horror films, and THE SUSPENSE THRILLER: FILMS IN THE SHADOW OF ALFRED HITCHCOCK. As well, he has published dozens of essays on a wide-range of film artists, among them Spike Lee, Steven Spielberg, Jerry Lewis, Robert Altman, Otto Preminger, and Claude Chabrol. Some of this criticism can be found in the ST. JAMES FILM DIRECTORS ENCYCLOPEDIA, edited by Andrew Sarris. Derry has published fiction, too, in THE CHIRON REVIEW, THE PORTLAND LITERARY REVIEW, WRITERS FORUM, HARRINGTON GAY MEN'S FICTION QUARTERLY, and in the anthologies CONTRA/DICTIONS and RECLAIMING THE HEARTLAND. His "Ten Memories of My Mother, in the Order I Think of Them," was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, published in THE CHATTAHOOCHEE REVIEW, and named a finalist for the Heidemann Award. He is especially proud of his cancer memoir, "A Year Like Any Other" published in THE SUN, a portion of which can be found at http://www.thesunmagazine.org/issues/357, and his memoir about his Italian family, "Truths in the Middle of the Night" published in the anthology OUR NAKED LIVES.
Derry has also published criticism in THE HARVARD GAY AND LESBIAN REVIEW and written on soap opera and melodrama, themes which make their way into his visual work. The two short films he wrote and directed -- CEREBRAL ACCIDENT and JOAN CRAWFORD DIED FOR YOUR SINS -- have been shown widely at film festivals around the country, including festivals in Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, and San Francisco, as has the most recent short film he wrote, THE FIRST GREAT LESSON OF MY LIFE. Derry has also directed plays dealing primarily with social and family issues, such as WINGS (about stroke), WARREN (about AIDS), and THE LARAMIE PROJECT (about homophobia). His own play version of JOAN CRAWFORD DIED FOR YOUR SINS premiered at the Reality Theatre in Columbus, Ohio.
Derry has been awarded fellowships in criticism and fiction from the Ohio Arts Council. His fellowship in visual arts from Culture Works was based on "SNAPSHOTS: WE ARE HERE," his touring exhibit of still photography with text on the subject of gay marriage and social pressures.
Derry is currently finishing two books: one on the television show THIRTYSOMETHING, and a novel, CONFESSIONS OF THE ANGELS.
And finally, an interview with Charles Derry on the subject of suspense and Alfred Hitchcock was broadcast on the national radio program STUDIO 360. That interview, featuring Derry, Kurt Andersen, and Wendy Wasserstein, is archived at http://www.wnyc.org/studio360/show020505.html
At the moment, Derry's favorite films are: Marnie, The Godfather Part II, Nashville, The Best Years of Our Lives, Crimes and Misdemeanors, The Hours, The Times of Harvey Milk, Seconds, La Femme Infidele, Le Boucher, Winter Light, My Son John, Wings of Desire, Three Colors Trilogy: Blue/White/Red, It's Always Fair Weather, Amores Perros, L'Eclisse, The Fountainhead, Another Woman, The Conversation, Fellini Satyricon, Love Me Tonight, Mon Oncle D'Amerique, Now Voyager, Vivre Sa Vie, and Brokeback Mountain.
The film directors working today he most admires are Michael Haneke, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, David Cronenberg, Woody Allen, and Paul Thomas Anderson.
His favorite books are: Howards End, White Noise, The Women's Room, The Hours, Mrs. Dalloway, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, The Year of Magical Thinking, and the children's novels by E. Nesbit.