Paul Duane’s documentary, BARBARIC GENIUS, about the extraordinary life of writer, chess-master and ex-boxer John Healy, whose searing memoir THE GRASS ARENA, which centres on the fifteen years John spent on the streets as a homeless alcoholic, won the J R Ackerley Award for Literary Autobiography, has been selected as one of the final four in running for the Best Newcomer Documentary for Grierson 2012: The British Documentary Awards. The winner is to be announced at an awards ceremony at Leicester Square Odeon on November 6th. The film will be aired on Sky Arts 2 on 16th Nov at 9pm.
In an interview with John on Radio 3’s Night Waves Matthew Sweet described THE GRASS ARENA as “One of the great works of the 20th century”.
**** "Paul Duane has created an enthralling documentary...Healy is a lonely, haunted, brilliant man... a gripping study", Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
"John Healy has a story worth telling... an absorbing film"Philip French, The Observer
**** "This documentary about author John Healy is a must-see if you like dark revisionist
"A fascinating if stubbornly enigmatic subject for a documentary... absorbing" Tim Robey, the Telegraph
"The fascinating tale of a modern hellraiser, ‘Barbaric Genius’ proves that the spirit of Hemingway is still alive and kicking" Time Out