Via Zoom: Barry Gifford Appears for ‘Roy’s World’ at Chicago Critic's Film Fest, Nov. 13, 2021

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CHICAGO – The Chicago of the 1950s and early 1960s was a different city then what it is now, and to capture that in a documentary is quite remarkable. “Roy’s World: Barry Gifford’s Chicago” is a look at the city in that era, and it will screen at the 2021 Chicago Critics Film Festival. Click ROY’S WORLD for details.

The film is a beautifully rendered “soul documentary” of Chicago, through the eyes of Barry Gifford, who grew up in the city during those magic years of the 1950s and ‘60s, when the environs were more gritty and working class. Roy refers to the fictional character that Gifford based his childhood on, and excerpts from his stories are read by Willem Dafoe, Matt Dillon and Lily Taylor. Gifford himself is woven through the doc, as he counters the fiction with his real life story. Director Rob Christopher did an artistic turn using archival footage of Chicago and editing to evoke the feeling of time and place. If you are interested in a personal history of Chicago, unencumbered by the dry dust of history, then “Roy’s World” is a must see.

Roy’s World
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Barry Gifford is a prolific author of poetry, essays, short stories, non-fiction and novels. He is best known for a series of seven novels about Sailor and Lula, star crossed and on a perpetual road trip … the first novel “Wild at Heart” was adapted into a film by David Lynch in 1990 (Gifford also collaborated on the screenplay for “Lost Highway” with Lynch). “The Roy Stories” (2013) and “Roy’s World” (2020) short story collections became the basis for the current film.

In an interview via Zoom by Patrick McDonald of, author Barry Gifford takes us into “Roy’s World” …

The 2021 Chicago Critics Film Festival takes place through November 14th. For details on films and tickets, click CCFF 2021. senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

Editor, Film Writer

© 2021 Patrick McDonald,

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