As a longtime film buff, I have always enjoyed following careers of actors and actresses whose movies intrigue me. So it was a pleasure to discover that Kevin Bacon, an actor with an impressive list of notable (plus a few not notable) roles, will perform locally on February 12th, 2011. He and his brother Michael will appear as The Bacon Brothers, a musical duo that has released six albums in the last fifteen years. Their most recent release is called New Year’s Day and features their trademark gritty rock music with a touch of Philly soul.
Kevin Bacon movies are an interesting mix of comedy, action, drama, dancing, and even horror. He first appeared on the screen in 1978 in the hilarious fraternity flick, Animal House, made by National Lampoon. Though his appearance didn’t immediately lead to big starring roles, he continued to act in theatre, television, and movies. Besides character roles in well reviewed movies like Diner, JFK, and Apollo 13, he got his biggest break in the hit musical and dance film Footloose. To prepare for the part, he actually registered as a transfer high school student where he could study how teens thought and acted. This movie was a smash hit in 1984, combining motifs of teen rebellion, censorship, family problems, and religious intolerance with high-spirited dancing and songs. His more recent movie, Taking Chance, is also interesting for which he won Golden Globe and Screen Actors Awards.
So why the six degrees of Kevin Bacon? Well, it turns out that Kevin’s long history of Hollywood work has resulted in him working with almost everyone in the film business. And he was quoted as saying that he enjoyed working with them all. In 1994, some enterprising college students created a trivia party game based on small world phenomenon called The Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. The point of which is to find interconnection between actors, directors, or events and Kevin in as few degrees of separation as possible. It was featured on The John Stewart Show and year’s later the satirical newspaper The Onion even used it as inspiration for a story called “Kevin Bacon Linked to Al-Qaeda!!!” Kevin has been a good sport about it and even named his own charity foundation SixDegrees.org.
Next time you need a movie and a way to cut “loose, foot loose – kick up your Sunday shoes,” check out Kevin Bacon movies at the Library. They’re a sure cure for winter doldrums and a fun way to “lose your blues now, everybody cut loose!” And, by the way, you might turn into a fan – just like on this funny youtube video.