Beacon Salon – Ben Beard

“The South Never Plays Itself (in Hollywood)”

Ben Beard explores the history of the Deep South on screen, beginning with silent cinema and ending in the streaming era, from President Wilson to President Trump, from musical to comedy to horror to crime to melodrama. His idiosyncratic presentation — part cultural history, part film criticism, part memoir — journeys through genres and eras, issues and regions, smash blockbusters and micro-budget indies to explore America’s past and troubled present, seen through Hollywood’s distorting lens.

About Ben Beard:
Ben Beard is a writer and librarian. He is the co-author of “This Day in Civil Rights History,” the author of “Muhammad Ali: The Greatest” and “King Midas in Reverse,” and the author of a forthcoming biography of filmmaker Joseph H. Lewis, “I Told You I Was No Good.” In the 2000s, Beard reviewed movies and wrote features for INsite magazine, King Kudzu, and, where he also worked as an editor. Beard, a native of Georgia who spent his formative years in the Florida Panhandle and Alabama, currently lives in Chicago.


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