Posts Tagged ‘ Kentucky ’

Jimmy Ellis : The Forgotten Champ

When people think of a former World Heavyweight Champion they think of the greats like Muhammad Ali , Joe Frazier, George Foreman, Max Schmeling and the list goes on. One name you won’t hear though is that of Jimmy Ellis.

Ellis , a native of Louisville,  Kentucky, started boxing as an amateur after watching a friend box the one and only Muhammad Ali on a televised amateur show called “Tomorrow’s Champions”. After watching his friend ( Donnie Hall) lose, Jimmy Ellis thought he had what it took to be a fighter. He followed his friend to Louisville’s Columbia Boxing Gym where he started his amateur career under the coaching of a police officer called Joe Martin. Ellis was no doubt a talent, notching up a very impressive amateur record winning 59 of his 66 fights. He fought Ali twice as an amateur, losing the first and winning the second. He was a Golden Gloves Champion and no doubt was a big prospect as he turned pro in 1961. Continue reading

Compliance

Reality is all the rage in Hollywood.  Whether it’s political Oscar bait, schmaltzy biopics, or those horror films that dubiously claim to be ‘based on real events’, modern audiences apparently crave a bit of authenticity.  Fiction is passé, imagination is out – we want stories about real people doing real things, and we want them here, and we want them now.

But the ‘reality’ of cinema is usually of a specific kind – the kind that takes all the complexity and rawness of a historical event and, for better or worse, moulds it into a two hour jaunt with character arcs and thematic unity.  In short, narrative technique attempts to tame the sprawling chaos of history in the hope that a more distilled truth will emerge.  Sometimes it succeeds (Capote), sometimes is does not (Lincoln). Continue reading