LUCA BRASI

August 13, 2015

Luca Brasi died in 1977. He died of exsanguination on an uncertain date in April: his body was found too late to determine the exact time of death. His obituary in the Catskills Reporter, clearly written by some anonymous childhood friend, privy to such minutiae (Peter Horn, is that you?), notes he graduated from Oberlin College, magna cum laude, with a major in comparative religion; his thesis, mainly speculative (he could have done more research, so said his advisors), was on Eastern mystic emblems in John Milton’s Paradise Lost. In his gap year, he traveled through France, Italy, Greece, and sneaked through what was then Yugoslavia, making friends mainly by mentioning names of soccer players, e.g., Ferenc Puskas, or Andrea di Stefano (though of the Real Madrid player, he was no fan). He loved the city of Trieste, where he made his first film, a stop-motion animation masterpiece clarifying a moment in Ulysses regarding the mysterious recurrence of ‘the lanky-looking galoot over there in a mackintosh’ in the chapter “Hades”—using the Danish troll dolls he favored in his early work. Everywhere he went, so the anonymous obituary writer adds, whether in Cambodia, Mount Athos, or Manila, he found a pick-up soccer game. He also liked swimming. He packed light and always cast off material goods when traveling, donating them to local Goodwill-type stores. He is survived by his wife, a daughter, and a forgotten film, The Unintended.

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