Friday, May 07, 2010

Monsieur Vincent

For years, I have noticed (hard not to) a tall, thin gentleman here in the city, usually either in the front row at St. Peter's or along the Chicago River. You can't miss him: his sartorial flair is distinctive. Turns out, the tour guides on the river boats call him "Fashion Man" in honor of his flashy zoot suits.
Well, Fashion Man will be on the silver screen in Chicago, starting tonight at the Gene Siskel Film Center. He's the subject of a new film, "Vincent: A Life in Color." I was alerted to this by a piece in yesterday's Tribune, but the film has already made an impact at numerous film festivals outside of the Chicago area.
Turns out that Vincent Falk, whom I assumed was simply an eccentric dresser with a touch of Asperger's, is legally blind. After eight years in a Chicago orphanage, he found a family. (You can find a tribute to his adoptive mother at the website that Mr. Falk, a retired computer programmer, maintains.)
Though legally blind, Falk can still recognize a pretty girl: I overheard him introducing himself to a young lady in the vestibule at St. Peter's (though I thought his name was "Justin," which didn't seem to fit his age--in fact, he's a young-looking 60). I find it very interesting, intriguing, really, that a legally blind person would have a hobby in photography, but Falk apparently does, if his website is any guide. Some of those photos were done with the timer setting on a Nikon D-80, which is a pretty fine DSLR.
I'll be looking forward to seeing the film and learning more about one of our city's beloved characters.
Are there any local characters in your area who ought to be on the silver screen?

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