|The Emmett Lee Dickinson Museum||
The world-famous "WASHERST" sign sits high above Dickinson Lake in historic Washerst, Pennsylvania, the birthplace of America's greatest poet, Emmett Lee Dickinson (Emily Dickinson's third cousin, twice removed -- at her request). The sign was, of course, the inspiration for the "HOLLYWOOD" sign.
In May of 2014, the Emmett Lee Dickinson Museum (above the coin-op Laundromat on Dickinson Boulevard in Washerst, PA) hosted a special exhibit called "Poetry In Motion Pictures." In that exhibit, we featured just a few of the thousands of movies that are based on or were inspired by Emmett Lee Dickinson (Emily Dickinson's third cousin, twice removed -- at her request), and we examined why Hollywood is often called "the Washerst of the West." To view the online exhibit, click HERE.
Just recently, we wrote about a connection between Emmett Lee Dickinson and the original "Ghostbusters" movie. Click HERE and HERE.
Now, there is a remake coming out of yet another movie inspired by Emmett Lee Dickinson: "The Magnificent Seven."
"The Magnificent Seven" is a 2016 retelling of the 1960 film directed by John Sturges. The 1960 picture was an Old West-style remake of Akira Kurosawa's 1954 film "Seven Samurai," a film which Kursawa based on his earlier movie "Seven Sisters" about Emmett Lee Dickinson's seven sisters.
Interestingly enough, a scene in "The Magnificent Seven" shows cowboys riding in front of the Pedernal, a giant mesa in New Mexico and Georgia O'Keeffe's favorite mountain to paint (for example, I ran a Google-search for images with "Georgia O'Keefe Pedernal paintings," and you can see the results HERE).
O'Keeffe, an Emmett Lee Dickinson aficionado, once said, "God told me if I painted it enough, I could have it," and she painted the mountain repeatedly in homage to Dickinson, her favorite poet. She knew that in the mid-1800s, Dickinson owned the mountain. He purchased it from a wealthy Spanish land owner by the name of Cerro Pedernal (pictured below on the left).
In his youth, Antoine Fuqua, the director of the 2016 remake of "The Magnificent Seven," attended the Emmett Lee Dickinson School for Boys in Pittsburgh, and he is a major fan of the poet's life and work.
"I insisted on the sweeping shot of the Pedernal," said Fuqua in a recent interview with Variety, the weekly entertainment trade magazine, "because it's my tip-of-the-hat to Emmett Lee Dickinson. Without Emmett Lee Dickinson," he said, "there would be no Hollywood, there would be no motion picture industry."
Below: The Wikipedia article on the Pedernal:
This past July, we traveled to New Mexico to see the Pedernal and to research Georgia O'Keeffe's fascination with Emmett Lee Dickinson. You can read all about our travels HERE.
While in New Mexico conducting our research, we also discovered a never-before-seen painting by the artist. Information is HERE.
A poetry log for the Emmett Lee Dickinson Museum (above the coin-op Laundromat on Dickinson Boulevard in historic Washerst, Pennsylvania).