Thursday, September 15, 2005

Louis Reile

courtesy the marianist.

Louis Reile(1925-2003) was my teacher at St Mary's in the fall of '83 for freshman comp. I was reminded of him when I heard that Robert Wise died, because Reile was a big fan of Wise. He had us watch The Sand Pebbles, as he hoped it would facilitate a discussion about war and violence, and the social responsibilities of writers and artists in general. The collective take of the class was that they had a hard time relating to the movie because they hadn't heard of anybody who was in it-- I still remember how he seemed a bit frustrated by this-- not because he was amazed that none of them had heard of Steve McQueen, but that they couldn't seem to get past their supposed need to see familiar faces.

A student: Why don't they remake it with Richard Gere?
LR: I think you're missing the point.

I hadn't thought of Louis Reile in the longest time. It makes you feel like you're really getting old when you hear about a famous person's obit and that reminds you of someone else, and you look them up and sure enough, they died too. (He never mentioned to the class that he was a novelist; I didn't know that until I saw the linked obit above. Now I'm thinking I want to see if I can find a copy of one of his works.)

Reile also had an occasional column reviewing movies in the school paper. The title was some kind of pun on his name, I can't remember exactly what. Reiling? I remember him telling us that he was an extra on State Fair(1945). I'm guessing that was after his stint in the Navy(he never talked about his service either) and before he became a priest in 1950. He was a good guy.