In the early 1990s, John Healy was an English media sensation. Born in 1943 to Irish immigrants in London, he left school at age 14 and ended up living on the streets for 15 years, fighting and stealing to survive, while drinking anything that contained alcohol. During a prison stretch in the 1970s, he quit booze, took up meditation, became a rated chess player, and wrote the award-winning autobiography The Grassy Arena. Then he disappeared, fueling a wrath of rumors about his mental health and violent nature. Filmmaker Paul Duane followed those rumors and found Healy in 2006. The result is Barbaric Genius, a documentary that will screen at the New York Irish Center tomorrow. Duane will attend and participate in a Q&A about the film and Healy, a brilliant man who can be angry, articulate, paranoid, hilarious and incoherent at the same time.
Details: Barbaric Genius, New York Irish Center, 10-40 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City, January 17th, 7:30 pm, $11/$6 students, seniors unemployed.
Photos: Barbaric Genius FB