July 25, 1954 – April 14, 2018
Kirk Simon was born on July 25, 1954 and passed away on April 14, 2018
- Memorial Service Wednesday, April 18, 2018
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May 21, 2018
I knew Kirk for 40 years, having met him in 1978 when I moved to New York from LA. He and I were the same age, and when I began freelancing at the film company for which Kirk worked, Kirk was kind enough to befriend me, the new kid in town. He introduced me to the work of the photographers he admired (and for whom he made prints), including Helen Levitt and Aaron Siskind, whose works he purchased on my behalf and gave me as gifts, thus beginning a lifelong interest of mine. Kirk also introduced me to Maker's Mark, good wine, and many restaurants in the West Village, giving me the invaluable gift of his company. Eventually I sublet his West Village apartment, and lived there for six years (alas, he took the cat, after which the mice appeared, but Kirk, ever diligent, got me an exterminator).
As the years passed, his talent evolved, and he became one of the most productive, interesting, and committed documentary filmmakers of his era, producing work that reflected his curiosity, generosity of spirit, tireless interest in people, and great kindness - kindness was his most pronounced and enduring characteristic, followed closely by honesty. I remember being in Jamaica, in the bar of my hotel, on the night he won his Oscar, and exploding with surprise and pleasure - I bought a round for everyone, insisting that they lift a glass to my talented friend and celebrate this much-deserved honor.
Kirk's death was a terrible shock and is a terrible tragedy, for his family, his friends, and everyone who had dealings with him. He took a part of my own life - one of the best parts - with him when he went. Gone much too soon, but never to be forgotten.