September – October 2014
& a special introduction by performance artist Jason Jenn, who will be performing an excerpt of his one man show ECSTASY FOR EVERYONE, inspired by the work of James Broughton.
A chronicle of the iconoclastic life of gay poet, filmmaker, and spiritual visionary James Broughton, one of the defining voices of the sexual revolution, whose groundbreaking artistic celebrations of sexuality and the body influenced generations of the 1960’s and 70’s to profoundly embrace life and ‘follow your own weird’.
A charismatic and visionary poet and filmmaker who emerged in the artistic renaissance of post – WWII San Francisco, James Broughton led a completely unconventional existence in his lifelong quest for creative artistry, sexual and spiritual love and an evolved state of happiness. BIG JOY is a celebratory mosaic of Broughton’s deeply intertwined creative and personal lives, vividly depicted through his involvement with a wide array of artists, activists and spiritual guides.
Directed by Eric Slade, Stephen Silha and Dawn Logsdon. USA. 2013. Digital. 82 mins.
About the filmmakers
Stephen Silha, producer and co-director, is a freelance writer, facilitator, and futurist who has made a practice of communicating about what makes communities and relationships work. He has reported for The Christian Science Monitor, the Minneapolis Star, and Yes! Magazine. He knew James Broughton, and was present at his death in 1999. Inspired by Broughton’s philosophy, life and work, he began a biography project which morphed into this film and multi-media project.
Eric Slade, co-director and producer, is an independent producer/director based in Portland, OR who has extensive experience with PBS. His independent documentary work includes Hope Along the Wind: The Story of Harry Hay (2002), The Impact of AIDS, Housing the American Dream, Safety in Numbers, Sex Life, and Acting Up for Prisoners.
Jason Jenn is an LA-based performance artist, director, designer, and event planner who was inspired by the film BIG JOY and James Broughton’s poetry to create performance events using Broughton’s poetry and films, bringing them a vibrant contemporary feel.
Be sure to catch the full performance of Jenn’s ECSTASY FOR EVERYONE the following day. The performance is a full hour of sensual delights that will leave audiences uplifted and aptly experiencing the ecstasy of James’ wondrous wit and wild whimsy. FREE & OPEN TO THE PUBLIC! Friday, September 5, 2014 at 8pm at the SFAI Lecture Hall.
God Help The Girl is a musical feature film, written and directed by Stuart Murdoch, lead singer of the group Belle and Sebastian. It was produced by Barry Mendel and stars Emily Browning, Olly Alexander and Hannah Murray.
Stuart aspired to tell the story of “a better summer, or at least a summer when something happened. It happened to a boy and a girl and a girl in a city roughly the same size and population of Glasgow. Perhaps the canals were a bit grimier, the high-rise buildings taller, the streets emptier when you needed them to be, and the beat clubs busier than the ones around here. But on the whole the city was this one.”
According to Barry Mendel, “It’s a simple story – about the brief moment after you’ve realised what you want to do with your life, before your dream settles into becoming your job, when you’re filled with enthusiasm, meeting like-minded friends and the possibilities are endless.”
The film was shot, edited, scored and mixed in Glasgow over the course of 2012-2013 and is be released in cinemas around the world in 2014.
CHECK OUT OH SO MUCH MORE AT:
Director: Stuart Murdoch, 111 min. 2014
Official Site is here.
Official Selection, Sundance Film Festival 2014
A strange singer with “god given talent” drifts through the mythic city of Memphis under its canopy of ancient oak trees, shattered windows, and burning spirituality. Surrounded by lovers, legends, hustlers, preachers, and a wolfpack of kids, the unstable performer avoids the recording studio and is driven to spend time in his own form of self-discovery. Shown in fragments, his journey drags him from love and happiness right to the edge of another dimension. Featuring an explosive performance and score from the singular recording artist-cum-wizard, Willis Earl Beal, MEMPHIS is a film steeped in folklore, music, surrealism, and the abstract search for glory.
It is legend in Memphis that a blessed and cursed singer by the name of O.V. Wright fell from grace and was buried in an unmarked grave. I learned of his myth around the same time I was brought to Peace Baptist Church, and witnessed a deep spirituality as ancient as the oak trees that dress every street in the city. A true believer in ghost stories and a scholar of African American studies, I was drawn to tell my own folk tale, and there was only one place on my mind. Our film captures the descent of a troubled singer as he drifts through an urban landscape looking to save his very soul. We surrounded ourselves with real Memphians and made a film that hopes to project a cool, beautiful world – as old as dirt and yet entirely new, and deserved of the title MEMPHIS.
Written and Directed by Tim Sutton.
Cast: Willis Earl Beal, Lopaka Thomas, Constance Brantley, Devonte Hull, John Gary Williams, Larry Dodson Music by Willis Earl Beal. Digital. USA 79 mins.
Official Site is Here.
Beginning in 2004, filmmaker/novelist Catherine Breillat had a series of debilitating strokes connected to a previously undiagnosed cerebrovascular disease.During her long, grueling recovery, she became fascinated by international con man Christophe Rocancourt. She decided only he could play the leading part in her next film. Their close friendship ended with a bang in 2009—when Breillat sued Rocancourt for conning her out of nearly $1 million.
No stranger to discomfiting her audience—or herself—Breillat fictionalizes that recent life chapter here, with the inimitable Isabelle Huppert as stroke-felled filmmaker/novelist “Maud Shainberg.” Maud invites into her life notorious celebrity “crook” Vilko Piran (French rapper Kool Shen). The two fast become thick as, well, thieves. The title Abuse of Weakness suggests a simple victimization that is in fact much more complex and ambiguous in Breillat’s queasy, thinly veiled self-portrait.
In Huppert’s fearless performance, Maud is perversely willing prey to “wild animal” Vilko. He’s rude, bullying, seductive—but then she is often demanding, arrogant and contrary herself. Their interdependency has elements of a marriage (though he’s already married) and an affair (though it’s platonic). These are two prickly, high-maintenance people determined to get the most out of each other, for better or worse. The fact that it’s very likely to be “for worse” seems key to their mutual attraction. –Dennis Harvey
Directed and Written by Catherine Breillat,
Casts: Isabelle Huppert, Kool Shen, Laurence Ursino
2014, France | Germany | Belgium, 105min.
Anger rages in Philip as he awaits the publication of his second novel. He feels pushed out of his adopted home city by the constant crowds and noise, a deteriorating relationship with his photographer girlfriend Ashley, and his own indifference to promoting the novel. When Philip’s idol Ike Zimmerman offers his isolated summer home as a refuge, he finally gets the peace and quiet to focus on his favorite subject: himself.
Following up his critically acclaimed The Color Wheel, Alex Ross Perry scripts a complex, intimate, and highly idiosyncratic comedy filled with New Yorkers living their lives somewhere between individuality and isolation. Jason Schwartzman leads an impressive cast, including Elisabeth Moss, Krysten Ritter, and Jonathan Pryce, balancing Perry’s quick-witted dialogue and their characters’ painful, personal truths. With narration by Eric Bogosian, we switch perspectives as seasons and attitudes change, offering a literary look into the lives of these individuals and the triumph of reality over the human spirit.
Directed by Alex Ross Perry 108 min. U.S.A. 2014