Big Joy: The Adventures of James Broughton

USA 2013. Dirs: Stephen Silha, Eric Slade. 82min. DCP

“A golden secret of West Coast bohemia,” the filmmaker and poet James Broughton was a member of the postwar San Francisco Renaissance that gave rise to the Beats; a leading figure in American avant-garde cinema; a pioneering creative voice in gay liberation; and a man who, once he had overcome the stigma and self-torment of growing up in a homophobic society, lived life with Big Joy. He also fathered a child with the film critic Pauline Kael. This lively, candid, and generously-illustrated documentary traces the career of a charismatic figure who believed in art and desire as forces of liberation and ecstasy. The Bed, Broughton’s effervescent erotic landmark from 1968, also screens.

preceded by

The Bed
USA 1968. Dir: James Broughton. 20 min. 16mm

"One of the most lyrically erotic of independent films, The Bed is a merry allegory which celebrates impudently and imaginatively just about everything that could happen in bed (and some things that couldn’t) — birth, young love, loneliness, dreams, and death, amid all sorts of hanky-panky from fetishism to plain old lechery” (LA Free Press). “Broughton's finest film by far” (Stan Brakhage).

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Director of Photography Ian Hinkle and Animator Michael Mann will be in attendance for the screening on Sunday, July 20.



"Serves the greater good of introducing viewers to its subject, whose voice rings clear throughout."

Village Voice | full review

"Big Joy, filmed with an irresistibly playful spirit, dances with words, film clips and images from a long and, it seems, mostly joyous life."

Seattle Times | full review