There was an event last night, Big Joy Salon/Benefit/Reading and Screening. PG was in the house. The question now is how to best remember the event. James Broughton was a poet, film maker, babydaddy to Pauline Kael, and all around mischief maker. PG is a prose kind of guy. Perhaps the best way to chronicle the evening is to follow the slogan “Follow your own weird”. Don’t get mad get odd. The chit chat part of the evening went on until 7:45, when Franklin Abbott started to talk. The only seat PG could find was on the front row, which was handy for taking pictures. The Big Joy project was discussed. This is an effort to make a movie about the life of James Broughton. If you go to Big Joy dot org , you can learn a bit more. If you go to Big Joy dot com or Big Joy dot ru, a totally different message appears. 16 readers took the podium. Each read a poem by James Broughton, and some read two. Don Perryman channeled the spirit of Mr. Broughton, as he told the story of Joel Singer. ( Mr. Singer was a student of Mr. Broughton, who seduced him and became his lover. Mr. Singer was 26, Mr. Broughton was 62.) Chad Shone and Griff Tester were next, and read poems describing the passage of Mr. Broughton and Mr. Singer into their new life. Cleo Creech and A’Roara Thunder share the award for best costume. A.R. Thunder’s outfit is better suited for hot weather. Don Perryman incorporated a costume change into his presentation. It was noted that Mr. Broughton would have taken his pants off, instead of stopping with the shirt. PG brought a clipboard, and intended to take more notes than he did. “Mostly, I boddhi sit around and bask in my universal mind” “Please turn off all cell phones” “The word for no is yes, the word for no is yes, the word for no is yes, and the star and the faun are one” “Death is thinking about us all the time” “Not enough appreciation, and not enough thanks” “cinema is truth 24 times a second” At the end of the reading, a hat was brought out. In it were the ticket halves. A drawing for door prizes was held. PG noted the parade of winners before him, and accepted his loser fate. Then, his number was called. PG won a very nice book, All: A James Broughton Reader. The second part of the evening was a showing of four films directed by James Broughton. They were shown on two sixteen millimeter projectors, on loan from the Smithsonian Institute. When PG was in grammar school, they had movies like that. Those movies started with the Georgia State Flag flying in the breeze, while the canned music band played “Dixie”. The films were introduced by Andy Ditzler, who operated the projectors. He said that sixteen millimeter is a ritualistic device, where strips of images are moved by magic. The projectors did add a retro feel to the evening. The first movie shown was “Gardener of Eden”, which is embedded here. (Whatever magic celluloid has simply does not lend itself to digital transmission.) The film that PG enjoyed the most was “The Bed”. It ran at a theater in San Francisco for over a year, and is the only film he did which made money. It seems tame today, but was quite controversial for 1968. Finally, the lights came on, and it was 2011. Again.
UPDATE Videos of the readers are available at the AQLF youtube page.