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'Big Joy: The Adventures of James Broughton'

James Broughton: filmmaker, poet, apostle, and more

Reviewed by Marjorie Baumgarten, Fri., March 15, 2013

SXSW Film Review
Photo by Robert Haller

SXSW Film Reviews

Big Joy: The Adventures of James Broughton

Documentary Feature Competition, World Premiere
D: Stephen Silha, Eric Slade; with James Broughton, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Anna Halprin

Some are familiar with James Broughton, the experimental filmmaker from San Francisco. Others know Broughton, the poet, whose work presaged the Beat Generation. Some only know his work as queer activist and think of him as an apostle of joyful pansexuality. A few are even aware of Broughton because of the liaison he had with Pauline Kael in the late Forties that produced a child, whom Kael would raise alone. All of these aspects of Broughton's life and more come into focus in the documentary Big Joy: The Adventures of James Broughton. Co-directors Slade and Silha interview a vast number of people who were friends and supporters of Broughton and his work during these various periods and creative expressions. Through their recollections, an integrated portrait begins to emerge of Broughton, who died in 1999, and of the inspirational role he played in the American arts in the latter half of the 20th century.


Wednesday, March 13, 4:15pm, Alamo Ritz

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