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In Bed with James Broughton

On Saturday November 19th, at 7 p.m. the Vashon-based Big Joy Project, a documentary and website about poet and filmmaker James Broughton (1913-1999), will show a series of short films at Café Luna, as part of Peter Ray’s Lunavision series.

Three of experimental filmmaker James Broughton’s most quirky, joyous and taboo-breaking short films, as well as a 20-minute "sneak preview" of the Big Joy documentary will screen. Broughton films include, "Four in the Afternoon," "The Bed," and "Testament."

Recently these clips were seen both in New York and Seattle with great response. "These are some of Broughton’s most celebrated works," said associate producer Aimée Cartier, "and they make you laugh." Originally shown in1968, "The Bed" is now in the Modern Museum of Art’s collection, but its full-frontal nudity was so groundbreaking at the time Broughton had a hard time getting it printed.

Broughton is considered by many to be the father of West Coast experimental film. "Your business is to create something that neither you nor I have ever seen before," he advised his filmmaking students, and that is what he applied to his own work. He is thought to be the first to meld poetry and imagery in film. "Four in the Afternoon" is Broughton’s first film using poems for a shooting script, each movement a variation on the reveries of desire.

Famous dancer and choreographer and "Four in the Afternoon" actress Anna Halprin says this about making films with Broughton: "We weren’t thinking about whether it was acceptable or not, we just did it because that is what we wanted to do."

Recently the Big Joy Project was invited to be a part of a Project Forum for works-in-progress at Independent Documentary Week at Lincoln Center in New York.

The project is about half way toward its fundraising goal. Thus far, the Big Joy Project has raised $190,000 from over 300 individual donors as well as a number of foundations (including King County’s 4 Culture). To complete the documentary the Big Joy project will need a total of $400,000. Donations will be accepted at this free event.