A Special Screening of BARNEY'S WALL (A Film By Sandy Gotham Meehan and William Cole)
Tuesday, December 19, 2017, 7:00 p.m., The Rovie Theater, 3117 16th Street, between Valencia and Guerrero, San Francisco (Admission: $12.00)
The Roxie Theater in conjunction with the City Lights Booksellers and Litquake present
A film screening of
Barney's Wall (A Film)
Directed and produced by Sandy Gotham Meehan and William Cole. 2017. 95min. DCP
with appearance by Sandy Gotham Meehan inconversation with award winning performer Bill Irwin, City Lights' Paul Yamazaki, and Zyzzyva's Oscar Villalon
What makes a rebel? This 73 minute documentary probes the psyche of bad-boy publisher and free speech warrior Barney Rosset, whose mid-century legal and cultural battles smashed sexual and political taboos in the United States — unleashing the counterculture of the 1960s and introducing millions of young intellectuals to the most radical currents in literature, film, theater and politics.
In the film, artists, a neurologist and a shaman labor to decode the symbols, dioramas and clues to Barney's obsessions and life, embedded in his 3D wall mural. Is the mural a joke? An acid trip? An hallucinogenic visual memoir? By turns humorous and poignant, this unconventional and timely bio-doc of the firebrand who bequeathed America the 60's, Beckett, Burroughs, and the Beats affirms the power of imagination, resilience, and unfettered free expression, reminding us that it takes only one defiant visionary to marshal a passionate army of resistance against cultural repressiveness and overreaching government authority.
Barney Rosset had one simple credo by which he lived and worked: Artistic expression is sacrosanct. Writers and artists are heroes. Their ideas will enlarge your life. And what they create should never be censored.
Flamboyant, principled and provocative, Barney changed the cultural landscape of America. His defiant publication in the early 1960's of D.H. Lawrence's then-banned Lady Chatterly's Lover, Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer and William Burrough’s Naked Lunch landed him in costly First Amendment battles that led all the way to the Supreme Court. These relentless crusades broke the back of that era’s literary censorship laws, which were abolished in landmark decisions. Grove went on to publish now canonical, then avant-garde, authors ranging from Samuel Beckett and Jean Genet to the Beats and Malcolm X, and – after yet another First Amendment battle – to the distribution of the classic erotic film, "I Am Curious Yellow". At his death in 2012, every major publication in America lauded Barney Rosset as one of the country’s most effective advocates of the right to read, publish and create without fear of intimidation, retribution or humiliation.
In 2010, after Columbia University acquired his archives, a life-time collection of correspondence, manuscripts, photographs, and films, Barney Rosset began to paint his 12’ x 15’ three dimensional mural on one wall of his East Village loft, an obsessive endeavor considered by many to be his visual autobiography. He was 88.
For ticket info visit the Roxie Website (Here).