From the Studio
For the first time on DVD, the best films of avant-garde pioneer James Broughton have been assembled for this magnificent three-disc set. A poet, author, and filmmaker, Broughton, who was christened the “great and wise master of the American avant-garde” by critic Amos Vogel, attempted to use cinema as kind of poetic statement. He took as his subject matter love, sex, the human body, and dream imagery, rendered with a playful, whimsical, and sometimes erotic touch.Featuring such seminal titles as MOTHER’S DAY (1948), DREAMWOOD (1972), and TESTAMENT(1974), this three-disc set organizes 17 of Broughton’s films into three distinct eras to capture the breadth and evolution of his themes and subject matter.Disc 1: THE EARLY YEARS Broughton’s first films focused on the themes of romantic love and human behavior. A highlight in this collection includes THE PLEASURE GARDEN, which was named Best Fantastic-Poetic Film at the Cannes Film Festival. This group of black and white shorts include: MOTHER’S DAY(1948), LOONY TOM (1951), FOUR IN THE AFTERNOON (1951), and THE PLEASURE GARDEN (1953).Disc 2: A MIDDLE PERIOD During the 1960s and 1970s, Broughton’s imagery became more erotic while his subject matter explored the landscape of dream and the mysteries of Zen poetry. A highlight in this collection is TESTAMENT, a self-portrait that depicts Broughton’s life as a pageant of personal imagery. This group of color films include: THE BED (1968), THE GOLDEN POSITIONS(1970), This Is It (1971), DREAMWOOD (1972), HIGH KUKUS (1973), TESTAMENT (1974), THE WATER CIRCLE (1975), and EROGENY.Disc 3: FINALE: THE FILMS WITH JOEL SINGERIn the last era of his life and career, Broughton teamed with partner Joel Singer to produce a series of films on the nature of intimacy and personal relationships. Films include: SONGS OF THE GODBOY (1977), HERMES BIRD (1979), THE GARDENER OF EDEN (1981), DEVOTIONS (1983), and SCATTERED REMAINS (1988), a portrait of Broughton by Singer in which the artist acts out his poetry.