The Life of Bill Everson: A California Odyssey

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TYPE
: Documentary
GENRE: Documentary
STATUS: Pre-Production

LOGLINE

The story of Everson's life is a radical search for truth, a sacramental connection to place which parallels the very identity of America itself.

SYNOPSIS

A one-hour documentary film about the California poet, William Oliver Everson (1912-1994) – a pre-Beat, a prophet to the ecological era, whose importance to California poets remains immense. The film will capture this poet-shaman, who sought to heal the emotional, sexual, and spiritual disturbances in himself, the nation, and the world.

ARTISTIC STATEMENT

The vision for this film is to embody what Everson called his “sacramental connection to place,” a visual narrative of landscapes employing metaphor and personification. The film will capture the transient, mystical qualities of his hometown, Selma, California, the surrounding fields, mountains, and riparian ecology of the San Joaquin Valley, the wilderness coastline of Oregon, the diversity of North Beach and Oakland, and the rugged canyons and beaches of the central coast, interwoven with “spiritual encounters” –his readings, lectures, and poetry. The film will also include sketches by his own hand, photographs, plentiful archival film of his readings, interviews and lectures; interviews with friends, other poets of his generation, his family, collaborators, and scholars; accompanied by an original score. The goal is to create a contemplative film which embodies the poet’s lifetime endeavor to “...make myself comprehensible to myself, to orient my inner and outer being,” and to capture what his long-time friend, fellow poet, and filmmaker, James Broughton, called “... the wing-borne heart of this man and the lofty sonority of his song.” Pablo Frasconi’s documentary films have focused on the relationship between poetic texts, human spirit, and landscape. His most recent film, The Light at Walden, explores the relationship between Thoreau’s texts and the filmmaker’s experiences as a war resister on a wilderness island in Canada during the Vietnam War. It has won four international awards. His current work-in-progress, I CHING: The Film of Changes, is an abstract exploration of the conflict of ancient and modern culture as evidenced in the Chinese landscape. He has also adapted the writings of Wendell Berry, Walt Whitman, Marcel Duchamp, and Alexis DeTocqueville into film. As a full Professor of Practice at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, he has taught Creating Poetic Cinema for the last eleven years.

KEY CREW

Pablo Frasconi - Producer/Director
Pablo Frasconi has received 20 grants and fellowships from national, regional and private foundations including the N.E.A., The N.E.H., the A.F.I, and the Park Foundation. His films have been screened nationally on PBS stations, and throughout the U.S., Canada, Latin & South America, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Public Screenings of his films, The Woodcuts of Antonio Frasconi, Towards the Memory of a Revolution, Survival of a Small City, The Longing, and, The Light at Walden, have included: national and local PBS broadcasts; the Festival dei Popoli, Firenze, Italy; The International Festival of Films on Architecture, “The Future of the City;” the Smithsonian Institution; The Museum of Modern Art, (NYC Premieres); the Havana International Film Festival; The Margaret Mead Film Festival; the Museo de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid; The Dia Art Foundation, NYC; Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; SALT Beog?lu, Istanbul, Turkey; and The Sierra Poetry Festival (CA). His films have received awards at The Awareness Festival, Merit of Awareness Award, L.A.; The International Film Festival: Spiritual - Religion - Visionary, International Award of Excellence, Jakarta, Indonesia; the International Festival of Films on Architecture and Planning (NYC); the American Film Festival (NYC).

Jason Rosenfield, ACE - Editor
Jason Rosenfield, ACE, is a three-time Emmy Award-winning film editor whose narrative credits range from Robert Altman’s classic Come Back to the 5 & Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean to Fox improvisational television comedy Free Ride. His documentary credits include the Oscar-nominated Blues Highway, HBO’s Emmy-winning Memphis PD and Teen Killers, Dick Wolf's groundbreaking NBC series Law & Order: Crime & Punishment, R.J. Cutler’s American High and CNN’s The Seventies. Over the last four years he has collaborated with three-time Oscar-winner Mark Jonathan Harris on Netflix’s award- winning Lost for Life, the soon-to-be released Swift Current, and Harris’s latest project, Breaking Point: Ukraine’s Fight for Democracy, which recently received the Best Documentary prize at the Et Cultura International Film Festival and had its West Coast premiere at the Santa Barbara Film Festival in 2017. Additional production awards have included an RF Kennedy Award, DGA Award and Peabody Award as well as additional Emmys and Emmy nominations. A sought-after story and editorial consultant on narrative and documentary features. Jason was elected by his peers to membership in American Cinema Editors [ACE], an honorary society of distinguished editors. He has served as Associate Director of the ACE Board and three terms as Governor of the Television Academy, where he has developed and produced a number of symposiums and ongoing panel series.

Cliff Latimer - Sound Designer
Clifford Latimer grew up in Michigan and graduated cum laude from Michigan State University in 1977. In 1978, Latimer began his filmmaking career in San Francisco as an assistant to Walter Murch on the sound mix of Apocalypse Now. In 1984, he relocated to Los Angeles and has edited sound effects, dialogue and ADR on more than 50 feature films and several TV series. He has received several award nominations from the Motion Picture Sound Editors and has been nominated for a prime- time Emmy for Sound Editing. https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0004213/

 

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