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Courtesy of Zeitgeist Films

Law Building, Lower Level
1001 Bissonnet
Map & Directions

Directed by Jonathan Lee



Color and B/W

88 minutes



Paul Goodman Changed My Life

Thursday's screening introduced by director Jonathan Lee

Sunday's screening Introduced by Tony Hoagland, poet and professor, University of Houston creative writing program

Author of the legendary bestseller Growing Up Absurd, Paul Goodman (1911–1972) was also a bisexual poet, family man, pacifist, visionary, cofounder of Gestalt therapy and a moral compass for many in the burgeoning counterculture of the 1960s. Paul Goodman Changed My Life immerses audiences in an era of high intellect, when New York was peaking culturally and artistically. Using a treasure trove of archival multimedia—selections from Goodman’s poetry (read by Garrison Keillor and Edmund White); quotes from Susan Sontag, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Noam Chomsky; plentiful footage of Goodman himself; plus interviews with his family, peers, and activists–director/producer Jonathan Lee and producer/editor Kimberly Reed (Prodigal Sons) have woven together a rich portrait of an intellectual heavyweight whose ideas are long overdue for rediscovery.

“Jonathan Lee interviews a slew of artists and literati for whom Goodman stood as a seminal figure, while showcasing his famously intransigent personality in excerpts from his public appearances. The documentary will reawaken interest in a fascinating, multifaceted figure.”—Variety

Jonathan Lee served as producer of the Fear of Disclosure Project, a series of videos that explore the act of revealing that one is HIV+ or has AIDS, which began with a video by the late Phil Zwickler and David David Wojnarowicz. Under Lee's direction, the project produced and distributed (In)Visible Women, by Ellen Spiro and Marina Alvaez; Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien (No Regret), by Marlon T. Riggs; and Out in Silence & Not a Simple Story, by Christine Choy. From 1995-2003, Lee was the founder/director of the Maine Speakout Project, a statewide organization that trained and deployed volunteer speakers to share their personal experiences as sexual minority Mainers with mainstream groups throughout the state. In 2003, Lee returned to New Yorck City to begin working on Paul Goodman Changed My Life. He is presently developing a nonprofit retreat center, The Machiah Center, for activists and scholars, in New Gloucester, Maine.

Tony Hoagland has published three collections of poetry: Sweet Ruin (a winner of the Brittingham Prize), Donkey Gospel (a winner of the James Laughlin second book award), and What Narcissism Means to Me, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has received grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment on the Arts, and the Academy of Arts and Letters. His poems and essays about poetry have appeared widely; he currently teaches in the graduate writing program of the University of Houston and in the Warren Wilson MFA program.

Special ticket prices apply! Individual tickets are $10. MFAH Members, senior adults, students with ID, and JCC members receive a $2 discount on tickets.  

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