A film by Henry Ferrini & Ken Riaf
7:00 p.m., Thursday, April 17, 2008
Fine Arts Theatre, 38 Biltmore Ave., Downtown Asheville
Admission: $7 BMCM+AC members + students with ID / $9 non-members
Filmmaker Henry Ferrini will be in town for the screening and will answer questions afterward.
"A beautifully composed homage to one of the few truly monumental American poets of our times." Jack Hirschman, Poet Laureate of San FranciscoJust in time for National Poetry Month in April, the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center, The Captain’s Bookshelf and Western Carolina University present a striking new film about Charles Olson, poet and charismatic leader of Black Mountain College during its final years, at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 17th. Polis is This: Charles Olson and the Persistence of Place wrestles with the six foot eight inch 275lb colossus of poetry through an extraordinary mix of word and image. Filmmaker Henry Ferrini will be present at the April 17th screening at the Fine Arts Theatre to answer questions following the film.
"The best film about an American poet ever made." Bill Corbett, The Boston Phoenix
"...an impressionistic, yet informative and moving document about the act of creation that neither shies away nor oversimplifies." Michael Kelleher, ArtVoice
Polis Is This combines interviews, archival footage, commentary and animation into a single voice full of insight and visual beauty. The film allows the audience access to the subject even as it captures the zeitgeist of a formative era in literary history. The 60-minute documentary features John Malkovich, as well as interviews with poets and scholars Robert Creeley, Ed Sanders, Diane di Prima, Gerrit Lansing, John Sinclair, Pete Seeger, Chuck Stein, Anne Waldman, Charles Boer, Susan Thackrey, Amiri Baraka, Robin Blaser, Michael Rumaker, Jonathan Williams, Ammiel Alcalay, John Stilgoe, Vincent Ferrini and the poet’s son, Charles Peter Olson.
Polis Is This illuminates Olson’s life and work by exploring such connections and imaginative journeys. The film traces Olson’s process of self- discovery and makes it clear why Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and many other literary figures traveled to Gloucester to sit with the father of post-modernism — the man they called the "big fire source."
An eclectic soundtrack puts together Boston’s grandfather of punk rock Willie "Loco" Alexander with Black Mountain College avant-garde composer Stephan Wolpe along with a little banjo picking from Pete Seeger. The film has screened to enthusiastic audiences in New York, Cambridge and San Francisco.