Friday, December 10, 2010

Beyond Brokeback at The Autry in LA Saturday

Tomorrow, The Autry National Center in LA is hosting a staged performance of passages from the book Beyond Brokeback: The Impact of a Film, which was created by members of my website, The Ultimate Brokeback Forum.

The pic to the left is the story that LA Magazine ran about the event in its issue this week.

The history is that a few months before the film Brokeback Mountain came out, I started a web page to help build buzz for it.

It turned out that the film did fine on its own and didn't need my buzz, but the people who were moved by the film did. They came to the site in droves—more than my little blog could accommodate—so a team of volunteers helped me create a web forum for them. (The site is still running, and we passed a million page views long ago.)

The discussion there had such an impact on our members' lives, that one of them proposed a book about it. That project took about sixty volunteers working a full year to complete. We published ourselves and sold about 1,500 copies. It's still available from Amazon in hardcover or paperback.

(I wrote the introduction, but it was produced by our members as volunteers. A woman from Kentucky who goes by screen name KittyHawk was the primary editor and made it happen. I provided high-level oversight and had final approval on the contents, but she did all the work.)

The book, in turn, had an impact on many people, and a group in LA led by Greg Hinton, approached the Autry Museum to put together a performance piece, using passages from the book, original music, etc. That takes place tomorrow, at 3 pm.

It looks to be quite a wonderful event. Diana Ossana, who co-wrote the film with Larry McMurtry and co-produced it with James Schamus is graciously flying in to LA for the day to attend. I really wish I could be there.

The film will also be screened prior to the reading. All details here.

From the Autry site:
Free with museum admission (advance reservations recommended)

The Autry will commemorate the fifth anniversary of the iconic film Brokeback Mountain on December 11th with a full day of programs and reflection. 

At 3:00 p.m. we will present a staged reading, scripted by Gregory Hinton, based on the book Beyond Brokeback, a powerful collection of stories about the film’s impact on the lives of so many.

This reading will be preceded by a special screening of Brokeback Mountain at 11:30 a.m.  All visitors are welcome to view the Brokeback Mountain shirts in the Autry’s Imagination Gallery and meet Jeffrey Richardson, the Autry’s Associate Curator of Film and Popular Culture.

The online reservation system is now closed and advance tickets can no longer be purchased. A limited number of tickets will be made available for purchase on a first-come, first-served basis on Saturday, December 11th, beginning at 11:00 a.m. Your ticket includes admission to the museum, the screening of the film, and the staged reading. For more information, please call 323-667-2000 ext. 252.  

And here's the book synopsis, from our site:
Selected from among the most compelling writing on The Ultimate Brokeback Forum, the stories in Beyond Brokeback: The Impact of a Film convey the remarkable power of the film Brokeback Mountain to affect the lives of all sorts of people—straight and gay, old and young, male and female—on six continents. Ranging from the amusing to the emotionally devastating, the pieces collected in Beyond Brokeback crystallize the deep, frequently life-changing reactions of its often-unsuspecting viewers.

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