USA – 2011 – 83 MIN – COLOUR / BLACK & WHITE - FEATURE - IN ENGLISH
A FILM BY JONATHAN LEE
Author of the legendary best-seller Growing Up Absurd, poet, pacifist, visionary, out queer (and devoted, married family man) in the 1940s and ‘50s, Paul Goodman was a moral compass for many in the growing counterculture in the 1960s. One of the virtues of PAUL GOODMAN CHANGED MY LIFE is that it offers an answer to the question, how do you make a movie about an intellectual that isn’t boring? Or even better, one that’s neither boring nor shallow?
Director/producer Jonathan Lee splices together interviews, excerpts from Goodman’s essays and selections from his poetry, quotes from heavyweights like Susan Sontag, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Noam Chomsky, and, best of all, plentiful footage of Goodman himself making speeches, at press conferences, and appearing on talk shows. The assembled evidence conjures the presence of a merry mental prankster, a man both learned and libidinous who seduced with his mind. The film immerses you pleasantly in an era of high intellect—that heady, cocktail-glass juncture that Mad Men has so effectively exploited—when New York was peaking culturally and artistically; when ideas, and the people who propounded them, seemed to punch in at a higher weight class than they do now.
NNNN! "Paul Goodman would have loved the Occupy movement. More importantly, the Occupy movement would love to have Goodman around. The clear-eyed humanist social critic could have found a way to articulate the demands of the 99 per cent that would have stood up to the dirty-hippie narrative spun by some in the media last month."
- NOW MAGAZINE
Interview with director Jonathan Lee
- NOW MAGAZINE
"There's a nostalgia in PAUL GOODMAN CHANGED MY LIFE for a time when politics was about ideas of what we wanted our society to be. There's also — in these times of the Occupy movement and an inchoate distrust of the people who handle society's money — a sense that some of his ideas could have a second wind."
"What lingers after the screen goes dark are not Goodman’s intellectual arguments about society and politics, or even his poetry, but the range and strength of his influence"
- THE NATIONAL POST
"The fabulous Paul Goodman"
- FAB MAGAZINE
"Portrait of a radical thinker"
- THE TORONTO STAR
Matt Galloway speaks with film critic Karen Gordon about THE ARTIST and PAUL GOODMAN CHANGED MY LIFE
"a critical analysis rather than merely an example of pedestrian hagiography."
- CANADIAN JEWISH NEWS
"an honest and concise sketch of a person's life, it indubitably succeeds"
"a stimulating primer on the history of ideas in mid-century America"
- THE GRID
" a clear-eyed look at the nonconformist’s nonconformist"
- THE GLOBE AND MAIL
"has a passionate, almost prophetic sense of the impact that a writer and thinker can have on his times and the future."
- THE NEW YORK TIMES