Big Joy
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"Follow Your Own Weird" was the maxim by which James Broughton (1913-1999) lived each and every day. A pre-Beat-era poet, underground filmmaker, lover, gay man and artist who dared to live boldly and experiment wildly, Broughton is the subject of the documentary film, Big Joy: The Adventures of James Broughton. Whether as an out poet during the oppressive and anti-gay McCarthy era or as the bard of the modern gay rights movement, James' expansive life inspired thousands towards "Big Joy". (c) Official Facebook

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"His life was larger than fiction."
‑ Ernest Hardy, Village Voice
"As spritely put together as its subject -- another winning aspect of this charming look at the life of a free spirit whose life and work are an important part of queer history."
‑ Richard Knight, Windy City Times
"Best when offering immensely pleasurable readings of the poet's verses. But the fawning male-centric focus is too conveniently dismissive about his discarded women and offspring. Including eminent critic Pauline Kael, reduced to a cameo irritant here."
‑ Prairie Miller, Critical Women
"...directors Stephen Silha and Eric Slade celebrate Broughton's life and work, and in particular his embrace of sexuality"
‑ Sarah Boslaugh, PopMatters
"Even at its most on-the-nose, Big Joy serves the greater good of introducing viewers to its subject, whose voice rings clear throughout."
‑ Aaron Cutler, Village Voice
"Even those who have no familiarity with Broughton should still find the movie fascinating. Broughton was a lover of life and embraced all means of expressing it."
‑ Jamie S. Rich, Oregonian
"Completely engrossing, rich and humane documentary about the life of a too-little known pioneer in life and art."
‑ David Noh, Film Journal International
""Big Joy," filmed with an irresistibly playful spirit, dances with words, film clips and images from a long and, it seems, mostly joyous life."
‑ Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times
"It's a worthy introduction to how much ecstasy Broughton packed into his eighty-five years."
‑ Ray Pride, Newcity
"A film that not only makes the case of its subject's talent but, even more importantly, is itself an expression of joy that James Broughton would love."
‑ Brian Tallerico, Film Threat
More reviews for Big Joy on Rotten Tomatoes