Big Joy
Big Joy (2014)

"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… More

Rated: Unrated
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Release Date: March 21, 2014
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Critic Score: 91% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Ernest Hardy
Village Voice

His life was larger than fiction.

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Rob Gonsalves

A flavorful and affectionate documentary about a narcissist.

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Ray Pride

It's a worthy introduction to how much ecstasy Broughton packed into his eighty-five years.

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Aaron Cutler
Village Voice

Even at its most on-the-nose, Big Joy serves the greater good of introducing viewers to its subject, whose voice rings clear throughout.

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Richard Knight
Windy City Times

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.

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Prairie Miller
Critical Women

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.

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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times

"Big Joy," filmed with an irresistibly playful spirit, dances with words, film clips and images from a long and, it seems, mostly joyous life.

Jamie S. Rich

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.

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David Noh
Film Journal International

Completely engrossing, rich and humane documentary about the life of a too-little known pioneer in life and art.

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