A cinematic essay set against a contemplative backdrop of 16mm urban California landscapes, The Royal Road offers up intimate reflections on nostalgia, the pursuit of unavailable women, butch identity and Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo alongside a primer on the Spanish colonization of California and the Mexican American War. Featuring a voiceover cameo by Tony Kushner.
Please click through to RoyalRoadMovie.com for more info including the link to order the DVD which is now shipping from WolfeVideo.com!
You might also want to check out the trailer for Jenni Olson's 2005 feature length landscape film, The Joy of Life — which you can rent ($2.99) or own ($9.99) on digital right now worldwide! vimeo.com/ondemand/thejoyoflife
Check out the trailer for THE ROYAL ROAD. Coming September 6th to DVD and digital from Wolfe.
A cinematic essay in defense of remembering, The Royal Road offers up a primer on Junipero Serra’s Spanish colonization of California and the Mexican American War alongside intimate reflections on nostalgia, the pursuit of unavailable women, butch identity and Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo — all against a contemplative backdrop of 16mm urban California landscapes, and featuring a voiceover cameo by Tony Kushner. This bold, innovative film from acclaimed San Francisco filmmaker Jenni Olson combines rigorous historical research with lyrically written personal monologue and relates these seemingly disparate stories from an intimate, colloquial perspective to tell a one-of-a-kind California tale.
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575 Castro St.
A film by Jenni Olson | (2008) | HD | color | 7 minutes | USA
About 575 Castro St.
Jenni Olson’s powerful elegy, 575 Castro St. reveals the play of light and shadow upon the walls of the Castro Camera Store set for the Academy Award winning film Milk. These mundane yet beautiful shots are almost bereft of movement and sound. All the better to showcase the range of emotions evoked by Harvey Milk’s words on the soundtrack. The audio track is an edited version of the 13-minute audio-cassette Harvey Milk recorded in his camera shop on the evening of Friday, November 18, 1977 (a few weeks after his election to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors which made him one of the first openly gay elected officials in the United States). Labeled simply: “In-Case” the tape was to be played, “in the event of my death by assassination.” The experimental aesthetic of 575 Castro St. hearkens back to the dozens of Super 8 gay short films that passed through Harvey Milk’s hands to be processed and developed.
Commissioned by FilmInFocus.com to be showcased online in conjunction with the theatrical release of Milk, 575 Castro St. went on to world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival and has played at festivals and museums across the globe. It is permanently installed at the HRC Action Center & Store in San Francisco and is in the collection of the UCLA Film & Television Archive. It also continues to be shown on the Milk website.
A note from the filmmaker about the sound quality:
In our final sound mix my sound guru Jim Lively diligently removed as many of the clicks and squeaks as he could from Harvey’s tape. Harvey was an inspiring orator, but really didn’t seem to know the first thing about how to hold a microphone. Just as well — I think the noises provide a vivid sense of Harvey’s presence in that room. There is even one point during the desk shot where we hear the creaking of his chair (it seems almost as though he is pushing his chair back from the desk).
A digifilm by Jenni Olson
2000, USA, video, 1 minute
Stark city landscapes provide a backdrop for dyke drama revisited.
PLEASE NOTE: This transfer has an annoying video glitch at the bottom of the frame. Let this be a lesson about properly archiving your film and video projects (something I failed to do until it was TOO LATE — I had to transfer this from a 3/4" sub-master). My apologies for this technical glitch.
Sundance Online Film Festival (January 2001); Frameline: San Francisco International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival (June 2001); Outfest: Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival (July 2001); Minneapolis/St. Paul Gay, Lesbian, Bi & Transgender Film Festival (October 2001); Milwaukee Gay & Lesbian Film Festival (October 2001); Mix Brazil Experimental Gay & Lesbian Film Festival (November 2001); POWER UP “Girls on Film” DVD (release date: December 2002).