James Broughton and the “Beat Cinema”

The “Beat Cinema” of the 1950-60’s was like the poetry – made with a spontaneous, hedonistic experimentalism in search of visionary experience. What this cinema is all about is reportage – documenting lived experiences both external and subjective, in the search for poetic enlightenment; something seldom channeled into industrial 35mm feature productions.

James Broughton filming

As the social upheavals of the 60s unfurled, many of the Beats were transformed or consumed by them.  Others made a significant impact on modern culture with their continued creative work.  James Broughton made The Bed in 1968, a sublime free-love pageant on the furniture on which humans spend the most part of their lives.  Today, independently financed cinema like Big Joy: the Adventures of James Broughton helps keep the ideals of the Beat tradition alive.

Find out more about the Beat cinema” in this BFI article, “Beatitude: the real Beat cinema.

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