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March 6, 2006

SF filmmaker to present free screening of Sundance film

San Francisco-based filmmaker Jenni Olson--whose film The Joy of Life debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in 2005--will present a free public screening of her movie on Wednesday, March 8, at 7 p.m. in the Communications Building, Room 150. The event is sponsored by UCSC's Film and Digital Media Department and the Sexuality Studies Group.

Since its premiere at Sundance, this innovative feature film has played a pivotal role in renewing debate about the need for a suicide barrier on the Golden Gate Bridge. The Joy of Life has earned awards from both the New York and Los Angeles Lesbian & Gay Film Festivals, and has been praised by critics for its unique style and dynamic vision.

Described by the Village Voice as "thrillingly minimalist,” the film unites landscape shots of a hauntingly vacant San Francisco with noir-style voiceovers that combine romantic poetry, cinema-studies esoterica, and the contested politics of the Golden Gate Bridge with its open invitation to suicides. It combines stunning 16mm landscape cinematography with a bold, lyrical voiceover (performed by L.A.-based artist/actor Harriet "Harry" Dodge) to share two San Francisco stories: the history of the Golden Gate Bridge as a suicide landmark, and the story of a butch dyke in San Francisco searching for love and self-discovery.

The two stories are punctuated by Lawrence Ferlinghetti's reading of his ode to San Francisco, The Changing Light, and bookended by opening and closing credits music from legendary '50s icon (and presumed Golden Gate suicide) Weldon Kees. For more information, contact

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