The Joy of Life
The sixty-five minute, avant-garde experimental film Joy of Life opens as a feature on the day-to-day experiences of a militant lesbian in the San Francisco Bay area, and her bittersweet, occasionally heartbreaking search for love and lust. It then uses these themes as a springboard, segueing, free-form, into a documentary exploration of lesbian sexuality, Frank Capra's 1941 classic Meet John Doe, and the history of the Golden Gate Bridge as a point of departure for suicides. In voice-over, Lawrence Ferlinghetti delivers his poetic elegy to Frisco, City of Light, while the late Weldon Kees (rumored as a Golden Gate jumper) composed the music used in the film. Writer-director Jenni Olson authored this picture, which premiered at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival and received high praise from The San Francisco Examiner and The Village Voice.