Silver Lake Life



Film Info
Director:Tom Joslin
Film Category:Disability/Disease
Running Time:99
Year of Release:1993


We are honored to present a retrospective of the intimate, poetic and personal work of Tom Joslin (1946-1990). These three films track the career and life of this brilliant man who helped shape queer and experimental film. Tom Joslin was infamous for taking his camera everywhere, mixing life and art to such a degree that at one point during BLACKSTAR he is found lying with his partner Mark Massi in a bed of film to highlight ‘how film got between us’ in their relationship. Though his career was cut short, having made only three films, his influence on the ‘personal as political’ extended throughout the documentary medium having been a pioneer of the video diary, and poetic experimental film. His work never structured around a message or political motive, but acts itself as a vehicle for change as we watch one couple live in a time when it was radical to come out, one couple deal with the ugly and beautiful ‘every day’, and one couple go through the plague of Aids; it is impossible to sit through his films and not be changed in some way. His retrospective showed last year in New York and SFDocFest is excited to bring it out the coast where he spent so much of his life. Come out to see documentary not representing or depicting life, but showing it.


Finally we go from the intimately joyous and whimsical world Tom Joslin turned his camera towards to the humbling and devastating trials and struggles that unfolded between Mark and Tom after being diagnosed with AIDS. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival in 1993, Silver Lake Life challenges viewers to look at the effects Aids has on one person’s life with no filter, no nice reading, or cover, just raw life as it comes to an end before it was meant to. Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles times says of it, "No one who sees [the film] through to its unexpectedly buoyant final scene will regret the time spent or be unchanged by the experience". (CE)