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With: Harriet "Harry" Dodge, Lawrence Ferlinghetti (voices)
Written by: Jenni Olson
Directed by: Jenni Olson
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 65
Date: 01/19/2005

The Joy of Life (2005)

4 Stars (out of 4)

View from the Bridge

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Jenni Olson's transfixing, unforgettable new half personal essay, half documentary The Joy of Life comes fresh from the LGBT Film Festival. Using mostly static shots of a subtly undulating San Francisco and a powerful voiceover by Harriet "Harry" Dodge (Cecil B. DeMented), the film moves slowly from a series of dreamy anecdotes on love and sex to a personal treatise on the history of suicides on the Golden Gate Bridge. It's an astonishingly rich portrait and a work of extraordinary journalism that slowly and unexpectedly catches your heart in your throat. Lawrence Ferlinghetti reads one of his poems on the soundtrack and provides the "bridge" between the film's two parts.

DVD Details: The 2006 DVD, distributed by Strand, comes with three Jenni Olson short films, a trailer and a text scroll about the changes made in Bridge policy since the film wrapped.

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