Day three of the festival for me held just one screening. There was a lot of technical kerfuffle beforehand that didn’t come to anything, but that was all part of the game.
Intellectual, poet, social critic, Paul Goodman is “the most influential man you’ve never heard of.” Director Jonathan Lee draws on interviews with friends and family, archive footage, written material and photographs to introduce the audience to someone they may not know, but wrote Growing Up Absurd, analyzing the up and coming generation of people at the start of the 1960s, then became a political activist and critic.
Like Charlotte Rampling: The Look, I’d never heard of this film’s subject. Unlike that first film, I was fascinated by Paul Goodman. I came away with a laundry list of books and other nouns to look up, like Black Mountain College. Goodman’s own books are curiously out of print, so I hope this film engenders enough interest that the publisher sees the sense in rereleasing material.
One piece in particular, where he argued that private cars should be banned from New York City, especially caught my interest. It makes sense in terms of reducing congestion and pollution, improving the public transportation and overall living conditions, but it’s such a radical change in how people would lead their lives, it would never take off.