CLOSE UP series with director Jodi Wille
Join Upstate Films for the dawning of the Age of Aquarius with this double feature.
Full program (2 films, discussions, live music and book signing)
6:00 pm Live music from Sacred Bones label mate Constant Smiles playing minor-chord, autumnal guitar pop whose weathered melodies echo bands like Yo La Tengo
6:25 pm The Source Family (dir. Jodi Wille and Maria Demopoulos, 98 mins.)
In popular mythology, Altamont and the Manson Family marked a disturbing end to the endless Summer of Love. But an uber-60s experience was still swinging in Los Angeles. Here a charismatic former Marine named Jim Baker began a commune that attracted beautiful young followers who called him “Father Yod.” In a sprawling mansion, flower children meditated, made psychedelic music and tantric love, and worked as bean-sprout soldiers at the beginning of the health food revolution. And it was all captured on Super 8 film by a young woman named Isis Aquarius, designated Keeper of the Records. Forty years later Aquarius worked with the filmmakers to unlock the archive and tell the outrageous story of “The Source.”
8:40 pm-9:40 pm The Unarius Academy of Science
The Unarius Academy of Science were on a radical mission in the ’70s and ’80s: to spread their “inter-dimensional science of life” and principles of past-life therapy via some of most wildly inventive public access TV programming in America. Utilizing otherworldly costumes and makeup, guerilla location-filming techniques, and ingenious no-budget special effects, this folk-healing collective produced a legacy of some of the most mind-melting, oddly uplifting gems of American outsider cinema. In advance of her new feature documentary on Unarius, Jodi Wille presents treasures from deep in the Unarius archives and a new transfer of the elaborately staged and costumed Unarius psychodrama: The Decline & Destruction of the Orion Empire – Part 4: Religious Deception and Spiritual Truth (Dir. Archangel Uriel, 1980, 30 mins.)
Also: In between films, Wille will be signing her new cloth-bound coffee table book Family: The Source Family Scrapbook (Sacred Bones), revealing the astonishing trajectory of this widely misunderstood occult commune.