In Guys Reading Poems, a resourceful boy creatively uses poetry to survive when his mother, a disturbed avant garde painter, locks him in a puppet box and builds an art installation around his imprisonment.
This inventive neo-noir mindbender film integrates visual poetry with traditional narrative filmmaking. Our feature was shot in black-and-white in large part on the new Red Epic monochrome camera and toured ten international film festivals, winning four awards, including the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature/Drama at the Woods Hole Film Festival, the Creativity in Drama award at Breckenridge Film Festival, Best of Fest at the South Texas Underground Film Festival and Best LGBT Project at Action on Film. We ran for a week-long theatrical engagement at Arena Cinelounge, prompting a review from The Los Angeles Blade describing the film as, “essential viewing.” We will debut across platforms in the first quarter of 2018.
Of the project’s inspiration, director Hunter Lee Hughes says, “My grandmother not only read a lot of poetry, she marked up the poems, underlined certain passages and wrote notes in the margin comparing cherished phrases to figures in her life. The poetry she left behind served as psychological puzzle pieces to fill in gaps in my knowledge of my grandmother as a woman. It was a powerful experience and eventually I decided to make a mindbender film that employs individual poems as psychological clues to the journey of a protagonist. My grandmother loved poetry. I’ve always loved mindbender films like Mulholland Drive and Eyes Wide Shut. So, I designed Guys Reading Poems as a unique and compelling marriage of those forms of creative expression.”
cover photo by Michael Marius Pessah