“In his numerous roles as groundbreaking poet, editor, translator, storyteller, and father of what he has called “the expressive men’s movement,” Bly remains one of the most hotly debated American artists of the past half century. What is it about
Bly and his ideas that inspires such impassioned responses from readers and associates? The psychologist Robert Moore believes that “When the cultural and intellectual history of our time is written, Robert Bly will be recognized as the catalyst for a sweeping cultural revolution.” And literary critic Charles Molesworth suggests that some of Bly’s importance and complication lies in the fact that he “writes religious meditations for a public that is no longer ostensibly religious.”
In 1995 I was talking with John Lee who is a pioneer in the fields of self-help, anger, co-dependency, creativity, recovery, relationships and men’s issues, and Robert’s close associate. John felt very strongly that a documentary on Robert’s life and work needed to be produced.
In 1996, Lory Smith and I secured the rights to Bly’s story for documentary purposes. With no up-front funding, except my own money, covering film, processing, equipment, crew, and travel costs, writer / director / author, Lory Smith (Party in a Box: The Story of the Sundance Film Festival), and I set out to shoot as many Robert Bly interviews and events as possible. These exclusive interviews with Robert at his home and private writing room in Minnesota, have never been used in conjunction with any other project, or shown publicly and I own the rights to this material. Other pieces include, Bly speaking at a event, Bly at a poetry festival in Ojai, an interview with John Lee and so on. The Bly interviews were shot on Super 16mm film and transferred to Betacam SP master tape, other pieces were shot on DVX100 Mini-DV and Sony Betacam SP, a few different formats available at that time.
At Bly’s request, I contacted John Densmore, drummer in the seminal 60’s rock band, The Doors, to be involved in the project, possibly as the narrator of the piece, since he has a close relationship with Bly, and has been involved with his work in the past.
As the years rolled on, and our busy careers got in the way, (and Lory Smith moved to New York City to pursue his painting career), the footage lay forgotten in boxes… and nothing more has been done to this point.
I am looking to revive the pursuit of making this documentary, and partner with a person or group that could help advance this important project. Please contact me via email, located on my website… williamsdp.com