LA Filmforum - Billy Woodberry - Nov 10

Los Angeles Filmforum at MOCA

Billy Woodberry: And When I Die I Won't Stay Dead

In Person: Billy Woodberry


Thursday, November 10, 2016, 7:00 pm

LOS ANGELES, October 18, 2016 - In his "Theses on the Philosophy of History," Walter Benjamin essays the political necessity of remembering. " Even the dead will not be safe from the enemy if he wins," he wrote. "And this enemy has not ceased to be victorious." Billy Woodberry's newest film,  And When I Die, I Won't Stay Dead (2016) is not only a richly hued portrait of the important yet often overlooked Beat poet Bob Kaufman, it is a profound act of reclamation as well. Much more than a traditional "biopic," it is an object lesson in what it means to live a life of resistance. Like Kaufman's own life and work, Woodberry's film is cyclical, lyrical, even musical, sketching for us a biography "shrouded in myth and legend" by using the cinematic equivalents of rhythmic runs and choruses.  And When I Die, I Won't Stay Dead seems to echo Kaufman's own poetry when he writes, "Let the voices of dead poets/Ring louder in your ears... Listen to the music of centuries/Rising above the mushroom time." Woodberry will be present to introduce and discuss the film.

What: Billy Woodberry: And When I Die I Won't Stay Dead; In person: Billy Woodberry


When: Thursday, November 10, 2016, 7:00 pm. Note the change from our usual day and time

Where: MOCA Grand Avenue, Ahmanson Auditorium, 250 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012

INFO  213/621-1745 or 

TICKETS $12 general admission, $7 students with valid ID.  Ticketsavailable in advance at

FREE for MOCA & Los Angeles Filmforum members; must present current membership card to claim free tickets.

"The film as is epical, it holds its own ground... it is a major work that brings to light a resistance story of a community, which is told through an individual but a formidable artist."-Haile Gerima

"A deep capture of 20th century America and the ways in which shifting tenors of the times shaped and misshaped Kaufman, the ways in which his interior life responded to theworld around him, manifesting in his work." -Ernest Hardy, CRAVE


Billy Woodberry, And When I Die I Won't Stay Dead, 2015

Digital video,color and black and white, sound, 89 minutes

Born in 1925 and considered "the American Rimbaud", Bob Kaufman contributes a singular voice to the poetic political imaginings of world literature.And When I Die, I Won't Stay Dead is a journey into the ferocious beauty of his work, and his insistence that poetry is fundamental to humanity's moral survival.

Born in Dallas in 1950, Billy Woodberry is one of the founders of the L.A. Rebellion film movement. His first feature film Bless Their Little Hearts (1983) is a pioneer and essential work of this movement, influenced by Italian neo-realism and the work of Third Cinema filmmakers. The film was awarded with an OCIC and Interfilm awards at the Berlin International Film Festival and was added to the National Film Registry of the Library ofCongress in 2013. His latest feature film And when I die, I won't stay dead (2015) about the beat poet Bob Kaufman was the opening film of MoMA's Doc Fortnight in 2016. Woodberry has appeared in Charles Burnett's "When It Rains" (1995) and provided narration for Thom Andersen's Red HOLLYWOOD" (1996) and James Benning's "Four Corners"(1998).

His work has been screened at Cannes and Berlin Film Festivals, the Museum of

Modern Art (MoMA), Harvard Film Archive, Camera Austria Symposium, Human

Rights Watch Film Festival, Tate Modern and Centre Pompidou.

He received his MFA degree from UCLA in 1982 where he also taught at the School of Theater,Film and Television. Since 1989 Billy Woodberry is a faculty member of the School of Film/Video and the School of Art at the California Institute of the Arts.


Los Angeles Filmforum at MOCA is supported through both organizations by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.Additional support of Filmforum's screening series comes from the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts, Bloomberg Philanthropies, and the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles. We also depend on our members, ticket buyers, and individual donors.

Los Angeles Filmforum at MOCA furthers MOCA's mission to question and adapt to the changing definitions of art and to care for the urgency of contemporary expression with bimonthly screenings of film and video organized and co-presented by Los Angeles Filmforum-the city's longest-running organization dedicated to weekly screenings of experimental film, documentaries, video art, and experimentalanimation.

For more on Los Angeles Filmforum, visit, or email

For more information on The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, visit

Posted By Adam Hyman on October 20, 2016 02:56 pm | Permalink