Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Brody's Journal... A New Film About Outsider Icon James Dean: Joshua Tree, 1951

By Brody Levesque (Washington DC) SEPT 1 | Actor James Dean's sexual life has long been a matter of fierce debate. Considered a gay film icon by the Gay community at large, there are numerous published accounts of Dean having had alleged bisexual relationships.
Hollywood biographer Boze Hadleigh, whose focus on film figures he asserted were gay or bisexual, had published in 1972 an interview with the late actor Sal Mineo, who had stated: "Nick (Adams) told me [ Mineo ] they had a big affair." 
Other published sources support the view that Dean could have had homosexual relationships. Gavin Lambert, himself homosexual and part of the Hollywood gay circles of the 50s and 60s, describes Dean as being bisexual.  "Live Fast, Die Young – The Wild Ride of Making Rebel Without a Cause," a book by Lawrence Frascella and Al Weisel, states that Rebel director Nicholas Ray knew Dean to be bisexual.
Now making the rounds on the independent film circuit is a trailer from Iconoclastic Features, that explores some of the long held views regarding Dean's sexual orientation.  Joshua Tree, 1951: A Portrait Of James Dean, due to be released in 2011, is from award winning filmmaker and director Matthew Mishory.
Mishory studied film theory and screenwriting at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was a Regent Scholar and Golden Reel Award recipient. His writings on film criticism and international cinema history have been published in the Focus Media Journal housed at MOMA in New York City, and in Glitterati Magazine.
James Preston Photo By Bruce Weber

His short film Nick and Kate screened in international competition at Filminute 2008 (London/Toronto/Bucharest), was one of twenty-five official selections culled from a field of nearly two thousand by a jury that included two-time Oscar winner Paul Haggis and German critic Andrea Dittgen. 
He recently collaborated with television star Erin Daniels on the film Sunday Afternoons and directed the commissioned activist piece The Marionettes , shot entirely with miniatures, an official selection at the 2010 Newport Beach International Film Festival.

In 2009, he wrote and directed the acclaimed experimental biopic; Delphinium: A Childhood Portrait of Derek Jarman the result of his long-time fascination with the work and life of legendary artist Derek Jarman. The film has had an international festival run with premieres at the Raindance Film Festival in London, the Reykjavik International Film Festival in Iceland, and the 22nd MIX Film Festival in New York City.

Mishory also holds a Juris Doctor degree from Loyola Law School at Loyola Marymount University and is very active in progressive political causes. Matthew contributed several Public Service Announcements to the No On Prop 8 effort and has written articles about such diverse subjects as the right to physician-aided suicide and the effect of obscenity laws on transgressive art and expression.
The film stars James Preston, as Dean:
JOSHUA TREE, 1951: A PORTRAIT OF JAMES DEAN Teaser Trailer from Iconoclastic Features on Vimeo.