Gorman Bechard

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Gorman Bechard
Born Gorman Bechard
(1959-03-15) March 15, 1959 (age 55)
Occupation Filmmaker, Novelist, Screenwriter
Years active 1983–present

Gorman Bechard (born March 15, 1959, Waterbury, Connecticut) is an American film director, screenwriter, and novelist who is best known for his independent feature films Psychos In Love, Friends (with Benefits), and You Are Alone; his three rock documentaries Color Me Obsessed, A Film About The Replacements, What Did You Expect? the Archers of Loaf live at Cat's Cradle, and Every Everything: the music, life & times of Grant Hart; and his novel The Second Greatest Story Ever Told.[1]

Early life[edit]

Bechard was born in Waterbury, Connecticut. He had an early interest in writing after reading Kurt Vonnegut’s [[Breakfast of Champions]] and Richard Brautigan’s In Watermelon Sugar in high school. He attended Western Connecticut State University where he studied journalism, but then dropped out during his third semester after flunking English 101. He quickly became the music critic for the Waterbury Republican/American newspaper, and started a local music fanzine called Imagine. In 1981 Bechard took a course on director Alfred Hitchcock at the New School for Social Research in New York City, and shortly thereafter found himself studying 16mm film production at that same university, taking uncredited courses part time.

Early films[edit]

Bechard shot his first feature film, Disconnected, in 1983 while still studying film in New York City. Made on a budget of $40,000 and filmed in his native Waterbury, it was a creepy take on the horror movement of the time.

Bechard's next film, Psychos In Love (1986),[2] was a horror comedy that has been called[who?] “the first Scream.” Setting out to make a slasher film in the style of Woody Allen, Monty Python and the Marx Brothers, Bechard’s film went on to play a midnight run at the famed Bleecker Street Cinema in Greenwich Village, before being released on video by Empire Pictures.

The Empire Pictures deal led to a four-picture deal with was fraught with disagreement between Bechard and the company. Empire went out of business, and Bechard, having had enough, turned to writing novels and scripts.[3]

Novels[edit]

Bechard’s first novel The Second Greatest Story Ever Told was published by Citadel Underground in 1991 and was called “A very, very funny book” by the Los Angeles Times.[4] It tells the tale of God sending his quirky teenaged Daughter to save the world. The book has been optioned by Hollywood numerous times, and has had many leading actress attached to play the role including Winona Ryder, who in the Hot issue of Rolling Stone Magazine proclaimed her next role was playing the female Jesus, to most recently Rooney Mara, who can be seen on the cover of the paperback release of the novel.

In 1993, long before the popular availability of broadband internet, he produced a multi-media web novel called The Hazmat Diary, which featured images, video clips, and music programmed in Flash. The site was eventually taken down in 2007, and the story was published in paperback form in 2010.[5]

His next novel Balls was published by Penguin Books in 1995. It tells the fictional story of the first woman to play major league baseball. The book was optioned by 20th Century Fox but never made into a film.[6]

Next came Good Neighbors published by Carroll & Graf in 1998, followed by Ninth Square (Forge, 2003) and Unwound, written under the pseudonym Jonathan Baine, and published by Onyx in 2007.

Recent films[edit]

In 2002, Bechard returned to filmmaking with The Kiss, starring Terence Stamp and Eliza Dushku. But once again the process made him question if directing was a career path he wanted to travel.

In 2005, Bechard decided to take one last stab at filmmaking. He would do a micro-budget film where all the control was in his hands. The film, You Are Alone, a dark drama exploring how far some people will go to feel less alone, went on to play numerous film festivals and win many best-of awards, before being released on DVD.

Bechard’s next independent feature was 2009’s Friends (With Benefits). The film likewise played many film festivals, and is being distributed by Cinetic Media.

Next came Color Me Obsessed, his documentary about legendary 80s indie rock band The Replacements. Called “the rock version of Rashomon” by the Village Voice,[7] and one of “the seven best new music documentaries of the year” by Rolling Stone, the film has been playing the film festival and arthouse circuit since its premiere in March 2011. It was released in DVD in November 2012.[8] Though the film "hasn't a single second of their music, zero interviews with surviving band members and only briefly shows a few photos of the band at its ending, COLOR ME OBSESSED: A Film About The Replacements manages to be one of the best documentaries on any subject I've seen this year."[9]

Bechard’s film What Did You Expect?, is a concert documentary capturing the Archers of Loaf on their recent reunion tour. The film has its world premiere at the NXNE Festival in Toronto in June 2012, and was released on DVD in November 2012.[10]

He directed two features which premiered in 2013. The first, Broken Side of Time, premiered at VisionFest in New York City in June 2013, and won the Audience Choice Award for Best Narrative Feature at CineKink 2014,[11] while Every Everything, the music, life & times of Grant Hart a documentary on Grant Hart of the legendary 80s indie rock band Husker Du premiered in London at the Raindance Film Festival and in New York City at the CBGB Festival in October 2013, and was the opening night film of the Sound Unseen Film & Music Festival in Minneapolis/St. Paul in November.[12]

Bechard is currently in post-production on A Dog Named Gucci, a documentary about animal abuse and the laws preventing such abuse in the United States,[13] The story of Gucci is set in Mobile, Alabama, where "some local thugs got angry at a 15-year-old runaway girl because she wouldn’t do sexual favors for them. So they set her 10-week-old dog on fire. A professor down the street, Doug James, saw the flames and saved the dog, Gucci, by dousing them. Then he took in the dog, nursing him back to health with the help of a veterinarian. The thugs were caught, but the ringleader got a prison sentence of just six months. James was so incensed that he fought to get a state law passed to make such an offense a felony. Six years later, he succeeded." [14]

He is also finishing up work on Pizza, A Love Story, a documentary about New Haven, Connecticut's three famous apizza restaurants: Sally's Apizza, Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana and Modern Apizza.[15]

Short films[edit]

In addition to his feature work, Bechard has made a number of short films, many of which are available on YouTube.

Filmography[edit]

Short Films and Music Videos Directed by Bechard[edit]

  • Bartholemew, the Strangler (1982)
  • The Only Take (1985)
  • The Pretty Girl (2000)
  • Flight 89 (2001)
  • Objects in the Mirror are Further than they Appear (2003)
  • In Her Eyes (2003)
  • This Used To Be My Beautiful Home (2004)
  • Black Dogs Can’t Jump (2005)
  • Cars & History (2005)
  • All Hail the Kings of Trash (2012)

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.nhregister.com/opinion/20140301/randall-beach-local-filmer-favors-two-yellow-dogs-and-some-red-pizza-pie
  2. ^ http://www.nhregister.com/opinion/20140301/randall-beach-local-filmer-favors-two-yellow-dogs-and-some-red-pizza-pie
  3. ^ http://newenglandfilm.com/news/archives/05october/gorman.htm
  4. ^ Los Angeles Times (1991). Los Angeles Times
  5. ^ http://www.amazon.com/HazMat-Diary-Gorman-Bechard/dp/1453690557/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1393896648&sr=1-4&keywords=Gorman+Bechard
  6. ^ http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-452-27294-1
  7. ^ Gerstenzang, Peter. "A Replacements Doc with No Replacements Music: Color Me Obsessed". The Village Voice. Nov. 16, 2011
  8. ^ "Color Me Obsessed: A Film About The Replacements (MVD Visual)". Elmore Magazine. 20 May 2013
  9. ^ Wilcox, Greg. "Random Film of the Week: COLOR ME OBSESSED: A Film About The Replacements". Destroy All Fanboys. November 21, 2012.
  10. ^ Wray, Daniel Dylan (20 May 2013). "What Did You Expect? The Archers of Loaf Live at Cat’s Cradle". Music Film Web.
  11. ^ http://www.pinklabel.tv/on-demand/2014-cinekink-kinky-film-festival-winners/
  12. ^ Fischer, Reed. "The Grant Hart documentary is everything it ought to be". City Pages.
  13. ^ Griffin, Allison. Montgomery Advertiser. August 16, 2013.
  14. ^ New Haven Register (2014). New Haven Register
  15. ^ http://www.nhregister.com/opinion/20140301/randall-beach-local-filmer-favors-two-yellow-dogs-and-some-red-pizza-pie

External links[edit]