Gorman Bechard

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Gorman Bechard
Filmmaker Gorman Bechard
Filmmaker Gorman Bechard
Born Gorman E. Bechard III[1]
(1959-03-15) March 15, 1959 (age 56)
Waterbury, Connecticut
Other names Jonathan Baine
Education New School for Social Research
Occupation Filmmaker
Novelist
Screenwriter
Years active 1983–present
Known for Color Me Obsessed
Website gormanbechard.com

Gorman Bechard (born March 15, 1959)[2] is an American film director, screenwriter, and novelist 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.[3]

Early life[edit]

Bechard was born in Waterbury, Connecticut to father, Gorman "Gary" E. Bechard Jr., a bar and restaurant entrepreneur, and mother, Lucille Claire Bechard.[4] Bechard's mother died when he was 10 years old, so he and his sister Deborah were raised by his grandparents, William and Claire Roberts. He also has two half-brothers, Thomas and Sean.[5]

Bechard graduated from Holy Cross High School in Waterbury.[5] While in high school, Bechard became interested in writing after reading Kurt Vonnegut’s Breakfast of Champions and Richard Brautigan’s In Watermelon Sugar. He attended Western Connecticut State University where he studied journalism.

Career[edit]

Bechard worked as 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 and taking uncredited courses part time there.

Early films[edit]

In 1983, Bechard shot his first feature film, Disconnected, 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, 1986's Psychos In Love[3] was a horror comedy that has been called "the first Scream."[who?] 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.

Bechard entered into a four-picture deal with Empire Pictures. The deal with was fraught with disagreement between Bechard and the company. Empire went out of business, and Bechard, having had enough, shifted his career to writing novels and scripts.[6]

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.[7] 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.

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.[8]

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,[9] 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).[10] The film likewise played many film festivals, and is being distributed by Cinetic Media.

Next came Color Me Obsessed,[11] his documentary about legendary 80s indie rock band The Replacements.[12][13] Called “the rock version of Rashamon” by the Village Voice,[14] 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.[15] 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."[16]

Bechard’s film What Did You Expect?,[17] 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.[18]

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,[19] while Every Everything, the music, life & times of Grant Hart[20] a documentary on Grant Hart of the legendary 80s indie rock band Hüsker Dü[21][22] 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.[23][24]

Bechard is currently in post-production on A Dog Named Gucci,[25] a documentary about animal abuse and the laws preventing such abuse in the United States,[26] The story of Gucci is set in Mobile, Alabama,[27] 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."[3]

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.[3]

In January 2015, a Kickstarter campaign was begun for an upcoming documentary on singer-songwriter, Lydia Loveless, called Who is Lydia Loveless? -- a new rock doc from Gorman Bechard.[28] Bechard will document the making of Loveless' upcoming record.[28]

NHdocs[edit]

In 2014, Bechard co-founded The New Haven Documentary Film Festival, which he co-directs with Yale Film and Media Studies Professor Charles Musser. The festival expanded from one day screening four films in 2014 to three days and over 20 films in 2015. [29]

Personal life[edit]

Bechard has been married to Kristine M Covello since 1992.[1] They live in Connecticut.

Filmography[edit]

Films[edit]

Short films and music videos[edit]

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

  • 1982: Bartholemew, the Strangler
  • 1985: The Only Take
  • 2000: The Pretty Girl
  • 2001: Flight 89
  • 2003: Objects in the Mirror are Further than they Appear
  • 2003: In Her Eyes
  • 2004: This Used To Be My Beautiful Home
  • 2005: Black Dogs Can’t Jump
  • 2005: Cars & History
  • 2012: All Hail the Kings of Trash
  • 2014: Broken Side of Time
  • 2014: Boxers

Works and publications[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Gorman E Bechard Iii - Connecticut, Marriage Index". FamilySearch. Retrieved 22 January 2015. 
  2. ^ "Gorman Bechard - United States Public Records". FamilySearch. Retrieved 22 January 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d Beach, Randall (28 February 2014). "Local filmer favors two yellow dogs and some red pizza pie". New Haven Register. Retrieved 21 January 2015. 
  4. ^ "Bechard, Gorman E., Jr.". Hartford Courant. Legacy.com. 22 January 2013. Retrieved 22 January 2015. 
  5. ^ a b Bingham, Michael C. (24 January 2013). "One-2-One with Gorman Bechard". New Haven Magazine. Retrieved 22 January 2015. 
  6. ^ Fielding, Justin (1 October 2005). "Last Tango in New Haven". NewEnglandFilm.com. Retrieved 21 January 2015. 
  7. ^ Herczog, Mary (17 November 1991). "Fiction: In Brief: The Second Greatest Story Ever Told". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 21 January 2015. 
  8. ^ "Balls, Gorman Bechard, Author". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 21 January 2015. 
  9. ^ Kramer Bussel, Rachel (30 September 2005). "Gorman Bechard, Director and Screenwriter, You Are Alone, Novelist". Gothamist. Retrieved 22 January 2015. 
  10. ^ Guerrasio, Jason (8 June 2006). "Production Report: "100 Films and a Funeral", "Bill", "Death Walks The Streets", "Friends (With Bene". Indiewire. Retrieved 22 January 2015. 
  11. ^ Schoenbrun, Dan (22 November 2011). "Gorman Bechard on Color Me Obsessed". Filmmaker Magazine. Retrieved 22 January 2015. 
  12. ^ Browne, David (11 March 2011). "5. "Color Me Obsessed, a Film About the Replacements" (The Seven Best New Music Documentaries of the Year)". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 22 January 2015. 
  13. ^ Bahn, Christopher (2 May 2011). "Color Me Obsessed director Gorman Bechard". AV Club. Retrieved 22 January 2015. 
  14. ^ Gerstenzang, Peter (16 November 2011). "A Replacements Doc With No Replacements Music: Color Me Obsessed". The Village Voice. Retrieved 21 January 2015. 
  15. ^ Hallett, Tom (20 May 2013). "Color Me Obsessed: A Film About The Replacements (MVD Visual)". Elmore Magazine. Retrieved 21 January 2015. 
  16. ^ Wilcox, Greg (21 November 2012). "Random Film of the Week: Color Me Obsessed: A Film About The Replacements" (Blog). Destroy All Fanboys!. Retrieved 21 January 2015. 
  17. ^ Keogh, Tom (4 October 2012). "'What Did You Expect?': Big applause for band Archers of Loaf". Seattle Times. Retrieved 22 January 2015. 
  18. ^ Wray, Daniel Dylan (20 May 2013). "What Did You Expect? The Archers of Loaf Live at Cat’s Cradle". MusicFilmWeb. Retrieved 21 January 2015. 
  19. ^ "Cinekink NYC "Kinky Film Festival" 2014 Winners". PInkLabel. Retrieved 21 January 2015. 
  20. ^ Zabel, Jason (16 April 2012). "Hüsker Dü’s Grant Hart to get his own Gorman Bechard-directed rock doc". AV Club. Archived from the original on 19 April 2012. Retrieved 22 January 2015. 
  21. ^ Gerstenzang, Peter (9 October 2013). "The killer punk flicks at the CBGB Festival are All Better than CBGB". The Village Voice. Retrieved 22 January 2015. 
  22. ^ Phillips, Danny R. (1 October 2013). "Flexible Flyer: Grant Hart". Blurt. Retrieved 22 January 2015. 
  23. ^ Rischer, Reed (7 November 2013). "The Grant Hart documentary is everything it ought to be". City Pages. Retrieved 21 January 2015. 
  24. ^ "Hüsker Dü’s Grant Hart subject of new film by director of Replacements documentary". Slicing Up Eyeballs. 10 April 2012. Retrieved 22 January 2015. 
  25. ^ Shryock, John (15 August 2013). "Abused pit bull "Louis Vuitton" to be focus of documentary". WSFA. Retrieved 22 January 2015. 
  26. ^ Griffin, Allison (16 August 2013). "Unbroken: Once-abused pit bull Louis Vuitton still an inspiration". Montgomery Advertiser. Retrieved 21 January 2015. 
  27. ^ Harris, Ara. "Gorman Bechard–Punk Rocking Film". Virago Mag. Retrieved 22 January 2015. 
  28. ^ a b Hudson, Scott (21 January 2015). "Kickstarter launched for new Loveless documentary". Argus Leader. Retrieved 21 January 2015. 
  29. ^ "Free films for all at New Haven documentary festival, June 5-7". Retrieved 22 May 2015. 
  30. ^ "Gorman Bechard.com". gormanbechard.com. Retrieved 2015-07-05. 

External links[edit]