Filmmaker Gorman Bechard
|Born||Gorman E. Bechard III
March 15, 1959
|Other names||Jonathan Baine|
|Education||New School for Social Research|
|Known for||Color Me Obsessed|
Gorman Bechard (born March 15, 1959) 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 four rock documentaries Color Me Obsessed: A Film About the Replacements, What Did You Expect? The Archers of Loaf Live at Cat's Cradle, Every Everything: The Music, Life & Times of Grant Hart, and Who is Lydia Loveless?; his animal welfare documentary A Dog Named Gucci; and his debut novel The Second Greatest Story Ever Told.
Bechard was born in Waterbury, Connecticut to Gorman "Gary" E. Bechard Jr., a bar and restaurant entrepreneur, and Lucille Claire Bechard. Lucille died when Bechard 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.
Bechard graduated from Holy Cross High School in Waterbury. 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.
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.
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, was a horror comedy that has been called "the first Scream."[who?] Conceived as 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 that was fraught with conflict. Empire went out of business, and Bechard, having had enough, shifted his career to writing novels and scripts.
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. 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 widespread 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.
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.
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.
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, 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 on DVD in November 2012. 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."
Bechard’s film What Did You Expect? is a concert documentary capturing Archers of Loaf on their recent reunion tour. The film had its world premiere at the NXNE Festival in Toronto in June 2012, and was released on DVD in November 2012. In 2015, the band released the double album Curse of the Loaf, which is the Brian Paulson-produced concert audio from Bechard's documentary. The deluxe package also featured a copy of the film.
He directed two features that 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, while Every Everything: The Music, Life & Times of Grant Hart, a documentary on Grant Hart of the legendary 80s indie rock band Hüsker Dü, 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.
In 2015 Bechard directed and co-produced with his wife Kristine Bechard the feature A Dog Named Gucci, a documentary about animal abuse and the laws regarding such abuse in the United States, 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." The film had its world premiere at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival in February 2015. The film was released on DVD from MVD Entertainment in April 2016. The end-credits song from the film, "One Voice," features the talents of Norah Jones, Aimee Mann, Susanna Hoffs, Lydia Loveless, Neko Case, Kathryn Calder, and Brian May. The single was released on Record Store Day, April 16, 2016, with the proceeds going to benefit animal charities.
Bechard has also just completed a documentary on singer-songwriter Lydia Loveless called Who is Lydia Loveless?, in which he documents the making of Loveless's album Real (2016), as well as following her on the road and looking into what life is life for a band at her level in the music industry. "I also wanted to look at stuff we normally don’t see a lot of. What are the finances for a band like this? Where does the money go? Who gets the money? Is Spotify good? Is Spotify bad? How does piracy affect you? What about the fans? I really wanted to go into all of that for a band that can sell out 200- or 250-seat venues and bars but is still traveling in an old Ford van. A good night is when they have a couple of hotel rooms. No one is rolling in the dough, so to speak. So what is it at that point when you have amazing critical success and acclaim but you’re not there yet?" In October 2015, Bechard and his crew filmed a live Lydia Loveless concert at Skully's in her hometown of Columbus for the documentary.  The film had its world premiere at the Columbus International Film & Video Festival on April 7, 2016.
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. A trailer for the film was released in June 2015.
In July 2016, two Bechard-directed music videos had their premiere in Rolling Stone magazine. The first was "Heal Me" from the album Sidelong by North Carolina musicians Sarah Shook and the Disarmers. A few days later, "Longer," from the fourth Lydia Loveless album, Real, was released. It is also the first official Loveless music video. And on August 19th, the second Bechard-directed music video from Real was released for the song "Clumps." Noisey, the music division of Vice magazine, called it "simple and gorgeous."
In 2014, Bechard co-founded the New Haven Documentary Film Festival (NHdocs), 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. In 2016, the festival expanded to 11 days, showing over 40 films, including Bechard's Who is Lydia Loveless? followed by a solo acoustic performance from Lydia Loveless.
On November 12, 2015, Bechard was awarded the ASPCA Media Excellence Award for his work on the film A Dog Named Gucci and for "focusing on animal welfare and inspiring others to join the fight against animal cruelty."
Bechard has been married to Kristine M Covello since 1992. They live in Connecticut.
- 1983: Disconnected
- 1987: Galactic Gigolo
- 1987: Psychos in Love
- 2002: The Kiss
- 2005: You Are Alone
- 2009: Friends (with benefits)
- 2011: Color Me Obsessed
- 2012: What Did You Expect?
- 2013: Broken Side of Time
- 2013: Every Everything: The Music, Life & Times of Grant Hart
- 2015: A Dog Named Gucci
- 2016: Who is Lydia Loveless?
Short films and music videos
In addition to his feature work, Bechard has made a number of short films and music videos, 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
- 2016: Heal Me
- 2016: Longer
- 2016: Clumps
Works and publications
- Bechard, Gorman. The Second Greatest Story Ever Told: A Novel. New York, N.Y.: Carol Pub. Group, 1991. ISBN 978-0-806-51263-1
- Bechard, Gorman. Balls. New York, N.Y., U.S.A.: Plume, 1995. ISBN 978-0-452-27294-1
- Bechard, Gorman. Good Neighbors. New York: Carrol & Graf Publishers, 1998. ISBN 978-0-786-70512-2
- Bechard, Gorman. Ninth Square. New York: Forge, 2002. ISBN 978-0-765-30146-8
- writing as Baine, Jonathan. Unwound. New York : Onyx, 2007. ISBN 9780451412317
- Bechard, Gorman. Hazmat Diary. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2010. ISBN 978-1453690550
- "Gorman E Bechard Iii - Connecticut, Marriage Index". FamilySearch. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
- "Gorman Bechard - United States Public Records". FamilySearch. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
- Beach, Randall (28 February 2014). "Local filmer favors two yellow dogs and some red pizza pie". New Haven Register. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
- "Bechard, Gorman E., Jr.". Hartford Courant. Legacy.com. 22 January 2013. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
- Bingham, Michael C. (24 January 2013). "One-2-One with Gorman Bechard". New Haven Magazine. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
- Fielding, Justin (1 October 2005). "Last Tango in New Haven". NewEnglandFilm.com. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
- Herczog, Mary (17 November 1991). "Fiction: In Brief: The Second Greatest Story Ever Told". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
- "Balls, Gorman Bechard, Author". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
- Kramer Bussel, Rachel (30 September 2005). "Gorman Bechard, Director and Screenwriter, You Are Alone, Novelist". Gothamist. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
- 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.
- Schoenbrun, Dan (22 November 2011). "Gorman Bechard on Color Me Obsessed". Filmmaker Magazine. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
- 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.
- Bahn, Christopher (2 May 2011). "Color Me Obsessed director Gorman Bechard". AV Club. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
- Gerstenzang, Peter (16 November 2011). "A Replacements Doc With No Replacements Music: Color Me Obsessed". The Village Voice. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
- Hallett, Tom (20 May 2013). "Color Me Obsessed: A Film About The Replacements (MVD Visual)". Elmore Magazine. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
- 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.
- Keogh, Tom (4 October 2012). "'What Did You Expect?': Big applause for band Archers of Loaf". Seattle Times. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
- Wray, Daniel Dylan (20 May 2013). "What Did You Expect? The Archers of Loaf Live at Cat's Cradle". MusicFilmWeb. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
- "Cinekink NYC "Kinky Film Festival" 2014 Winners". PInkLabel. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
- 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.
- 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.
- Phillips, Danny R. (1 October 2013). "Flexible Flyer: Grant Hart". Blurt. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
- Rischer, Reed (7 November 2013). "The Grant Hart documentary is everything it ought to be". City Pages. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
- "Hüsker Dü's Grant Hart subject of new film by director of Replacements documentary". Slicing Up Eyeballs. 10 April 2012. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
- Shryock, John (15 August 2013). "Abused pit bull "Louis Vuitton" to be focus of documentary". WSFA. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
- Griffin, Allison (16 August 2013). "Unbroken: Once-abused pit bull Louis Vuitton still an inspiration". Montgomery Advertiser. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
- Harris, Ara. "Gorman Bechard–Punk Rocking Film". Virago Mag. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
- Tribbey, Ralph (2016-03-19). "DVD & Blu-Ray Release Report: Filmmaker Gorman Bechard's A Dog Named Gucci To Make Its DVD Debut On Apr. 19". DVD & Blu-Ray Release Report. Retrieved 2016-04-12.
- "Without Passion, Film Is Nothing - Pyragraph". 2015-06-25. Retrieved 2016-07-09.
- Hudson, Scott (21 January 2015). "Kickstarter launched for new Loveless documentary". Argus Leader. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
- from and interview on the Americana Music Show #299, published May 10, 2016
- "Who Is Lydia Loveless? This Is the Year We Find Out". No Depression. 2015-12-31. Retrieved 2016-04-12.
- http://www.columbusalive.com/content/stories/2015/10/15/the-ten-best-rock-docs-of-all-time-in-the-humble-opinion-of-a-rock-documentarian.html accessdate=15 October 2015
- "Staff Pick: The rest of the country prepared to find out just "Who Is Lydia Loveless"". Columbus Alive. Retrieved 2016-04-12.
- GormanBechard (2015-06-11), Pizza, A Love Story - TRAILER #1, retrieved 2016-04-12
- "Sarah Shook & the Disarmers - 10 New Country Artists You Need to Know: July 2016". Retrieved 2016-07-09.
- "See Lydia Loveless' Day in Bed for New 'Longer' Video". 2016-07-06. Retrieved 2016-07-09.
- BSHQ (2016-08-20), Lydia Loveless "Clumps" (Official Music Video), retrieved 2016-08-21
- "Watch Lydia Loveless Pine for Romance In a Record Store with "Clumps" | NOISEY". Retrieved 2016-08-21.
- "Free films for all at New Haven documentary festival, June 5–7". Retrieved 22 May 2015.
- "Newtown, music, panels at New Haven Documentary Film Fest starting Thursday". www.nhregister.com. Retrieved 2016-06-11.
- GormanBechard (2010-01-02), YOU ARE ALONE trailer, retrieved 2016-04-12
- GormanBechard (2010-01-02), FRIENDS (WITH BENEFITS) trailer, retrieved 2016-04-12
- GormanBechard (2011-12-11), COLOR ME OBSESSED trailer, retrieved 2016-04-12
- GormanBechard (2012-09-28), What Did You Expect? the Archers of Loaf live at Cat's Cradle - long trailer, retrieved 2016-04-12
- GormanBechard (2013-04-24), Broken Side of Time - trailer #1, retrieved 2016-04-12
- GormanBechard (2014-01-18), Every Everything: the music, life & times of Grant Hart - TRAILER, retrieved 2016-04-12
- GormanBechard (2016-02-29), A DOG NAMED GUCCI - official trailer, retrieved 2016-04-12
- GormanBechard (2016-01-01), Who is Lydia Loveless? - OFFICIAL TRAILER, retrieved 2016-04-12
- "Gorman Bechard.com". gormanbechard.com. Retrieved 2015-07-05.