The Royal Road
February 2, 2016 · The Pilot Light · 7:30 p.m.
A cinematic essay in defense of remembering, The Royal Road offers up a primer on Junipero Serra’s Spanish colonization of California and the Mexican American War alongside intimate reflections on nostalgia, the pursuit of unavailable women, butch identity and Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo — all against a contemplative backdrop of 16mm urban California landscapes, and featuring a voiceover cameo by Tony Kushner.
This bold, innovative film from acclaimed San Francisco filmmaker Jenni Olson combines rigorous historical research with lyrically written personal monologue and relates these seemingly disparate stories from an intimate, colloquial perspective to tell a one-of-a-kind California tale.
“A humorous exploration of butch romantic desires…a sort of butch reply to Ross McElwee’s classic Sherman’s March.” — Berenice Reynaud, Senses of Cinema
“Experimental in its docu/narrative hybrid yet emotionally accessible, this beguiling meditation . . . should nonetheless win over more adventurous viewers and programmers.” — Dennis Harvey, Variety
About the Filmmaker
Jenni Olson is an American film curator, filmmaker, author, and LGBT film historian. She co-founded the pioneering LGBT website PlanetOut.com and is on advisory boards at Outfest/UCLA Legacy Project for LGBT Film Preservation, and Canyon Cinema. As a film collector and archivist Jenni’s programs have been shown at film festivals around the world, as have her many films and videos. Her films include 575 Castro St. (’09) and The Joy of Life (’05).