town bloody hall
The night men vs. women became a thing
In 1971, Norman Mailer, the Pulitzer prize winning icon of the beat generation (as well as the most vociferous misogynist of all time), moderated a cacophonous debate about feminism that was captured on film in the documentary, Town Bloody Hall. This year the event has been reinterpreted in the Wooster Group’s play “The Town Hall Affair” and is playing across the country largely due to its favorable review in The New Yorker.
It’s obvious Town Bloody Hall could not be more relevant than today as feminist marches expand around the globe. The film will reenact much of the debate as well as capture the behind the scenes encounters between the panel of women— cultural critics Diana Trilling, Germaine Greer, and Jill Johnston, along with Jacqueline Ceballos, the president of the New York chapter of NOW- and a snarling, acerbic Norman Mailer.
After his extreme close up with the Women's Lib movement at Town Hall, Mailer discovered a newfound appreciation for women, though he displayed it in eccentric ways. Without ever meeting Marilyn, he wrote an imaginary interview/biography of her, including photographs of her in various states of nudity. Perhaps he figured there was no better way to honor women than by glorifying one of the idyllic women of the world, but his book on Marilyn has been crucial to understanding both her, and the time period in which they both lived.
This story resonates today with a sense of urgency as we witness forces in power that threaten to undo everything those social movements achieved. By using a barrage of camera moves, rapid cuts and extreme close ups, we hope to capture the explosiveness of the time and intensity of the characters. Many of the scenes will be shot in real-time lending a “live” feel in the film.
The film ‘Town Bloody Hall” will revisit the early 1970s – that odd period when the sixties were officially over, but the seventies lacked its own identity. Women’s Liberation, anti-war protests and the civil rights movement were still putting people on the streets. Norman Mailer was the vortex for much of the dialogue and became public enemy #1 of Women’s Liberation. His statements like “all women are lowly beasts,” were downright misogynistic. However, it was Mailer’s 1970 article, which became a book “The Prisoner of Sex” that really put Mailer in the crosshairs of the women’s movement and the impetus for the debate which became “Town Bloody Hall.”
TOWN BLOODY HALL TEASER
STATUS - In development
BUDGET - $2 mil
MODEL - Indie/Historical/Drama
ASSETS - Michael Simon and Norman Mailer and Marilyn Monroe
DISTRIBUTION STRATEGY - Festivals
FINANCIALS - Seeking equity in first position 20% premium into a 50/50 split
TIMEFRAME - TBD