The Royal Road

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USA | 2015 | 65 minutes | Jenni Olson

A poetic and cinematic essay about nostalgia, California's urban landscapes, the pursuit of an impossible lesbian relationship, and the Mexican-American War in the 1840s all rolled into one, with references to movie classics sprinkled in for good measure.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

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Sunday, May 31, 2015

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This deeply personal autobiographical exploration intertwines the narrator’s introspective story with the vast, tumultuous history of California. Director Jenni Olson has been filming footage of California for several years. These short, still shots act as the only background for Olson’s film. Over these shots she narrates an extended monologue ranging from her failed relationships with women to thoughts on the classic film Vertigo to the history of the Mexican-American War. The simplicity of the shots coupled with the honesty with which Olson speaks paints a vivid picture of her life. California is also beautifully on display in this film both visually and verbally as Olson speaks of its complex past. Olson takes her time when she speaks, her voice comforting and melodic, relaxing the audience while still being engaging. Unconventional in the simplicity of a monologue spoken over filmed footage, Olson nevertheless manages to create an alluring piece of cinema that is accessible and entrancing.

Director Biography
Jenni Olson is an American filmmaker, author, and curator. Born and educated in Minnesota, she is an expert on gay and lesbian cinema history. Her previous films include Homo Promo (1993) and The Joy Of Life (2005). She also wrote “The Ultimate Guide to Lesbian & Gay Film” and “Video and the Queer Movie Poster Book.”

  • Director: Jenni Olson
  • Principal Cast: Jenni Olson, Tony Kushner
  • Country: USA
  • Year: 2015
  • Running Time: 65 minutes
  • Producer: Julie Dorf, Jenni Olson
  • Screenplay: Jenni Olson
  • Cinematographers: Sophie Constantinou
  • Editors: Dawn Logsdon
  • Music: Chris Pureka
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Filmography: The Joy of Life (Doc, 2005), Bride of Trailer Camp (2001), Afro Promo (1997), Trailers Schmailers (Doc, 1997), Trailer Camp (Doc, 1995), Homo Promo (1993)
  • Language: English
  • Format: DCP
  • International Sales: Preferred Content