1946, 24 Min, BW
"For his first film Peterson collaborated with fellow experimental filmmaker James Broughton. Inspired by the exhuming of a San Francisco cemetery the two men set out to “try every trick the camera knew.” Chronicling a man’s exploration of a decrepit house populated by aging women, The Potted Psalm divides the protagonist into both a young man and a headless figure, revealing Peterson’s interest in the depersonalization of character, which would continue throughout his career. Using intense close-ups and a disjointed narrative, Peterson combines the erotic with the decaying in this depiction of Freudian desires."
1948, 22 Min, BW
“Accepting the potentialities of the medium to manipulate both time and space, Broughton brings past and present head-on as he regards with adult feelings his childhood family and friends. Grown-ups romp like children, and by their magnified infantilism playfully underscore such basic traits as sadism, sensuality, arid egocentricity."
1950, 11 Min, BW
A satiric version of the Hero Quest, about a naive country boy's search for his ideal Love in the big city (San Francisco) with crazy frustrations at every turn. Broughton himself enacts bewildered Jimmy. Photography by Frank Stauffacher; jazz score by Weldon Kees. "Hilarious and very witty. Mr. Broughton is an odd bird in the film aviary." —Manchester Guardian
1974, 20 Min, COLOR
"James Broughton’s Testament is the purest and to my mind the most powerful of the film autobiographies of the seventies. In style and in technique it is quite eclectic; its most moving sequence comes right our of Hill’s Film Portrait, a sequence of photographs in reverse chronological order. Yet an extreme and profound transformation of the strategies of autobiography is the result of Broughton’s art."
(November 10, 1913 – May 17, 1999) was an American a poet, playwright, and filmmaker. He was part of the San Francisco Renaissance, a precursor to the Beat poets. He was an early bard of the Radical Faeries as well as a member of The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, serving her community as Sister Sermonetta.