The Happy Poet

Paul Gordon, USA 2010, 85’

Bill sets up his health food stand in the park, awaiting clients, who ultimately do show up. His dreams come true – or, do they? Isn’t he doing the same thing as Paul Gordon in the film he is making – who is just like the character Bill that Paul is creating. The film is all-natural, vegetarian, handmade, and anti-establishment, just like Bill’s sandwiches. The director and character look for direct contact with the audience, outside the normal convention. They believe that if you make something good, they will come. The health food seller is absolutely straightforward – no charming sales talk here, though ultimately, he is forced to choose whether or not to charm. Most importantly for the audience, the film is charming. It is a breath of fresh air, like the early work of Jarmusch or Linklater. There is subtle irony and questioning behind the positive message. Is it possible to establish an antiestablishment system? In our culture, nothing exists in the media on its own, everything needs a label: a poet wears a shirt with the print The Happy Poet, a nonconformist introduces himself by saying, Hello, I am a nonconformist! Doesn’t he stop being a nonconformist by virtue of the nonconformist crowd around him? The way director Paul Gordon attempts to flesh out this paradox is impressive.

Tadeusz Sobolewski

Paul Gordon

Film director, screenwriter, editor, producer, and actor, Gordon has starred in Below the Break (2005), Gretchen (2006), which received the festival prize at the Los Angeles film festival, Mars (2010) and The Happy Poet. His directorial debut is the feature-length Motorcycle (2006). The Happy Poet is his second film.


2006 Motorcycle

2010 Szczęśliwy poeta / The Happy Poet

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Cast & Crew

director Paul Gordon
screenplay Paul Gordon
cinematography Lucas Millard
editing Paul Gordon
music Eric Friend, Paul Gordon, Jonny Mars
cast Paul Gordon, Liz Fisher, Jonny Mars, Chris Doubek, Matt Joyner, Anika Kunik, James Jensen, Paul Famighetti
producer Paul Gordon, David Hartstein, Jonny Mars
production Austin Film Society, Screen Door Film, The Marchesa, ATX Event Systems
sales St. Chris Film
language English
coloration colour
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