Tuesday, March 9, 2010

New Jesse Bernstein documentary!

"I Am Secretly An Important Man" is a new documentary film, currently in post-production, about the life of Steven J. Bernstein (AKA Jesse Bernstein). During the '80s and early '90s Bernstein wrote the kind of poetry I don't hate, which is rare. It was angry, dirty, cynical, funny, and often filled with themes about the underbelly of society. I first heard him in 1988 reading his poem "Come Out Tonight" on The Sub Pop 200 compilation and was immediately transfixed, I think I put it on every mixed tape I made that year. Sub Pop went on to release a pile of his albums, most notably "Prison" in 1992. Bernstein also appeared in the locally brewed 1990 movie Shredder Orpheus, doing the voice-over and starring as a crippled vet that lived on the docs and got around town wheeling himself by his hands while propped on a skateboard. In the larger picture, he was one of Seattle's most celebrated spoken word artists. He also lived a troubled life, plagued by drug problems, alcoholism and depression, he killed himself in October of 1991. Get this, he didn't just do it the easy way, he was alone in a cabin in the most Northern corner of the state, where he stabbed himself in the stomach repeatedly until he bled out. Brutal, yet somehow not that unexpected, given what kind of a man he was.

Watch the trailer for the documentary here!

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