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36th Annual Film Series Continues Feb. 4 with ‘The Ecstasy of Wilko Johnson’

The 36th Annual Film Series continues Sunday, February 4, 2 pm with The Ecstasy of Wilko Johnson, directed by Julien Temple, United Kingdom (2015), 92 min.

In a nod to last year’s theme “On being Mortal,” the story of British rock guitarist (of the 1970s-‘80s band Dr. Feelgood) treats one man’s strategy for coming to terms with his impending death. Rather than reacting as some might expect to a grave cancer diagnosis, Wilko Johnson is transported into a state of ecstasy that encourages him to live every moment to the fullest. Director Julien Temple cut his teeth filming rock musicians like the Sex Pistols, so he brings to this profile of Johnson not a clichéd “bucket list” approach, nor a straight biography, but an imaginative attempt to capture the dying man’s experience of ecstasy in what may amount to the ultimate music video. Peppered with homages to many classic films, lively experiments in symbolic visual collaging, and Johnson’s own raucous farewell concerts, the documentary reminds us all to wake up and seek our own life ecstasies sooner rather than later.

The Film Institute is supported by the Thatcher Hoffman Smith Endowment and OKCU’s Center for Interpersonal Studies through Film and Literature.

A discussion will follow the presentation for those who wish to stay.

Praise for The Ecstasy of Wilko Johnson

“He’s a remarkably charismatic subject, and his philosophical equanimity about the prospect of dying within 10 months comes across so naturally one wonders if more cancer patients might be able to achieve it.” John DeFore, Hollywood Reporter

“Johnson is a modern-day renaissance man who’ll be quoting William Blake one moment and belting out some R&B with Roger Daltrey the next. A fascinating subject, he reacts to the prospect of dying by approaching his remaining months in joyous fashion.” Geoffrey Macnab, The Independent

For more films in the 2017-2018 series, read more HERE.

Viewing Notes for The Ecstasy of Wilko Johnson