Zeitgeist Films | Paul Goodman Changed My Life
Jonathan Lee
Film Info
2011
89 mins
Color and B&W
USA
In English
Digital only
Aspect ratio: 1.33
Sound: Stereo
Rating: Not rated
Reviews

“The time is surely right for a Goodman revival. There are aspects of contemporary life that he anticipated and influenced — the gay rights movement, most notably — and others that are sorely in need of his wisdom.... Mr. Lee’s film, in addition to making a persuasive (if partial) case for its subject’s importance, also has a great story to tell, of a 20th-century life that was at once exemplary and idiosyncratic.... it has a passionate, almost prophetic sense of the impact that a writer and thinker can have on his times and the future.”
- A.O. Scott, THE NEW YORK TIMES

“Three Stars! Paul Goodman Changed My Life is a documentary about a man who changed mine.”
- Roger Ebert, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES

“The Occupy Wall Streeters could pick up a lot from Goodman’s articulate demand for solutions.”
- Ty Burr, BOSTON GLOBE

“REVELATORY.... Perhaps it’s a tribute to the breadth of Goodman’s life that even after 90 minutes, it feels as if we’ve just scratched the surface. B+.”
- Sam Adams, THE ONION A.V. CLUB

“A richly detailed account of the volatile personality and incredible mind that fearlessly and aggressively pursued a unique and candid form of truth.”
- Max Berlinger, OUT MAGAZINE

“The most influential 20th-century thinker you’ve probably never heard of.... As bluntly humanist and free-ranging as its subject.... There’s more of a need for Paul Goodmans than ever.”
- Mark Holcomb, THE VILLAGE VOICE

“8 out of 10 (Excellent)!”
- Cynthia Fuchs, POPMATTERS

“Watching Jonathan Lee’s Paul Goodman Changed My Life was like spending an hour and half in the company of an open flame, radiating verbal brilliance.”
- Arlene Goldbard, ARLENEGOLDBARD.COM

“A staunch, outrageously brave (sometimes even embarrassing) queer pioneer.... Marvelous!”
- David Noh, FILM JOURNAL

“Fascinating.”
- Richard B. Woodward, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

“Jonathan Lee’s soulful documentary testifies to the tragic ease with which our own culture dispenses with such unclassifiable figures.”
- Jacob Silverman, TABLET

“Leaves the palette craving more. A delectable film!”
- Ryan Wells, CINESPECT

“Lee presents this formidable character as simpatico with today's zeitgeist.... His belief in popular, 'spontaneous uprising'...is gaining currency globally in a movement that would rally to Goodman's declaration that 'most professionals are finks.'”
- Bill Weber, SLANT MAGAZINE

“[Paul Goodman is] worth connecting or re-connecting with.... it is this cheering idea of him as utopian sexual and societal prophet that Lee’s film brings back most seductively.”
- Dan Callahan, THE L MAGAZINE

“The documentary will reawaken interest in a fascinating, multifaceted figure... Philosopher, poet, sociologist,pacifist, psychologist, writer, anarchist, open bisexual and spokesperson for a generation, Paul Goodman ranked among the most influential thinkers in the latter half of the 20th century.”
- Ronnie Scheib, VARIETY

“In the end, Paul Goodman Changed My Life is a bittersweet film, freighted with a melancholy not unlike its protagonist’s, hoping and working for a better world, but uncertain of a future run by fallible human beings. If Lee seems to be actively urging his audience to bring Goodman’s writings and thought back into the forefront of public debate, that’s not at all a bad thing. As an old movie ad campaign said the year after Goodman’s death, boy do we need it now.”
- George Robinson, THE JEWISH WEEK

“Honest and unafraid, Paul Goodman was one of the most penetrating social critics of postwar America. Jonathan Lee’s documentary captures the power of the man’s presence and ideas. Viewers will likely beat a path directly to the library, hungry for more.”
- Casey Nelson Blake, DEPT. OF HISTORY, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY