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The Angry Filmmaker: Kelley Baker introduces the most dangerous woman in America

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The Angry Filmmaker, Kelley Baker is reintroducing the world to Kay Boyle, who in 1967 was branded ‘Dangerous’, by S.I. Hiyakawa, the President of San Francisco State University and later a United States Senator. Hiyakawa said,

“Kay Boyle is the most dangerous woman in America!”

Hiyakawa publically fired Boyle, 65 years old, in 1967 for her active role in the student protests. Then the stubborn writer, poet, expatriate, and political activist fought for herself, won, and was reinstated as professor of creative writing until she retired.

Baker, aka the ‘Angry Filmmaker’ has worked in Hollywood for over 20 years. He’s best known for his impeccable work as sound designer for six of Gus Van Sant’s feature films, including ‘Goodwill Hunting’ and ‘Finding Forester’. He’s also made eight short films, three features, a few documentaries, a ton of corporate videos and commercials, and is the author of two books on filmmaking, ‘The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide, Parts 1 & 2’.

Kelly Baker, affectionately known as ‘The Angry Filmmaker’ sums up Boyle’s incredible life in an introduction for his film, ‘DANGEROUS: Kay Boyle’, which chronicles Kay Boyle’s life;

“As an American expatriate writing in Paris in the 20's and 30's, a journalist documenting the fall of France in the 40's for The New Yorker, a blacklisted writer in the 50's, an anti-war activist and essayist in the 60's and 70's, and founder of the San Francisco chapter of Amnesty International in the 80's, Kay Boyle's literary and political career is a chronicle of the events and concerns of the Twentieth Century." ‘DANGEROUS: Kay Boyle, An Introduction’ Kelley Baker

Most people haven’t heard of Kay Boyle even with her long list of achievements, acknowledgments, and awards, including;

  • Her work as Foreign Correspondent for The New Yorker, the NAACP, and Amnesty International.

  • Being ‘Blacklisted’ from all major magazines

  • Published more than 40 books including 14 novels, 8 volumes of poetry, 11 collections of short fiction, and 3 Childrens books.

  • Recipient of 2 O.Henry Awards

  • A Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters

  • Received 2 Guggenheim Fellowships

  • Awarded a Lifetime Achievement award from the National Endowment for the Arts

Author Sandra Whipple Spanier, in her book 'Kay Boyle, Artist and Activist’, shares a story about Katherine Ann Porter singling out Kay Boyle for her talents,

"Early in her career, as an avant-garde writer in Paris in the 1920's Kay Boyle was singled out by Katherine Ann Porter as one of the strongest and most promising talents of her generation, as one who 'sums up the salient qualities of that movement: a fighting spirit, fresh of feeling, curiosity, the courage of her own attitude and Idiom, a violently dedicated search for the meaning and methods of art.' "

Although Baker isn't new to film making, when he sat down with Kay 27 years ago, in 1986, he was a different man than he is today, and was, no doubt, infecting by the same stubborn, dangerous, and independent spirit which lead Kay Boyle into most of her adventures. In making his film, ‘Dangerous: Kay Boyle’, Baker, actually had the opportunity to interview Boyle multiple times and accompanied her to several events. He also interviewed Stud Terkle, Leo Litwak, and some of her children, friends and contemporaries here in America, France, and abroad.

In Baker’s survival guide for filmmakers he not only shares why he’s ‘angry’, but he gives shows us why he is the perfect filmmaker to take on this ‘Dangerous’ documentary,

“A lot of people have asked me why I’m angry. I am the Angry Filmmaker after all. What makes me angry is the state of INDEPENDENT films. The independent film industry is no longer even remotely independent. It’s been mainstreamed by Hollywood and is now simply another over-hyped product… It begs the question: Independent from what?”

(Excerpt from, ‘The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide, Part 1: Making The Extreme No-Budget Film’, Preface, by The Angry Filmmaker)

Independent film is a platform today for the telling, educating, encouraging, and developing the stubbornly independent spirit of humanity that bids us to fight for what we believe. Although it hasn't always been used properly with this purpose in mind, more and more filmmakers are making films that do just those things.

Many issue-films and documentaries have come out in the last few years that ask us to think about who we are, where we have been, where we are going, and if the destination is where we want to end up. They also asks us to remember those who have gone before us blazing the trail of ‘Independence’. Kay Boyle was one of those great historical trail blazers that history cannot just forget, and filmmakers, like Kelley Baker the Angry Filmmaker, who has been editing and marinating in this amazing story for 27 years, are bringing them to us in a time when people have forgotten but the stage is ready to remind them.

Baker shares this very sentiment,

“In an era when the heroes of American culture are athletes, actors and rock stars, all of whom are celebrated chiefly for their staggering salaries, Kay Boyle is as rare a bird as any of those listed on the endangered species list.” he continues, “Kay is a role model not just for women or artists, she is a role model for all of us. She is an example of how to live a full life and have a profound effect on the lives of others. I don’t want to see this legacy lost.”

For more information on how you can help Kelly Baker, The Angry Filmmaker, get ‘Dangerous: Kay Boyle’ out and spread the word visit, his website: TheAngryFilmmaker you can also follow The Angry Filmmaker here Twitter.

More on Kay Boyle:

Kay Boyle: An Introduction

New Directions : Kay Boyle

More on Kelley Baker’s ‘Dangerous: Kay Boyle’:

Video clips from others sharing the importance of, ‘Dangerous’.

Kay Boyle: The Most Dangerous Writer in America - KAB, Good Stuff N.Y.


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