Screens in “Forces For Good” Shorts Program
Saturday, September 20 at 4:00 p.m.
Director: Lucy Walker
2014, 15 min.
A stunningly courageous young actor, Marianna Palka, confronts her risk of Huntington’s Disease.
The title “The Lion’s Mouth Opens” is taken from lines from a poem that Bob Dylan wrote about Woody Guthrie called “Last Thoughts on Woody Guthrie” which Marianna can recite in its entirety (it takes about 7 minutes). The story of the poem is that Dylan went to visit Woody Guthrie (arguably his greatest early influence) in Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital, where Guthrie was dying from Huntington’s Disease. Dylan recited the poem live only once, after he returned to the stage at the end of his April 12, 1963 performance at New York’s Town Hall. Dylan explained that “there’s this book coming out, and they asked me to write something about Woody, sort of like what does Woody Guthrie mean to you in 25 words, and I couldn’t do it, I wrote out five pages”.
Lucy Walker is a British film director who has twice been nominated for an Academy Award. Her films include feature documentaries The Crash Reel (2013), Waste Land (2010), Countdown to Zero (2010), Blindsight (2006), Devil’s Playground (2002) and short films notably The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom (2011) and The Lion’s Mouth Opens (2014). Her films have also been nominated for seven Emmys, an Independent Spirit and a Gotham Award and have won over eighty other film awards.