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Joe Gibbons: Confessions of a Sociopath

Joe Gibbons: Confessions of a Sociopath

Joe Gibbons

Sunday February 1, 2015, 7:30 pm

Los Angeles Filmforum presents

Joe Gibbons: Confessions of a Sociopath

At the Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90028

The experimental film world was blown away (“shocked” is not the right word, really) by the news just this month that acclaimed and singular filmmaker Joe Gibbons had been arrested for robbing a pair of northeastern banks.  Not only that, but the only weapon he had employed in doing so was one with which he had extensive familiarity: a video camera, almost certainly documenting the robberies for inclusion in an in-progress work.  The New York Post, in their condescending coverage of Gibbons’ apprehension (“Bank Robber Appears to be Screwball Former Professor”), referred to his “art” and his identity as a “visual artist” exactly like that - in quote marks.  Well, to hell with the New York Post and to hell with the banks, Joe Gibbons is not only an artist, but a truly great artist, one who has for decades blended autobiography and fantasy into a richly confessional, bitingly hilarious, unparalleled first-person media/dream-fulfillment.  The “Joe” in Gibbons’ films is not simply Joe Gibbons, and the already blurry distinction between his movie identity and real-guy Joe is smeared out of proportion and recognition the more of his work you see.  He pushes deep, carefully hidden buttons of shame, hilarity, discomfort, and incredulity within us as his viewers/friends/victims/confidants, unpacking his neuroses and pretensions like a weird-smelling, slightly overstuffed carry-on bag being disallowed on the plane. Ultimately Joe Gibbons is the underworld king of the filmic first-person; there are scant few pretenders to his throne - no one even wants to try or would know where to begin. (Mark Toscano)

For this screening, Filmforum is grateful to share Gibbons’ semi(?)-autobiographical masterwork Confessions of a Sociopath (2001- ) and other items to be determined.  Joe is currently in a New York jail cell, but his honorarium for this program will be placed in a support fund being set up by his friends while he’s temporarily indisposed.

For more event information:, or 323-377-7238

Tickets: $10 general, $6 students/seniors; free for Filmforum members.  Available by credit card in advance from Brown Paper Tickets at or at the door

Joe Gibbons is recognized as a groundbreaking filmmaker in experimental autobiography. His more than thirty films include Unnatural Acts (1975), Going to the Dogs (1980), Hellhound (1995), and Final Exit (2000). He has been recognized with fellowships and awards from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Black Maria Film and Video Festival, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Massachusetts Council on the Arts and Humanities. He has screened his work at the Rotterdam Film Festival, the Whitney Biennial, Museum Of Modern Art, and on PBS. He is a 2001 recipient of a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship.

“Joe”, on the other hand, is a professed misanthrope, a man who knows himself to be above all other men, enslaved and empowered by his anxieties and compelled to badger the rest of the world about their intricate machinations and effects.

joe gibbons confessions

Confessions of a Sociopath

Confessions of a Sociopath

2001, color, sound, video, 39 min.