Tag Archives: The Potted Psalm

The Bed (1968)

15 Mar
Director James Broughton
Producer  Unknown
Contributors  Publisher: San Francisco: Released by Multi-Media Resources Center; Starring Florence Allen, Gavin Arthur, and Imogen Cunningham
Length  20 minutes
B&W/Color  Color
UO Library Catalog description: Presents the saga of the bed as the center of life, from birth to death. Describes human sexuality in a humorous way
Call # Mc337
Genre  Experimental
Rare  No, very well known
Online  For sale on Best Buy and Amazon
Copyright status Protected
Physical condition  Good
Oregon-related  No


Made during the “summer of love”, The Bed projects the quintessential feel and attitude of San Francisco: free, experimental, humorous, loving, weird, and accepting of all things bizarre and unconventional. It is part of MoMA’s collection and continues to be revisited from time to time.

Broughton, a San Francisco artist, was known for his poetry and films, especially The Potted Psalm and Mother’s Day, which helped kick off the West Coast experimental film scene–he also played a big role in the San Francisco Renaissance. Broughton started making films around the age of 30 during a dark time of his life. They pulled him out of his black hole and essentially saved his life. Broughton also taught at the San Francisco Art Institute where, according to SF Weekly, “he developed a cult following amongst his students.” He was accepting, unconventional, and always encouraged people to “follow your own weird.”

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