Eyeosaur and MVD Visual are proud to announce the DVD release of Wesley Willis’s Joy Rides on December 8, 2009. An underground rock icon and revered artist, the late, great Wesley Willis attracted and offended people the world over. Wesley Willis’s Joy Rides follows the life of the prolific and controversial artist on his journey from obscurity to fame.
A Chicago native, Wesley Willis became an underground rock icon, revered artist and hero to many before his untimely death in 2003. Termed by some as an “outsider artist” due to his schizophrenia, the film examines Wesley’s ability to draw people in despite his intimidating facade.
Through his force of personality and his artistic talents, Wesley’s music and art attracted people from all walks of life. Greeting people with a headbutt and a request to say “rah” and “roh”, Wesley quickly stood out in a crowd. Through interviews with friends and footage from the last four years of Wesley’s life, a portrait emerges of a man whose day-to-day existence was wrought with pain and joy. Although his life was troubled, Wesley never stopped creating. He continued to draw pictures and write songs up until his death.
Wesley Willis’s Joy Rides won the Gold Hugo for the Chicago Award at the 2008 Chicago International Film Festival. It premiered at the Slamdance Film Festival in January 2008, and has since been shown at Noise Pop Film Festival, Hot Docs, SXSW, and The Starz Denver Film Festival.
The following city premieres will take place in conjunction with the DVD release:
PHILADELPHIA – Monday Nov 30 – FREE!
The Continuing Story of the Outsider (fest)
Midnight Screening of Wesley Willis’s Joy Rides
National Mechanics Bar & Restaurant Old City Philadelphia
22 S 3rd St – Philadelphia, PA 19106
With music by Bobo, Personae Joe Melchiorre, Technophobes, and more!
CHICAGO – Sunday, December 6th at 7pm – FREE!
The Empty Bottle
1035 N Western Avenue
Chicago, IL 60622
With music following the screening.
BROOKLYN – Monday, December 7th at 8pm- FREE!
289 Kent Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211
With music by Teenage Prayers and Eric Lindley