Little Richard: I Am Everything
Join us for a special evening to celebrate the groundbreaking life and career of rock-n-rolls' most influential artist, LITTLE RICHARD. Filmmaker Lisa Cortes will join us for a Q&A! Fresh from its World Premiere at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival, Little Richard: I Am Everything tells the story of the Black queer origins of rock n' roll. It explodes the whitewashed canon of American pop music to reveal the innovator – the originator – Richard Penniman. Through a wealth of archive and performance that brings us into Richard's complicated inner world, the film unspools the icon's life story with all its switchbacks and contradictions.Lisa Cortés is an Academy Award–nominated and Emmy-winning producer and director renowned for creating challenging, visionary stories. The film Precious, which she executive produced, received the Sundance Audience Award and Grand Jury Prize for best drama. All In: The Fight For Democracy, which she directed with Liz Garbus, chronicles the battle waged by Stacey Abrams against voter suppression.More on the film: Like a quasar burning past the gaslight, director Lisa Cortés’ eye-opening documentary explodes the whitewashed canon of American pop music. Little Richard: I Am Everything shines a clarifying light on the Black, queer origins of rock ’n’ roll, and establishes the genre’s big bang: Richard Wayne Penniman.Testimonials from legendary musicians and cultural figures, Black and queer scholars, Penniman’s family and friends, and interviews with the artist himself all exuberantly reclaim a history that was willfully appropriated by white artists and institutions. Cortés updates the canon with a treasure trove of rarely seen archival footage of Penniman. Among the gems are scenes with his Black and queer predecessors and contemporaries, like Sister Rosetta Tharpe: the mother of rock ’n’ roll who gave 14-year-old Penniman his first break.Cortés depicts Penniman’s complex journey as a conflicted revolutionary who careened between religion, sex, and rock ’n’ roll, navigating the extreme tensions of race and sexuality of his time. She reminds us that outsiders and outcasts can possess superpowers that, given the chance, can create new worlds for us all to dance in.This event is sponsored by The Tower Theater & Visit Central Oregon and supported in part by the Deschutes County Arts & Culture Program, The Oregon Health Authority and Oregon Arts Build Communities.Ticket price includes a $2 Tower Theatre Historic Preservation Fee.