LIQUID LIGHT is the first full-length documentary to chronicle the story of the Joshua Light Show, called “the most psychedelic light show of all time” by Rolling Stone Magazine in 2012 — from its seminal residency at New York’s Fillmore East in the late 1960s, creating live mind-bending visuals for history-making rock & roll theater, to its current internationally-acclaimed renaissance, performing with new music trendsetters.
Dubbed the “forefather of VJ culture,” founder Joshua White pioneered rock and roll theater stagecraft with his liquid light artistry in 1967 at the age of 25 with a young group of collaborators. Together they performed transcendent shows with all-star headliners including Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane, The Grateful Dead, The Doors, The Who and many others. A hallmark of the Light Show was the group’s real-time improvisational use of handmade liquid projections, common reflective objects, and repurposed theatrical lighting apparatus.
The Joshua Light Show was regenerated in 2004 when, at the invitation of the Anthology Film Archives in New York, Mr. White teamed up with artist and Emmy-winning Pee Wee’s Playhouse set designer and artist Gary Panter, using the original techniques and 40-year-old gear. Since then, over numerous engagements from LA and New York to London and Berlin, the show’s sophistication and stunning effects have continued to evolve with the participation of a multi-generational group of artists who bring a new dimension and a shared passion to Joshua White’s handmade liquid light vision. Recent shows have been hailed by critics as “abstract cinema,” “visual music” and “living artwork of organic complexity.”
In the documentary LIQUID LIGHT, the history and legacy of the Joshua Light Show will be told through interviews with luminaries of rock music who performed with the Light Show at the Fillmore East, Rolling Stone Magazine writer and editor Anthony DeCurtis, the current LIght Show artists, archival images and footage, and through behind-the-scenes access as Josh White, today aged 75, and his team rehearse and stage a major performance at New York University’s Skirball Theater in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Joshua Light Show. Beautifully filmed on September 9, 2017 with four cameras, the 50th anniversary performance will unfold in the film in real-time, from both the audience perspective and backstage, revealing the secrets of this unique and timeless arcane art.
Producers: Kelly Sheehan, Simon Egleton
Director of Photography: Gary Griffin
Cameras: Kat Patterson, Andy Wilson
Writers: Kim Connell, Kelly Sheehan
Editor: Kim Connell
Consulting Producer: Alice Arnold