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, from MGMT to electronic innovator Nicolas Jaar.
Dubbed the “forefather of VJ culture,” founder Joshua White pioneered liquid light artistry and live visualizations to music 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 and repurposed 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 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, art curators and historians, the current LIght Show artists, archival images and footage, and through behind-the-scenes access as Josh White, today aged 73, 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 in HD 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
Directors of Photography: Kat Patterson, Gary Griffin
Writers: Kim Connell, Kelly Sheehan
Editor: Kim Connell