The Wild One

Past and present freely intermingle in the work of Jack Garfein, director of stage and film. Powered by his vivid recollections and augmented with readings by Willem Dafoe, The Wild One traces Garfein’s life starting from his Czechoslovakian youth and surviving multiple concentration camps including Auschwitz. His arrival in New York at age 16 led him to the Actors Studio where he was a protégé of legendary director Lee Strasberg. Garfein went on to become a key figure in the formation of Actors Studio West and a teacher to many eventual award-winning actors. As a director, his memorable productions, such as Something Wild, were ahead of their time in tackling such issues as homosexuality, race and violence. Director Tessa Louise-Salomé places Garfein in a large, unadorned space which he freely fills with details of his life, accompanied by film clips, photos and comments from film historians, actors, students, his children, and friends. Whether describing his encounter with Nazi doctor Josef Mengele, his life with actor and wife Carroll Baker or his friendship with Marilyn Monroe, Garfein is a lucid and animated subject. He is incredibly intimate and passionate as he reflects on how his tragic childhood informed his unique, driven, and uncompromising vision as an artist.

Recipient of a 2020 JFI Completion Grant and winner of the 2020 Albert & Judith Goldberg Award

California Premiere

Tessa Louise-Salomé is a Paris-based director, writer, and producer whose work foregrounds visually-poetic approaches to storytelling. Her films as director include the Sundance Jury Prize nominee Mr. Leos caraX, and as producer, festival-selected documentaries (Cannes, Viennale, IFFR, CPH:DOX) combining social justice issues with a focus on the artist’s creative universe.

Co-sponsored by Nancy Blachman


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$140 JFI Members / $165 General Public

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