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A story about an unbroken 150 year lineage of outrageous Southern gay culture and arts underground dating from the Civil War. Read more

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This project was successfully funded on February 5, 2011.

A story about an unbroken 150 year lineage of outrageous Southern gay culture and arts underground dating from the Civil War.

About this project

Give the gift that will keep on giving - The film is 75% complete and I need your help to bring it home!

The video clip shown today is the second of a series of clips that will be posted on Kickstarter they're from a fundraising trailer made in 2008 - - The image is the Water Nymphs taken by John Ashley in 1975.

THE LAST OF THE PAGAN BABIES tells the rich story of a rural Southern radical gay culture and art underground -- an international crossroads of art, sex, and politics, Lexington, Kentucky.

Featuring underground luminaries Robert Morgan, Jimmy Gordon, Bradley Picklesimer, Henry Faulkner, Marion Broadus, Sweet Evening Breeze, the film includes experimental video and film (including an early George Kuchar film, KY KAPERS), paintings, music, and the art photography of John Ashley.

A collective, The Pagan Babies were outrageous artists, who spoke truth to power, and made radical decisions to bring their voice into public life through drag personas, art, photography, experimental film, and guerilla theatre. The characters in this documentary speak from that underground’s moral center claiming their right of expression, refusing to be invisible while giving voice to 150 years of underground life. They are still sources of deep inspiration for generations of refugees that make up Lexington’s underground.

These stories are inhabited by the famous and infamous, including Sue Mundy aka Jerome Clarke (1860s) who joined the Confederate General John Hunt Morgan’s famed Morgan's Raiders at age 17, becoming notorious as the woman marauder, Sue Mundy - - and the first in a lineage of radical transgender personalities. Next there’s Belle Breezing, madam and political powerhouse (1890s) after whom Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With Wind’s ‘Belle’ was modeled; Sweet Evening Breeze (1940s), a black intersex transvestite is fondly remembered for her evening strolls through downtown; international painter, blues singer and drag artist Henry Faulkner (1940s-1981) and his lifelong lover Tennessee ‘Tom’ Williams; and a mélange of outrageous underground icons such as Williams Burroughs, Divine (made famous by John Waters), Jamie Herlihy (author of Midnight Cowboy), Vincent Price, celebrity photographer Marie Cosindas, and Hollywood couple Rock Hudson and Gene Barry.

Oral history is woven into a textured backdrop of music, art, photography and video with Mike Kelsay, Steve Armstrong, Diane Kahlo, Sherri McGee, Gene Williams, Charles Dansby, Frank Close, Fred Mills, Loraine Sanders, and more, providing a tapestry of humor, history and insight. The music track will be scored by Lydian Tone with original music by Jimmy Gordon and the Royal Batfangs, the 80s drag/punk rock group The Thrusters featuring Bradley Picklesimer, Lydian Tone, Willie Shuman among others, and, music composed and performed by Lydian Tone.

I've been working on the film for three years with the help of folks in Lexington who came to a fund raising party at Mike Broadus' in 2008, and with that support, I was able to make the production sample and do a number of days of location shooting, and two days of interviews in a black box theater kindly donated by the Downtown Arts Center in Lexington.

Your contribution to THE LAST OF THE PAGAN BABIES will help me complete the production and edit phases of the film including five more days of production, digitizing and transferring a large number of photographs, black & white reel video shot at Club A GoGo, music, images of Henry Faulkner and his paintings, the art and lives of JImmy Gordon, Robert Morgan, and Bradley Picklesimer. And, finally, to work with sound designer Lydian Tone, and an editor with a mind to finish by July 2011. Funds will also be used to buy performance rights to a couple of Velvet Underground/Lou Reed tunes. I am also commissioning what will be a highly collectible movie poster that is offered as one of the Kickstarter awards for contributing. Fred Mills at the Kentucky Theater has committed to hosting the World Premier sometime in 2011.

Every contribution is tax-deductible (minus the market value of the gift). Any funds raised that exceed our stated goal will be important to the completion of the film.

Join The Last of the Pagan Babies community on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/home.php... for the news.

Thank you for your support!

Format: High Definition Video
Producer/director: Jean Donohue
Co-producer: Fred Johnson
Director of Photography: Mark Stucker
Editors: Jason Crow, jean Donohue, Fred Johnson, Miguel Huarcaya
Musical score by Lydian Tone with music from The Royal Batfangs, The Thrusters and more.
A Media Working Group Films production

To see more videos, images and information email jdonohue@mwg.org or call
859.581.0033

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $1 or more

    4 backers

    An invitation to the World Premier of THE LAST OF THE PAGAN BABIES film at the Kentucky Theater and access to all the news about the production.

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    Pledge $10 or more

    7 backers

    An invitation to the World Premier of THE LAST OF THE PAGAN BABIES film at the Kentucky Theater and access to all the news about the production, and a warm thank you.

  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    25 backers

    A limited edition copy of THE LAST OF THE PAGAN BABIES movie poster, and one ticket to the World Premier screening of the film at the Kentucky Theater.

  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    3 backers Limited (2 left of 5)

    A special reward of a gallery poster from John Ashley's 1979 show of his PAGAN BABIES photographs at the Silver Images Gallery in Columbus, OH, curated by photography critic A.D. Coleman. Donated by Gene Williams, we have 5 available. You get the poster plus all the original $25 rewards described above.

  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    16 backers

    A limited edition copy of THE LAST OF THE PAGAN BABIES movie poster, your name in the credits, and one ticket to the World Premier Screening at the Kentucky Theater.

  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    19 backers

    An invitation to a private, exclusive Premier Reception, a limited edition copy of THE LAST OF THE PAGAN BABIES movie poster, your name in the credits, and two tickets to the World Premier of the film at the Kentucky Theater.

  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    11 backers

    An invitation to an exclusive Sneak Peek Screening and party, an invitation to all Pre-Premier activities, two tickets to the World Premier screening, your name in the credits, a limited edtion movie poster, and a signed copy of THE LAST OF THE PAGAN BABIES DVD!

  • You selected
    Pledge $450 or more

    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    Loraine Sanders and Jimmy Gordon have donated four paintings by Jimmy Gordon. One is an earlier work of Jimmy's which is described as "an artist's table askew" and is approximately 8 !/2 by 11 with a Faulkneresque 3 iinch frame. The others are three pieces from the La La Jimberly series. With a $450 pledge you get one painting and all the above, a great deal.

  • You selected
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    1 backer All gone!

    An original painting by Arturo Sandoval AND all the rewards above! Arturo is one of Kentucky's most original, influential and significant artists. Because he creates an extensive collection of work his artwork is everywhere. His work is in the collections of the New York City Museum of Modern Art's Architecture and Design Collection, as well as galleries and private collections throughout the United States and the world. For more information about Arturo - http://www.arturoart.com/

  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    1 backer All gone!

    Steve Armstrong has committed one of his sculptures, he says "I really want this film to be made. I've given what I can. Please give $1, $5,$25, $100 or whatever you can. I'll give a piece of my sculpture (retail value: $1200.) to the next person who gives $500."
    Of course, you will also receive all of the above!

  • You selected
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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    Ben Durham is currently showing his work in NYC and LA . The work he's offering is a study for works in the show. A PBS art21 profile/ interview was recently posted online:
    http://blog.art21.org/2011/01/28/inside-the-artists-studio-ben-durham/

  • You selected
    Pledge $2,000 or more

    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    This is a special opportunity to own one of Robert Morgan's sculpture that gained so much notoriety this last summer. It is called STANDING WARRIOR, is a smaller piece from the GOLDEN HOARD series. With a $2,000 dollar pledge you receive this piece from the artist and all the above rewards!

  • You selected
    Pledge $5,000 or more

    0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)

    All the above and a one of a kind, sculptural piece by Robert Morgan from his collection THE GOLDEN HOARD. Go to The Last of the Pagan Babies Facebook page to see one of the horseman.

Funding period

- (45 days)