Penny Lane’s most recent feature documentary film, NUTS!, premiered at Sundance 2016, where it won a Special Jury Prize for Editing. Her debut feature documentary, Our Nixon, premiered at Rotterdam, had its North American premiere at SXSW, won the Ken Burns Award for “Best of the Festival” at Ann Arbor, and was selected as the Closing Night Film at New Directors/New Films. Lane was named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film” in 2012. Lane has been awarded grants from Creative Capital, Cinereach, TFI Documentary Fund, Jerome Foundation, LEF Foundation, NYSCA, Experimental Television Center, IFP, and Puffin Foundation. She was named “Most Badass!” at the Iowa City Documentary Film Festival in 2009. Her short films, such as The Voyagers (2010), have won accolades at film festivals and popularity online. Film festival screenings include Sundance, Rotterdam, Images, IMPAKT, Hot Docs, Full Frame, AFI FEST, Oberhausen, San Francisco, Seattle, Rooftop Films, BAFICI, and Ashland. Lane received her MFA in Integrated Electronic Arts at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and her BA in American Culture and Media Studies at Vassar College. She has taught film, video, and new media art at Bard College, Hampshire College and Williams College. She is currently a professor in the Department of Art and Art History at Colgate University, where she lives in a very old house and shows movies in her barn. And yes, Penny Lane is her real name.
Inventive and wildly fun, NUTS! recounts the mostly-true story of John Romulus Brinkley, a Kansas doctor who in 1917 discovered that he could cure impotence by transplanting goat testicles into men. From there, the story only gets more bizarre.
Mixing hand-drawn animated reenactments, interviews, archival footage, and a highly unreliable narrator, NUTS! traces Brinkley’s rise from poverty and obscurity to the heights of celebrity, wealth, and influence. Along the way, he transplants thousands of goat testicles, amasses an enormous fortune, is (sort of) elected Governor of Kansas, invents junk mail and the infomercial, builds the world’s most powerful radio station, and generally annoys the heck out of the establishment.
Filmmaker Penny Lane (Our Nixon) has skillfully borrowed a page from her subject – charming viewers into believing the unbelievable, building their trust and excitement, until the final chapter bares the painful truth and reveals the doctor for what he truly was. NUTS! reminds us that our love of (and need for) compelling narratives is exactly what makes us so endlessly susceptible to being conned.
Tuesday, November 9, 2016: Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA, 7:00 PM ET
Wednesday, November 9, 2016: Opening Nights Performing Arts/Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, 7:30 PM ET
Thursday, November 10, 2016: Broward College Foundation, Davie, FL, 7:30 PM ET
Friday, November 11, 2016: Miami-Dade Co. Dept. of Cultural Affairs/South Miami-Dade Cultural Center, Cutler Bay, FL, 8:30 PM ET
Monday, November 14, 2016: Tropic Cinema/Key West Film Society, Key West, FL, 6:30 PM ET
Thursday, November 17, 2016: North Central Louisiana Arts Council, Ruston, LA, 7:00PM CT
Friday, November 18, 2016: Arts Council of Central Louisiana, Alexandria, LA, 7:00PM CT