Underground Film Journal

Posted In » Underground Notes

Opening Today In Portland: I Am Secretly An Important Man

By Mike Everleth ⋅ July 22, 2011

Peter Sillen’s documentary I Am Secretly An Important Man, is a portrait of one of the leading figures of the late 80s and early ’90s “grunge” scene, author and performance artist, Steven Jesse Bernstein. The film, which is being distributed by Mike Plante‘s Cinemad Presents, opens today, July 22, at the Clinton Street Theater in Portland, Oregon. It runs until Thursday, July 28.

Sadly, Bernstein committed suicide in 1991, so now, 20 years later, his cultural legacy isn’t as well-recognized as it should have been had he lived longer. He could have elevated, in a way, to the level of a Charles Bukowski or a¬†Wiliiam S. Burroughs literary figure.

The grunge music scene loved him, having him perform before their live shows and releasing spoken word records. If you were into indie music in the ’90s, you were familiar with his groundbreaking work even if you weren’t into poetry or spoken word.

Watch the trailer for the documentary, which includes several clips of Bernstein, with his extremely distinctive voice, speaking and performing.

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