We’re living through turbulent times right now. So it often feels like there are better ways to spend our time than talking about movies and TV shows. We can indeed use programs like The Real Housewives and The Masked Singer as emotional novocaine; numbing agents that can insulate us from facing all that’s wrong with society right now.
But art also helps people make sense of the world around us and see life from new perspectives. Art has the power to strengthen and inspire us to be a force for change.
The best artists thrill us, sure, but they also challenge us, broaden our perspectives, and help us grow. Lynn Shelton was one such artist, and it fills my heart with sadness that she left this world so soon. We could use a lot more of her work right now.
During Shelton’s all-too-brief career, she tackled deeply relatable themes that explored the beauty and the messiness of human relationships. She told thoughtful and compassionate stories that peered into her characters’ souls to reveal a longing for love and connection that exists within all of us.
We could use a lot more work like Shelton’s right now.
Tonight, some of Shelton’s friends and colleagues will honour her memory through film and music. The special is called Her Effortless Brilliance: A Celebration of Lynn Shelton and you can watch it at 9PM EST on YouTube by clicking this link.
Here is the press release:
SEATTLE, WA (June 10th, 2020) — In honor of beloved filmmaker Lynn Shelton who passed away May 16th, her friends and colleagues have organized an intimate music-driven tribute to Shelton’s life and work. Shelton’s closest collaborators will share words about what working with Lynn meant to them while musicians will perform songs featured in her films.
The program will air live tonight Wednesday (Humpday!) June 10th on YouTube (https://youtu.be/ybtW1su19Fk) at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT and will be available indefinitely afterwards for people to watch, revisit, and share.
Among the actors slated to speak are Emily Blunt, Kaitlyn Dever, Rosemarie DeWitt, the Duplass Brothers, Jeff Garlin, Joshua Leonard, Sean Nelson, Michaela Watkins, Reese Witherspoon and more.
Musicians scheduled to perform include: Marc Maron, Andrew Bird, Ben Gibbard, Laura Veirs, Tomo Nakayama and many more. There will also be a special ensemble performance from many of the musicians featured in Shelton’s online series about the Seattle music scene “$5 Cover” with artists including Kevin Murphy, Sassy Black, Seth Warren, Ryann Donnelly, Jason Dodson and Brady Harvey.
Megan Griffiths, Lynn’s longtime friend, collaborator and fellow Seattlite, directed the tribute. Mel Eslyn, the Duplass Brothers and Adam Kersh produced with Megan.
“It has been really meaningful to me to work on this project. Lynn was one of my dearest friends and losing her has been leveling,” said Megan Griffiths. “It has given me comfort to focus on celebrating her life by bringing together all of these beautiful performances and hearing the heartfelt words of her many friends and collaborators. I hope it brings solace to her family and all those mourning this unfathomable loss.”
Coming to filmmaking in her mid 30s, Shelton was a major force in American independent cinema and was a pillar of the arts community at large in her home town of Seattle. She was a vibrant, kind, creative human being. Her work drew acclaim for its compassion, humor, unique voice and wonderful performances. Shelton directed eight features including HUMPDAY (2009), YOUR SISTER’S SISTER (2011), OUTSIDE IN (2018), and last year’s SWORD OF TRUST. Shelton also worked in television, directing memorable episodes of acclaimed series including: “Mad Men,” “GLOW,” “The Mindy Project,” and “Little Fires Everywhere.” She is gone too soon and will be deeply missed.