Inside Out 2014 Review: I Always Said Yes: The Many Lives of Wakefield Poole
Besides his incredible life, what really makes this film is Wakefiled Poole’s brutally honest and raw dialogue. Even when he breaks down in tears at the many heartaches he has lived through, one thing is clear, Poole truly loves life. Like the film’s title suggests Poole’s open mindedness and independence enabled him to seize many unique opportunities. This love of life combined with his early talents led him from child radio star to Broadway dancer and choreographer.
He is introduced to the New York art scene by his lover Peter. This then leads to Poole playing around with a camera which leas to him making his very first film, Boys in the Sand. Not only was this film important for the gay liberation movement but it was also the first example of a sexually explicit film that is artistic and non-degrading. The film’s commerical success and crossover appeal helped create the era known as “porno chic”.
I Always Said Yes: The Many Lives of Wakefield Poole, gives us an in-depth look at Poole’s many careers and struggles set against the backdrop of gay liberation and AIDS in America. At one point Poole goes from owning all of Warhol’s Marilyns to renting a cold-water flat while trying to quit a cocaine habit cold turkey.
The only thing missing from this film are the reactions of Poole’s family. To his being gay and later on to his making pornographic films. With the exception of Poole telling us about his father dropping him off at local cinemas when he was a child and mention of his sister later in the film, they are conspicuously absent.