Wesley Willis's Joyrides | Chicago Reader

Wesley Willis's Joyrides

Many Chicagoans remember schizophrenic musician and outsider artist Wesley Willis, who died of leukemia in 2003, but it took two documentary makers from Cheyenne, Wyoming—Chris Bagley and Kim Shively—to get his real story. Though they began shooting video of Willis several years before his death, much of their work came later, as extensive interviews with his family and friends filled in the gaping holes in his biography. Willis finally emerges as a three-dimensional personality; his use of art and music as psychological escape valves is well-known, but this touching, carefully pitched documentary reveals what he was trying to escape. 77 min.

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