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The Pink Satin Suit

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Published on Aug 8, 2016

A documentary film by Anastasia and Will Lyman, featuring Johnny Donnels, with Herman Leonard, Jerry Jeff Walker, Pete Fountain, Matt Clark, Tom Toner and others. Music by David Torkanowsky. Director of Photography, Peter Krieger.
Running time: 53:49 | Year of release: 2002

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The Pink Satin Suit documents the struggles, perseverance, and discipline that go into the making of a Self-Made Man.

Over sixty years ago in New Guinea, a homesick New Orleans kid swore the Army would be the last employer he ever had. Today, Johnny Donnels’ photography is known all over the world. Johnny himself was an icon of the French Quarter, where he ran a gallery filled with his own art. Successfully unemployed right up until his death in 2009, he continued to produce a body of work that remains “vastly under-exploited.” Revealed in a lover’s embrace with the life he created, he was, to many, the last of the great Bohemians: a symbol of freedom and ease, who, by the sparseness of his demands, lived a life of luxury. Johnny crossed the intersection of art and commerce with humor and grace. This special film reveals the surprising discipline that underpins a life of freedom.

This film was shot before the flood and offers a view of the city that is very different from present-day New Orleans.

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