The Loss of Nameless Things

February 28, 2006


About the Documentary

In 1978, Oakley Hall III was a brilliant 28-year-old playwright on the verge of national recognition when he mysteriously fell from a bridge and lost everything.

In The Loss of Nameless Things, filmmaker Bill Rose uses interviews with Hall and his friends and family to tell the haunting story of what happened after a single moment on a slippery bridge snatched Hall’s brilliant mind, and left him a stranger to himself and those who loved him. The documentary also looks at how—decades later—Hall, his family, and those who knew him in his prime have come to terms with the man that the accident left behind.

As founder of the avant-garde Lexington Theater Company in upstate New York, Oakley Hall III led a fiercely loyal group of actors who held fast to his every word, and for Hall, words flowed as easily as the whiskey he consumed in abundance. Together, the magnetic, brooding Hall and his band of followers transformed a ramshackle Catskills camp into a creative paradise. Fueled by sex, drugs and Hall’s genius, the company staged obscure absurdist plays and Hall’s daring re-workings of classics like Frankenstein and A Streetcar Named Desire. With a reputation for wild antics and dynamic performances, the theater company became red-hot, garnering breathless reviews from critics and attracting widespread interest in Hall’s work, including an epic play, Grinder’s Stand.

But dramatic convention dictates that a brilliant ascent be followed by an equally dramatic fall, and in Hall’s case, it was brutally literal—a plummet to a rocky ledge from a high bridge on a bleak, foggy night that left him both physically and mentally shattered. As The Loss of Nameless Things captures Hall’s electrifying rise and celebrates his accomplishments—both past and present—it is also a bittersweet look at the brilliance that was lost to the American stage forever.

The Filmmaker

Bill Rose
Bill Rose has been producing and directing documentaries and short films for more than 20 years for numerous clients. Rose has worked as an American Film Institute Directing Intern to filmmaker Martin Ritt, whose projects include the 1979 film Norma Rae and the 1990 film Stanley and Iris. Rose’s short films have been seen nationally on the Arts & Entertainment Network. Rose is the recipient of numerous film awards, including a Cine Golden Eagle, five Telly Awards and multiple Communicator Awards. His first feature documentary, The Loss of Nameless Things, has been named “Best Documentary” four times and has appeared in more than 20 film festivals. Rose lives in Palo Alto, California, with his wife and family.


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