Unspeakable (short film)

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Year Released: 2011
MPAA Rating (USA): NR
Director: Paul Christiano
Starring: Paul Christiano

This film can be viewed in it's entirety at vimeo

Unspeakable is a 2011 short film/documentary produced by Paul Christiano, which explores through dance his evolution as a performer/choreographer and his struggles with relationships, employment, and his ability to cope with daily life due to his being on the sex offender registry stemming from charges of receiving child pornography when he was 22.

The following statment by Paul was posted to BoyChat on July 23, 2014 through an intermediary:

I'd like to share a documentary project with you I produced several years ago in collaboration with a graduate film major from Columbia College in Chicago. The film is essentially an artist profile chronicling my so-called dance "career," and I sympathize with those of you for whom concert dance is about as high on your list of viewing priorities as watching dust settle, but if you can bring yourselves to stick with it, the film eventually touches on issues at least indirectly relevant to this board.

I've hesitated almost three years to share this project with the MAP community, because I'm fiercely protective of the individuals who've contributed to its production. While all participants have endorsed this film's final cut, none of them bear any more than a professional association with me, nor do they sympathize with views I've publicly expressed beyond the scope of this film.

I've grown tired, however, of watching this project gather dust on Vimeo after all the time and energy put into it. Due to the astronomical number of music copyrights I have yet to (and likely never will) secure in order to submit this documentary to festivals, I'm left to my own devices to justify its existence. I apologize for keeping this project a secret from such an important audience and hope it resonates with those of you undergoing similar situations.


Paul Christiano [1]


"Paul Christiano (1976-2015) was a freelance dancer/choreographer 17 years fluent in the contemporary concert dance aesthetic. Paul trained on scholarship at Lou Conte Dance Studio for three years before joining Hubbard Street II in 1998, Thodos Dance Chicago in 1999, and The Lyric Opera of Chicago in 2005. Paul’s first choreographic effort, Miracle, Interrupted, formerly in the repertory of The Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, merited a 2001 Ruth Page Award and inspired the Chicago Tribune to designate Paul one of sixteen “Chicagoans of the Year.” In 2003, Paul was voted “Best Dancer in Chicago” by Chicago Magazine. Paul also received the 2003 Dance Chicago Choreography Award for Balada para un loco, formerly in the repertory of River North Dance Chicago, and was nominated one of TimeOut Chicago’s “Dancing Men of 2010” for his work with Dmitri Peskov Dance Theatre."[2]

Paul Christiano took his own life around August 1, 2015. It was reported that, " Paul had been facing complicated legal troubles surrounding housing and registration due to a child pornography conviction from all the way back in 2000. These issues he was facing involved technical matters surrounding residency restrictions, but the consequences for not adhering to them to the letter were actually quite severe, and he was likely facing years in prison."[3] His obituary in the Chicago Tribune stated, "On Wednesday of last week, three of his friends said, Christiano went to the Forest Park home of his close friend, the dancer and choreographer Autumn Eckman, for whom he was housesitting while Eckman was away teaching in Maine. He wrote a will and penned a note, they said, lay down in one of the beds and then poisoned himself. His body was found, Eckman said, in her home Saturday" (August 1).[4]

Paul had also been working with B4U-ACT for several years prior to his death and served on their board of directors as their Administrative Assistant.[5]


See also

External links