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Lundberg Family Foundation Master Film Series: ‘Heaven Stood Still: The Incarnations of Willy DeVille'

May 19, 2023 @ 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm EDT

Willy DeVille

“There is a mystery about Willy. When you get it, it’s atomic. It’s huge.” – Peter Wolf, J. Geils Band  

The Westport Library launches the Lundberg Family Foundation Masters Film Series, in the Trefz Forum, on Friday evening, May 19, with a dynamic documentary, Heaven Stood Still: The Incarnations of Willy DeVille, fresh from a series of sold-out screenings across Europe and a stellar New York City premiere this past spring.

After the screening, there will be a talkback with the filmmakers, including director Larry Locke, writers Nick Flynn and John Eskow, and producers Crispin Cio, plus early "Minkster"  Kenny Margolis and Willy's niece, Marlene O'Brien DeVille.


There was no one like the American singer Willy DeVille. Leaping out of the 1970s CBGB punk scene in New York City with his band Mink DeVille to New Orleans soul singer to the premier voice of American roots music on the continent of Europe for over three decades, DeVille was, arguably, the most original artist of his time. Born Billy Borsey in the then-factory town of Stamford, Connecticut, Willy forged for himself a totally unique identity. His love of music and movies were his inspiration and his ticket out. Everything about him was a work of art — always coming and going, moving backward and forward through both time and musical genres.

DeVille’s powerful singing voice and evolving stage personas conjured up adventurous forays into Rhythm and Blues, Cajun, Salsa, Mariachi, and Tejano music. He was one of the most original and most romantic figures of the rock era. DeVille sold more than a million records and was deeply respected by his peers, from Ben E. King to Bob Dylan, for peerless playing and songs that were anthems to the heartbroken and the downtrodden. Yet almost no one knows anything about him, where he came from or who he loved. How could he fly under the radar for 35 years yet leave so much we do know in his path? That is the mystery of Willy DeVille.

“It’s as good as music gets.” – Hal Willner, Producer: Marianne Faithfull, Lou Reed, Jeff Buckley, Tom Waits

The Westport Library’s Lundberg Family Foundation Masters Film Series will will showcase films and filmmakers, celebrating contemporary masters, innovative new voices, and emerging artists. Be sure to check back to westportlibrary.org for future events in this series.

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May 19, 2023
6:30 pm - 9:00 pm EDT
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The Westport Library
20 Jesup Road
Westport, CT 06880 United States
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