Story of Nevada City’s Oakley Hall on film |

Story of Nevada City’s Oakley Hall on film

“The Loss of Nameless Things,” a film about Nevada City writer Oakley (Tad) Hall III, has its world premiere Sunday at the notable Cinequest San Jose Film Festival.

Director and producer Bill Rose, an award-winning documentary maker, said on Monday that “The Loss of Nameless Things” will be shown in Nevada City this spring. Part of the 103-minute documentary was shot here in March and April 2002 when Hall’s play, “Grinder’s Stand (A Tragedy of Blood),” premiered at the Nevada Theatre.

“The Loss of Nameless Things” is about Hall’s literal fall from grace and his continuous efforts to rebuild his artistic life. Film footage includes Hall’s work almost two decades later with Foothill Theatre Company, which presented “Grinder’s Stand,” the play Hall was revising the night he mysteriously fell from a Lexington, N.Y., bridge and suffered severely debilitating brain injuries in 1979.

Hall’s promising theatrical career as a founder, artistic director and playwright for Lexington Conservatory Theatre came to an unexpected halt that night 25 years ago in Lexington. Hall was in three hospitals for multiple reconstructive surgeries and suffered horrific memory loss.

Yet Hall refused to give up his artistic dreams, as illustrated in “The Loss of Nameless Things.” After moving around the country for 15 years, Hall settled in Nevada City; his sisters Brett Hall-Jones and Sands Hall lived here, and his parents were in Squaw Valley and San Francisco.

To this day, the seven-year Nevada City resident can’t remember how he fell off the bridge. Hall also doesn’t understand how he was rehabilitated, other than through constantly reading and writing. Hall was able, however, to finish his verse play, “Grinder’s Stand (A Tragedy of Blood),” which questioned the popular opinion that American frontiersman-explorer Meriwether Lewis killed himself.

The writer comes from a literary family. His father, Oakley Hall, was director of the University of California at Irvine writing program for 20 years and is the author of more than 23 novels and books about writing; sister Sands Hall is an actress, director, playwright and novelist; and sister Brett Hall-Jones is executive director of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers.

Hall will be at “The Loss of Nameless Things” world premiere Sunday at Cinequest, held at San Jose State University. Cinequest, selected as one of the Top 10 international film festivals by the Ultimate Film Festival Survival Guide, shares this designation with Cannes, Telluride and Sundance festivals.

Rose then takes “The Loss of Nameless Things” to the Cleveland International Festival. Check the Web at for more information about the film.

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