Yield to Total Elation: The Life and Art of Achilles Rizzoli

Portrait of the enigmatic, visionary artist
Year Released
Film Length(s)
50 mins
Remote video URL


Yield to Total Elation explores the life and work of the enigmatic and visionary artist Achilles G. Rizzoli. A mundane architectural draftsman by day, the architectural transcriber of the divine by night, Rizzoli created elaborate Beaux-Arts influenced monuments which would never be built. Accompanied by his witty and poignant commentary, the drawings served as translations for the voices and the hallucinations that haunted him. By deftly weaving Rizzoli's words, archival footage, photos and evocative present day scenes of San Francisco's historic architecture, the film tells the story of Rizzoli's life and his work -- an exaltation of architecture as pleasure, as memorial, as redemption.

Featured review

The film is extraordinary in its ability to fuse the visual and the verbal, the pun, the metaphor and the symbol as brilliantly as did Rizzoli.
Rachel Edelson
Clinical Instructor UC Davis Medical Center Department of Psychiatry


A fascinating look at the reclusive and visionary architectural draftsman A.G. Rizzoli. The film reveals a simple man whose artistic vision was profoundly shaped by the scale and visual splendor of early California from the buildings of the Panama Pacific International Exposition and new civic monuments to the epic vision of Hollywood and the romantic sweep of the modern novel.
Whitney Chadwick
Professor of Art San Francisco State University Author of "Women, Art, and Society"
Pat Ferrero's 'docu-revelato' amounts to the inspiring discovery of a visionary San Francisco architectural genius whose monument consists of all the unbuilt buildings he envisioned and drew with a draftman's precision but with his gaze focused on the future.
Lawrence Ferlinghetti First Poet Laureate of San Francisco
Lawrence Ferlinghetti First Poet Laureate of San Francisco
Although Rizzoli is generally presented as an outsider artist, this film confirms important connections between his work and Beaux-Arts drafting traditions, narrative architecture and utopian planning. It should be of great interest to anyone interested in visionary art or architecture.
John Beardsley
Architectural Historian, Harvard Graduate School of Design

Awards and Screenings

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
San Francisco Exploratorium, Palace of Fine Arts
Santa Fe Film Festival
Virginia Film Festval
Pacific Film Archive, UCB
Silver Hugo, Chicago International Film Festival

Promotional Material

Promotional Stills

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