Barbara Hammer presents "THE HAMMER MIX" + Announcement of Barbara Hammer Grant Winner
"The Hammer Mix" (Various Artists)
December 4, 2017
Tonight we celebrate legendary experimental filmmaker BARBARA HAMMER with a special mix of the lady-made movies that have inspired her prolific career. Some of the avant garde’s most influential women will be represented: Valie Export, Nancy Holt, Martha Rosler, Carolee Schneeman, among others. Hammer writes, “As a young female filmmaker I looked for predecessors. And they were there with gorgeous work that taught and inspired me. These short films are timeless and can give both aspiring and accomplished filmmakers of today the same jolt of energy and investigative curiosity they did for me in the 70s. Let's enjoy together once again!”
In addition to our normal Queer|Art|Film screening format, the evening will include the announcement of the first annual Barbara Hammer Lesbian Experimental Filmmaking Grant!
Tonight we are thrilled to screen BY HOOK OR BY CROOK, the very queer and scrappy tale of outsider buddies written, directed by, and starring the brilliant Harry Dodge (2008 Whitney Biennial) and Silas Howard (Transparent, A Kid Like Jake). Winner of the Best Feature Audience Award at SXSW in 2001, BHOBC tells the story of two trans-butches, Shy (Howard) and Valentine (Dodge), who collide by chance and stumble into a series of shenanigans in the San Francisco streets. For tonight’s presenter, filmmaker Elisabeth Subrin (Shulie; A Woman, A Part) the film “anticipates the genderqueer/trans cinema explosion, and amazingly stands the formal tests of time.” Join us for this rarely viewed film with its unique vision, clever dialogue, and effusive charm.
Julian Schnabel’s riveting adaptation of Reinaldo Arenas’ memoir follows the gay Cuban poet and novelist (portrayed by Javier Bardem) from childhood to death. Stops along the way include copious amounts of sexual exploration, fighting with Castro’s rebels, and an escape from prison (with a cameo assist from Johnny Depp in drag). His struggles continue when he arrives in NYC at the dawn of the AIDS crisis. For our guest presenter, photographer Luna Luis Ortiz, Arenas’ life story echoes his own experiences as “being gay, an artist, Latino and living with HIV." Ortiz’ photos are currently featured in the exhibition AIDS at Home at the Museum of the City of New York.
Alexander Chee presents ANOTHER COUNTRY
Another Country (Marek Kanievska, 1984)
September 11, 2017
“Convention outraged...a class abandoned...a country betrayed!” Julian Mitchell’s 1984 film ANOTHER COUNTRY stars Rupert Everett and Colin Firth as outcasts united in a battle for truth and honor at an all-boys boarding school in 1930s England. Loosely based on the youth of real-life spy Guy Burgess, the film made a deep impact on tonight’s presenter—fiction writer, poet, and journalist—Alexander Chee. Inspired by Everett’s portrayal of a young man who lives in full possession of his sexuality and is unwilling to “play the game”, Chee says, “the film set me on fire to live openly as a gay man, to fight for what I believed in, and to make art that reflected this.”
We wrap up our Summer season with a captivating classic from the Golden Age of Egyptian Cinema. Tonight’s presenter is Tarab NYC whose mission is to foster an inclusive and safe community for queer Arab and MENA people. A Glass and a Cigarette features several of the era’s brightest stars, including Samia Gamal who plays a woman transitioning from bellydance stardom to domestic bliss. For Tarab NYC this film is a perfect fit for QAF, as it takes “careful consideration of gender in relation to class, career, and performativities of sexual availability.”
Bianey Garcia presents THE SALT MINES & THE TRANSFORMATION
The Salt Mines & The Transformation (Susana Aikin, Carlos Aparicio, 1990/1995)
July 24, 2017
These astonishing depictions of trans life on the margins in 1990s NYC follow three homeless Latinx trans women living on the West Side Piers who must engage in sex work to support their drug addictions. But things get much darker when a Christian preacher forces one of the women to renounce her trans identity in exchange for treatment for HIV. The films are a favorite of our guest presenter Bianey Garcia, a prominent trans Latinx activist with Make The Road NY. Bianey writes, “When I saw these documentaries, it broke my heart to see how my trans sisters lived during that time. Nowadays, there are people like me who fight for a better life for our future generations!!”
Deborah Esquenazi’s riveting documentary explores the imprisonment of four Latina lesbians who were wrongly convicted of child molestation in 1994, thanks to a potent combination of homophobia, misogyny and racism. In her quest for exoneration, Esquenazi unearths surprising details during interviews with the women and their accusers. Our guest presenters tonight are F2L, community activists who fight for queer and trans New Yorkers of color being targeted by the criminal justice system. For F2L, SOS sharply captures how “the media works alongside a racist colonial court system that aims to incarcerate criminalized queer and trans people of color.” Join us for an important conversation.
fierce pussy presents THE BLACK POWER MIXTAPE 1967-1975
In 2011, a group of Swedish journalists traveled to the U.S. with the intention of “showing the country as it really is.” The result is an extraordinary documentary that examines the Black Power Movement from 1967-1975, with appearances by Angela Davis, Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton. For tonight's presenters, the queer art collective fierce pussy -- a group that emerged in the early 1990s from the members' participation in ACT UP -- the film is “a look back at a time [that is] still very relevant today as we continue to create strategies of resistance in the current social and political moment.” What a perfect way for us to kick off this special series - Summer of Resistance!
In 1985, Steven Spielberg took a risk, following up his string of blockbusters with a serious adaptation of Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about the experiences of African-American women in 1930s Georgia, starring Whoopi Goldberg (in her debut), Oprah Winfrey and Danny Glover. Though the film’s merits were hotly debated by critics and fans of the book, THE COLOR PURPLE earned 11 Oscar nominations and over the years became a queer film classic. Tonight’s guest presenter, singer-songwriter Shea Diamond (who’s releasing her debut LP in 2017) most appreciates the way the film depicts “the struggle of African American women, music and overcoming adversity!”
In this 1942 wartime diversion, Dominican camp icon Maria Montez joins the ever-delicate Sabu in a very loose Hollywood adaption of the classic Middle-Eastern stories. As Scheherazade, Montez gives the first of many deliriously over-the-top performances that endeared her to a generation of 1960s queer New York art visionaries, including guest presenter Agosto Machado, a brilliant performer who worked with fellow Montez-worshippers Jack Smith, John Vaccaro and Ronald Tavel. Machado explains, “Even on black and white TV, Montez, aka “the Queen of Technicolor”, gave sanctuary from any reality, opening a gateway to exotic possibilities perfumed with magical dreams.”
Neglected housewife Kathy Bates finds motivation to turn her life around after listening to nursing home resident Jessica Tandy’s captivating tales of the bond between two Southern women (Mary-Louise Parker and Mary Stuart Masterson). Jon Avnet’’s adaptation of Fannie Flagg’s acclaimed novel toned down the central lesbian relationship, but queer audiences easily read between the lines. The film’s a favorite of Hurray for the Riff Raff’s Alynda Segarra, who spent years searching for a haven for queers and people of color like the film’s Whistle Stop Cafe, before deciding to create that space through her music. Tawanda!
This month at Queer|Art|Film, luminous screen legends collide with Ginger Rogers and Katharine Hepburn (and a little Lucille Ball) playing rivalrous actors living together in an all-woman "theatrical rooming house" in Gregory La Cava's Stage Door. Ambitions and sweethearts entangle; careers plummet and soar. Can friendship survive the turmoils of the theater? Presented by hilarious writer/performer Cole Escola ("Difficult People"), you're sure to find out the answer, and a whole lot more. Escola jokes, "Wisecracking, the desperate pursuit of survival, and looking out for each other? What could be queerer!".