A masterpiece of Quebec and Queer World Cinema, Andre Brassard’s extraordinary comedic-drama weaves together in Altman-esque fashion a diverse group of characters enmeshed in 1970s Montreal’s queer nightlife, including drag queens, lesbian couples and more. Based on the plays of Michel Tremblay, Il était… has been compared to The Boys in the Band, La Cage aux Folles and Outrageous! but with a more gritty, social realist edge. Canadian queer film critic Thomas Waugh also calls the film “a pioneering manifesto of queer desire...as cruel and exhilarating, loud and tender, as when it was released.” Il était... has almost never been screened in New York since it premiered at MOMA in 1975, so we’re especially thrilled to partner with Queer Media Database Canada-Québec to present a brand-new restoration you won't want to miss.
After almost two decades of writing and revisions, Gus Van Sant shared the screenplay of MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO with Keanu Reeves, who then drove his motorcycle from Canada to Florida in order to hand-deliver the script to River Phoenix. Both actors would go on to star in this landmark film of the New Queer Cinema. The film follows Mike Waters (Phoenix), a narcoleptic street hustler, and his best friend Scott (Reeves) as they journey from Idaho to Italy in search of connection and personal discovery. For tonight’s presenter, award-winning queer theater artist and resident playwright at New Dramatists Mashuq Mushtaq Deen, seeing the film for the first time was transformative. Deen writes, “It opened my mind both to how stories were told, as well as to what stories were told. I can remember vividly the final image of the fish swimming up river, and just staring at it trying to process what I had just seen, knowing I had been moved profoundly by something, and at the same time, not really sure what had happened to me.” Screening on 35mm, this iconic queer adventure movie is not to be missed!
Tiona Nekkia McClodden presents I DON'T WANT TO SLEEP ALONE
I Don't Want to Sleep Alone (Ming-liang Tsai, 2006)
February 12, 2018
Director Tsai Ming-liang (The River), one of the most celebrated Second New Wave film directors of Taiwanese cinema, returned to his birthplace in Malaysia to make I DON’T WANT TO SLEEP ALONE, a romantic drama about a young man who nurses an injured homeless man back to health after being brutally beaten. For tonight’s presenter, visual artist, filmmaker, and curator—Tiona Nekkia McClodden—the film “rocked me to my core with the way it presented desire and loneliness”. McClodden’s work explores and critiques issues at the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, and social commentary. McClodden writes, “As a queer filmmaker I'm always looking for a way to bend the narrative of my work in a way that challenges the form and structure of film… Ming-liang has taught me how to enter a narrative by leaving what comes before and after up to your imagination.”
Split Britches presents A QUESTION OF SILENCE
A Question of Silence (Marleen Gorris, 1982)
January 8, 2018
Can murder ever be justified? That’s the central question at the heart of this controversial 1981 feminist classic by Marleen Gorris (Antonia's Line). A QUESTION OF SILENCE follows a psychiatrist (Edda Barends) as she interviews three female strangers who mysteriously joined together to kill a male shop owner in a fit of spontaneous rage. The film is a favorite of legendary theater artists Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver, together known as Split Britches (who will be at LaMama ETC with their new show Unexploded Ordnances (UXO) January 4th-22nd). Shaw and Weaver write, “A QUESTION OF SILENCE has had huge impact on our work in terms of finding a queer feminist solution to issues and problems. We always refer to it at some point in our process.” Rarely screened in theaters, Gorris’ film should provoke a fascinating conversation in the wake of the recent surge of the #MeToo movement.