“Women are made, not born,” said Simone de Beauvoir. And Agnes Varda sets out to prove it in this unabashed paean to female solidarity. The genesis of this goodhearted story about the intimate friendship between two very different women came straight out of Varda’s experience traveling in the US, and witnessing the birth of Women’s Lib at the end of the 1960s. Powerhouse poet and performance artist Pamela Sneed brings us this rare screening of Varda’s vibrant, colorful film. A contrast in feminist style that’s not to be missed!
Starring the ever-charismatic Malcolm McDowell, this still-shocking social satire of fascistic British mores and ritualized boarding school torture holds special meaning for this evening’s presenter Genesis P-Orridge, the pandrogynous founder of the anarchistic industrial bands Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV. Raised in the UK, Genesis underwent years of hellish bullying at a British private school he/rself, noting that the film “is not nearly as vicious and appallingly sick psychologically as it really was for me.” You won’t want to miss an evening that’s guaranteed to be both highly personal, and eruptive.
A wild and thrilling tale involving genies, flying horses, beautiful princesses, and dastardly villains, THE THIEF OF BAGDAD’s incredible colors and fantastical innovations made a huge impression on the iconic photographer James Bidgood, director of the legendary erotic underground film Pink Narcissus. During the ’60s and ’70s, Bidgood built elaborate and fantastic sets in his apartment, painted stunning male models in bright hues of pink, blue, and green, and then snapped countless homoerotic pictures, influencing later photographers like Pierre et Gilles and David LaChappelle. At 77, Bidgood remains as much of a treasure as THE THIEF OF BAGDAD, and we’re thrilled to welcome him for a very special evening of Queer|Art|Film.
Douglas Crimp presents THE FILMS OF ACT UP
The Films of Act Up (2010, Various)
September 13, 2010
When the ever-influential writer and theorist Douglas Crimp first published an essay called Mourning and Militancy in 1989, he set off a bomb in both the art and AIDS activism worlds in which he was deeply entrenched. In conjunction with the monumental “ACT UP New York” show opening at the artists’ space White Columns, Queer/Art/Film is excited to have Crimp as this month’s guest artist, presenting a highly personal selection of activist videos that have meant the most to him, including Fast Trip, Long Drop by Gregg Bordowitz, and works by Matt Ebert, Ryan Landry, Maria Maggenti, and Jean Carlomusto, many of whom will be with us for tonight’s screening!
Made in 1969 when homosexuality was still very much taboo in Japan, Toshio Mastumoto’s extraordinary FUNERAL PARADE OF ROSES must have been a shock to the senses of even the most open-minded avant-garde filmgoer. The film begins as the tale of two rival drag queens at a hip drag club but eventually becomes a transgressive Warhol-meets-grindhouse twist on the Oedipus story, intercut with Bergman-esque interviews with the actors in the film answering questions about homosexuality and drag. It was reportedly one of Stanley Kubrick’s favorite films and a noticeable influence on A Clockwork Orange. It was also a big influence on our guest presenter, Singaporean filmmaker Loo Zihan, whose wonderful debut film Solos, featured a frank portrayal of a student’s illicit affair with his much older male teacher, and shocked his conservative, homophobic country, who immediately banned the film. This is a must-see. Digital projection.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to violence!” So begins Russ Meyer’s gorgeous, hilariously campy B-movie about three big breasted strippers with short tempers who wind up on a crime spree filled with murder, kidnapping, and s-e-x. Camp for sure, but Meyer goes deeper, with a depiction of a disintegrating family straight out of a William Inge melodrama. A huge cult hit in 1965, Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!’s success inspired legendary gay porn director Joe Gage to start thinking of making his own sex filled B-movies, including Kansas City Trucking Company, a landmark in gay porn. Don’t miss this rare film screening of Meyer’s most influential film, a cornerstone of both camp and punk culture, and certain to turn everyone on, the boys and the girls!
For the brilliantly original cultural critic and poet Wayne Koestenbaum (The Queen’s Throat, Jackie Under My Skin), this is the film that confirmed his most sneaky tendencies, “a love of beauty, a secret wish for punishment, an addiction to classrooms, and a fear of small towns.” Based on a Jean Genet story, adapted by Marguerite Duras, directed by bisexual Tony Richardson, and starring glorious icon Jeanne Moreau, MADEMOISELLE is the story of a repressed schoolmarm who lusts after the tough working men in her country village by day, and burns down their farms by night. “What Moreau accomplished with roulette wheel in Jacques Demy’s Bay of Angels,” adds Koestenbaum, “she pulls off with muddy high heel in Mademoiselle.”
Though little seen when it came out in 1980, Alan Moyle’s punk-teen-misunderstood-youth girl flick -– the other “Runaways” -- was meant to be the next Saturday Night Fever, and has one of the most remarkable rock n' roll soundtracks ever, including tunes by the Patti Smith Group, The Pretenders, Talking Heads, Roxy Music, and dyke-rocker Suzi Quatro. Shot on location in and around a pre-Giuliani Times Square, the story of two teenage gals on the run -- who start their own punk band and become accidentally famous (thanks to D.J. Tim Curry!)-- is both a document of a New York that was, as well a still-fresh portrait of female adolescent angst in all its pain and glory.
Experimental maverick Barbara Hammer chooses Lizzie Borden’s groundbreaking early-indie, a futuristic feminist drama, that is as much a document of early 80s New York, as a cry for Patty Hearst-style revolution. It is ten years after the "Second American Revolution," and the leader of the Women's Army mysteriously dies... setting off women across the nation to take down The System. The film that heralded the arrival of Queer Cinema is also a who’s who of the New York radical/performance scene, with a cast that includes the late Ron Vawter, and a very young Katherine Bigelow!
Filmmaker Rodney Evans (Brother to Brother) first saw this explosive landmark of nonfiction film when he was 16-years-old and looking for black, gay history anywhere he could find it. Filmed over the course of one night at the Chelsea Hotel, Shirley Clarke’s pioneering work is a portrait of Jason Holliday, a daringly flamboyant cabaret performer with charisma to spare, a knack for drama, and a life that’s provided him with plenty of stories to tell — about racism, homophobia, parental abuse, show business, drugs, sex, prostitution, the law, and whatever else he can think of while the cameras are rolling. Unavailable for many years, and screened now courtesy of MoMA, don’t miss the film Ingmar Bergman called “the most fascinating I’ve ever seen.”
Anohni presents THE LOST FILMS OF CHARLES LUDLAM
The Lost Films of Charles Ludlam (1987, Charles Ludlam)
February 22, 2010
For years singer/songwriter Anohni dreamed of seeing THE SORROWS OF DOLORES and MUSEUM OF WAX, the rare 16mm films by the legendary gay playwright and Ridiculous Theatrical Company director Charles Ludlam. We contacted Ludlam’s surviving partner Everett Quinton (the host of a marvelous Queer/Art/Film screening last Fall) who told us that the films were just sitting there on a shelf in his closet. Now we have made a digital transfer of both of the prints and are thrilled to take a first look at them with Anohni as our guest host. THE SORROWS OF DOLORES is a feature based on early silent serials like The Perils of Pauline, while the MUSEUM OF WAX is a short horror film starring Ludlam. Both films feature regular Ridiculous cast members like Everett Quinton, Minette, “Crazy Arthur” Kraft, Lola Pashilinski, John D. Brockmeyer, and Black-Eyed Susan. Begun in the late 1970s and still uncompleted at the time of Ludlam’s death from AIDS in 1987, these films have only been screened 3 or 4 times for private audiences. Anohni will introduce the screening and participate with a Q&A along with Everett Quinton.
It makes perfect sense that Justin Bond, that self-proclaimed “tranny witch” who gleefully mocked religion during his days in the duo Kiki & Herb, would select an ultra- blasphemous film for his QUEER/ART/FILM selection. Adapted from an Aldous Huxley novel, Ken Russell’s 1971 cult-classic THE DEVILS stars Vanessa Redgrave as a hunchbacked Mother Superior in 17th century France, whose sexual obsession with a handsome priest (Oliver Reed), spirals out of control. The film was considered so shocking when it premiered in 1971 that it received an X rating, and was sliced by the censors. But don’t worry, we will be screening the full, uncut version of the film, courtesy of the British Film Institute. Expect lesbianism, torture, orgies, masturbation, and incredible production design from another controversial British filmmaker — Derek Jarman! EXPECT TO BE SHOCKED!