Oddball Films presents Revolutionary Queer Cinema, a program of vintage 16mm films that revolutionized the LGBT movement and cinema itself. Films include the powerful documentary Pink Triangles (1981), a fascinating look at the roots of homophobia, and the oppression of "the other" throughout history; Scorpio Rising (1964), Kenneth Anger's experimental masterpiece of homoeroticism, bikers and rock n' roll; Un Chant D'Amour(1950) Jean Genet's lyrical portrait of homoeroticism between two prisoners; Behind Every Good Man (1966), an understated portrait of an African American drag queen in Los Angeles; Plus! Legendary drag queen Charles Pierce belts out a few tunes, Vintage Queer Home Movies, Trailers, and more!
Venue: Oddball Films, 275 Capp Street San Francisco
Admission: $10.00 Limited Seating RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or (415) 558-8117
Pink Triangles is a fascinating, informative film in which both the roots and the current manifestations of homophobia are explored. The film features historical documents and interviews with people who know about prejudice first-hand are mixed, showing how lesbians and gay men experience discrimination and oppression. The historical perspective of homophobia is revealed, along with its links to other forms of oppression (against women, blacks, radicals, and Jews) and the reasons why this particular prejudice is felt so strongly. The treatment of gays in ancient and medieval times, in the Nazi death camps, and during the witch hunts of the McCarthy years are all shown. These past atrocities are linked to the present through TV interviews and paid political announcements from today's moral majority. Pink Triangles shows how society looks for scapegoats in times of trouble, and how the past can be repeated. The best way to avoid this is to continue educating our society and ourselves. Pink Triangles is an important part of this effort.
Scorpio Rising (Color, 1964)
One of the most important films in Kenneth Anger’s body of work, Scorpio Rising employs the sounds of teen pop and the iconography of 50s and 60s motorcycle culture to create a shrine to teenage rebellion. It is part pop promo, part homo-erotic home movie and is packed with ironic symbolism and style – from his references to the occult to the partially naked, leather-clad bikers riding their bikes recklessly until they crash. Considered by many as the precursor of the pop promos of today - with its angular shots and contemporary soundtrack - the force and poetry of Anger's work has greatly influenced generations of filmmakers, designers and fashion photographers. Anger pioneered the use of the pop music in narrative film by filling the soundtrack entirely with Elvis, girl groups, and top 50 chart hits.
Un Chant D' Amour (B+W, 1950)
Director Jean Genet was one of France's maverick artists, a man who exchanged a life of extreme deprivation and degradation for that of a novelist, playwright and poet and became something of an existentialist hero to the likes of Jean Cocteau and Jean-Paul Sartre. Although greatly influenced by the medium of cinema, "Un Chant D' Amour” is the only film he both wrote and directed. Long championed as one of the most emblematic films in gay cinema, it has unquestionably influenced generations of filmmakers, from the late Derek Jarman to Todd Haynes (his 1991 film Poison is directly inspired by Genet's work). "Un Chant D'Amour" is a hymn to homosexual desire examining two prisoners in solitary confinement as they communicate their desires to one other, principally through a small hole in the wall that separates their cells. They exorcise their frustration and loneliness under the voyeuristic gaze of the prison guard. The dynamic of warder and prisoner, submission and domination, confinement and freedom is explored through these complex relationships.
As the only filmic example of Genet's transposition of ideas and writing into images, the rarely seen "Un Chant D'Amour" may be categorized as a 'film poem' -- an avant-garde work comparable to the films of Jean Cocteau, Kenneth Anger Maya Deren, and Andy Warhol. Its lyrical evocation of homosexual passion and romance is regarded as one of the most intensely physical films made. Historically limited in its availablility due to the social stigma of its sexually explicit material, much silence and confusion surrounded this hidden treasure; thus it has become the most famous gay short film in European history.
Decades before RuPaul became a household name and before the Stonewall riots that launched the gay rights movement, this doc short features an African American drag queen pushing gender roles in a society barely out of the repressive 1950s. This very rare film (possibly one of the first documenting a black gay male) directed by Nikolai Ursin, then a film student at the University of California, Los Angeles records our subject’s meditations on love, gay life in the early 1960s, and gender transgression. The film and its subject avoid period cliches about homosexuality and point to hopeful possibilities. “I’d like to live a happy life, that’s for sure,” he says, and one not only wants him to, but believes that it really could happen.
Plus! A number from legendary San Francisco drag queen Charles Pierce from The Charles Pierce Review (1969), Vintage Queer Wedding Footage, Trailers, homoerotic food fights and more!
16mm prints from the Jenni Olson Queer Archive and the San Francisco Media Archive.