Strange Sinema 90: Psychosexual with Austin filmmaker Scott Stark - Fri. July 31st - 8PM

Oddball Films presents Strange Sinema, a monthly screening of new finds, old gems and offbeat oddities from Oddball Films’ vast collection of 16mm film prints. Drawing on his archive of over 50,000 films, Oddball Films director Stephen Parr has complied his 90th program of classic, strange, and unusual films. For Strange Sinema 90: Psychosexual, Parr is collaborating with Austin filmmaker and archivist Scott Stark to curate explicit psychosexual rarities examining the underbelly of the sexual subconscious. From found films featuring subliminal messages like Fuck, Horray (sp.) to Stark’s stunning genre-breaking erotic film Noema (1998) which explores the blank, unerotic moments in pornographic films, this program promises to be a pulsating panorama of all things strange, sexual and at times stupefying! Featured films include Orange (1971) experimental filmmaker Karen Johnson’s abstract and erotic short consisting of extreme close-up shots of an orange being peeled and eaten, Memories Within Miss Aggie (1974) Gerard Damiano’s psycho-hillbilly porn trailer for a movie one critic described as being "rich with intimations of 'Psycho' and Faulkner” (!), Dragzilla (1966) featuring a trickster hot-to-trot drag queen and a beefy stove repair-man, Ego (1970), Italian animator Bruno Bozzetto unleashes this memorable psychedelic nightmare of chaos and desire as experienced through the subconscious dream state of a married man, early stag film On the Beach aka Getting His Goat (1923) where a man peeps through a knot-hole on a group of girls and they turn the tables on him-big time! Starring Creighton Hale (from D.W. Griffith’s “Way Down East”). Other oddities and hand-crafted films include Fuck Horray (1970) a anonymous highly-edited slice of subliminal sex, Feet (1970) a found roll of foot fetishism, Escalation (1968) an animated anti-war short from Academy Award-winning Di$ney animator Ward Kimball jam-packed with erotic metaphors, Friendless Faceless (1970) campy and poignant San Francisco soft-core gay film features a lovelorn young man who opts for a face change to embark on a new romantic life, and finally Speechless (2008, also by Stark) a mysterious, hallucinatory poem to the female genitals composed of 3D photographs of human vulvae animated and interwoven with surfaces and textures from natural and human-made environments. Plus preshow anomalies!

Date: Friday, July 31st, 2015 at 8:00PM
Venue: Oddball Films, 275 Capp Street San Francisco
Admission: $10.00 Limited Seating RSVP to or (415) 558-8117


Noema (Color, 1998, Scott Stark) 
NOEMA is philosopher Husserl's term for "the meaning of an object that is formed in the domain of consciousness." Pornographic videos are mined for the unerotic moments between moments, when the actors are engaging in an awkward change of position or when the camera pans meaningfully away from the urgent mechanisms of sex up to a cheap painting on the wall or the distant embers of a crackling fire. A piercing musical score loops endlessly throughout, and the repetitive and curious iterations of movement become furtive searches for meaning within their own blandness.

"Noema is neither Boogie Nights nor the nights of Scheherezade, but more a Decameron-like tournament of missing links and coitus interuptus. A dizzy daisy chain of synchronized decouplings and eager hesitations where bodies never merge. Porno unplugged… Stark's analytical insistence pits his passionate acuity against dispassionate executions while giving the found material a sporting chance towards atomized immortality and ritual replay. A splayed adagio infects the scenes with a polar melancholy." -- Mark McElhatten, New York Film Festival

"Scott Stark's Noema... deconstruct[s] a swatch of hard core pornography involving several couples. But instead of finding a hidden psychological subtext, he finds a psychological and erotic blankness in couplings that are never completed." -- Stephen Holden, New York Times.

Orange (Color, 1971)
Experimental filmmaker Karen Johnson’s erotic short consists solely of music accompanying extreme close-up shots of an orange being peeled and eaten. A metaphor for the body erotic, the texture of the fruit’s flesh, the sensuous color and the physicality of the action make this film one of the most erotic shorts ever made.

Memories Within Miss Aggie (Color, 1974)
Psycho-hillbilly porn trailer for a movie that one critic has described as being "rich with intimations of 'Psycho,' and 'Images' and Faulkner," and whose director, Gerard Damiano, a former hairdresser and X-ray, technician, has been called the Ingmar Bergman of porn.
For further details of this “corn and porn” flick read Vincent Canby’s damming review in the 1974 edition of the NY times here:

Dragzilla (B+W, 1966)
A hot-to-trot drag queen calls in a beefy repair-man to fix her stove. The service man gets far more than he bargained for!

Ego (Color, 1970)
In his stunning animated short, Italian animator Bruno Bozzetto unleashes from the subconscious of the domesticated man a psychedelic nightmare of chaos and desire. Beginning in conventional cartoon, the story descends into inferno through dazzling watercolor, optical printing, and pop imagery. Wild soundtrack by the ultra-lounge master Franco Godi!

On the Beach aka Getting His Goat (B+W, 1923)
“Idylwild Beach where the men are idle and the women are wild”
From 1923, here’s one of the earliest stag films ever made starring Creighton Hale (from D.W. Griffith’s “Way Down East”). A man peeps through a knot-hole on a group of girls and gets more than he bargained for. 

Fuck Horray (B+W, 1970)
This anonymous hand-made slice of subliminal sex, found in a collection of beefcake erotica features a semi nude male with highly edited subliminal messages flashing by.

Feet (Color, 1970s?)
Scott’s Stark’s found roll of 16mm film made by what appears to be a foot fetishist. (Nothing sexual here, just strange, very strange.)

Escalation (Color, 1968) 
An animated anti-war short from Academy Award-winning Di$ney animator Ward Kimball (1914 –2002). The film protests then-president Lyndon B. Johnson’s escalation of the Vietnam war using violence, montage and sexuality. 

Friendless Faceless (not the real title, which is unknown)
(Color, circa 1970) Shot in San Francisco, this soft-core gay film features a lovelorn young homosexual who opts for a face change operation to embark on a new romantic life. Campy and poignant.

Speechless (Color, 2008)
Film by Scott Stark. Sound by Greg Headley. 3D photographs of human vulvae are animated and interwoven with surfaces and textures from natural and human-made environments. The genital images were taken from a set of ViewMaster 3D reels that accompanied a textbook entitled The Clitoris, published in 1976 by two medical professionals.

Grand prize winner: Black Maria Film Festival (2009)
First prize (experimental): Chicago Underground Film Festival (2009)
First prize: Milwaukee Underground Film Festival (2009)

"Speechless is gorgeous, mysterious, hallucinatory.... This is a magnificent work, equal to, or even better than, Brakhage's sexual meditations." -- Gene Youngblood, author of Expanded Cinema.

"...the landscape textures, composition, and rhythm of the landscape layer really merged and created a meditative space for the power of the body, a part of the body that in all of its mystery has been sadly, sadly misunderstood and under acknowledged." -- Kerry Laitala

" ecstatic poem to the female genitals as the awe-inspiring, mythic symbol of the fertile, generative force in the universe." -- David Finkelstein,

Scott Stark:
Scott Stark has made over 80 films and videos since the early 1980s, and has created numerous moving image installations, live performances and photo-collages. He received an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and served on the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Cinematheque from 1984-1991. His work has shown nationally and internationally in venues as diverse as New York‚s Museum of Modern Art, the San Francisco Cinematheque, the Film Festival Rotterdam, the Tokyo Image Forum, and many others. His 16mm film Angel Beach was invited into the 2002 Whitney Biennial, and in 2007 he received a Guggenheim Fellowship. His 2013 film The Realist showed at numerous worldwide film festivals and was on several year-end "best" lists. His work has garnered numerous awards. He is the webmaster for Flicker (, the web resource for experimental film and video since 1995. Scott divides his time between San Francisco, CA and Austin, Texas where he is co-director of Experimental Response Cinema ( ).

Stephen Parr:
San Francisco archivist, imagemaker and curator Stephen Parr, founder of Oddball Film+Video has a long history of presenting and archiving the unusual. Since the 1970s Parr has produced and documented live performances of John Cage, Christian Marclay and The Ramones, screened his signature pop culture montages from the Danceteria in New York to the Moscow Cinematheque. He’s created found footage based films such as “Historical/Hysterical?’, “The Subject is Sex” and “Eurphoria!” which have screened worldwide in venues such as The Anthology Film Archive, Jaaga in Bangalore, South India and the Leeds International Film Festival. He curates an eclectic weekly film series-Oddball Films at his archive and is a frequent presenter at film and media seminars and symposiums. He is an active member of the Association of Moving Image Archivists.

About Oddball Films

Oddball films is a stock footage company providing offbeat and unusual film footage for feature films like Milk, documentaries like The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, Silicon Valley, Kurt Cobain: The Montage of Heck, television programs like Mythbusters, clips for Boing Boing and web projects around the world.

Our screenings are almost exclusively drawn from our collection of over 50,000 16mm prints of animation, commercials, educational films, feature films, movie trailers, medical, industrial military, news out-takes and every genre in between. We’re actively working to present rarely screened genres of cinema as well as avant-garde and ethno-cultural documentaries, which expand the boundaries of cinema. Oddball Films is the largest film archive in Northern California and one of the most unusual private collections in the US. We invite you to join us in our weekly offerings of offbeat cinema.