an article about top indie queer filmmakers

From: Salon Cuir (email suppressed)
Date: Sun Sep 10 2006 - 07:59:12 PDT

from my friend Jen Reiter, an awesome filmmaker in SF
- Kiki

Begin forwarded message:

> From: "fotojenic" <email suppressed>
> Date: September 9, 2006 3:07:55 PM EDT
> To: email suppressed
> Subject: [GrayRods] re: Guardian article w queer filmmakers -here
> it is!
> Reply-To: email suppressed
> Hey Kiki & Tara, re: filmmakers names that Gary
> mentioned... here is the original article from the Guardian.
> Jill

> "I may look a little pale, but that's because they
> don't let me out of the safe very often." So announces
> Jack Smith, via intertitle rather than his
> one-of-a-kind congested whine, early on in Mary
> Jordan's new documentary Jack Smith and the
> Destruction of Atlantis (USA, 2006; Fri/16, 8 p.m.,
> Roxie). Replace the word safe with grave and one gets
> a closer idea of the feat Jordan has pulled off, after
> some headline-grabbing bouts over the estate of a man
> who hated rent and satirized capitalist greed: She has
> at least partially reanimated the voice, image, and
> perhaps spirit of a clown prince of the American
> avant-garde, who died in 1989. That in the process
> Jordan has also skillfully packaged an artist who
> refused to package himself or "complete" his own
> artworks is one irony. That the result contains
> flaming images and ideas " created by Smith himself
> that could very well eclipse any contemporary film in
> 2006's SF International LGBT Film Festival (and
> perhaps any festival this year) is another.

> Jack Smith more than merits feature-length attention
> as a documentary subject. But if he were alive today,
> would his work be accepted into Frameline's 30th
> incarnation, or those of its straight counterparts?
> It's a question worth pondering, as Frameline is
> forced to grapple with post"New Queer Cinema
> profiteering and post death of gay culture,
> mainstreamed, apolitical notions of identity" while
> the popularity of festivals makes their formulaic
> aspects increasingly apparent. There's a good chance
> that Smith (or fellow trailblazer Kenneth Anger) would
> be too freaky to respect the codes of a typical
> contemporary shorts program at any festival even were
> he to finish and submit a work.

> Yet Smith and Anger are at the very root of the beyond
> "Celluloid Closet" or alternative-to-Hollywood history
> posited in Fabulous! The Story of Queer Cinema (Lisa
> Ades and Lesli Klainberg, USA, 2006; June 23, 6 p.m.,
> Roxie), wherein noted scholar and Guardian contributor
> B. Ruby Rich incisively pinpoints the role that
> physique photography and the closet might have had in
> the creation of Anger's 1947 trailblazer Fireworks.
> Off the top of my head I can think of a dozen already
> vital or formative younger queer moviemakers who
> consciously or not owe a debt to the avant-garde
> tradition of Anger and Smith:
> Ryan Trecartin, Luther Price, Apichatpong
> Weerasethakul, Andrew Repasky McElhinney, Cathy
> Begien, Nguyen Tan Hoang, Gary Gregerson, Patty Chang,
> Jose Rodriguez, Justin Kelly, William Jones, and Nao
> Bustamante.
> Some have been featured in Frameline and similar
> fests, and some unfortunately haven't, but all are
> working at a time when anything personally funded that
> doesn't follow narrative codes seems to need Gus Van
> Sant's imprimatur (as Jonathan Caouette's Tarnation
> did) in order to receive broader acceptance and
> visibility.

> For queer cinema to remain vibrant or regain its
> fabulousness, it shouldn't lose touch with an outsider
> sensibility. It's heartening that some folks who were
> present at the rough-and-tumble start of what is now
> the Frameline fest, or of queer cinema's
> out-and-political phase, are making a splash during
> its 30th birthday: Festival founder Marc Huestis is
> premiering Lulu Gets a Facelift; Barbara Hammer's 1974
> short Dyketactics is sharing a program with her latest
> doc, Lover Other (USA, 2005; Tues/20, 2:15 p.m.,
> Castro; June 22, 6 p.m., Roxie).

> While Francois Ozon was showcased as a young Turk with
> nearly the same program of films only six years ago,
> he's still a worthy recipient of this year's
> career-oriented Frameline Award, and I'm eagerly
> awaiting the screening of his Time to Leave, simply
> because it unites the great Jeanne Moreau and pouty
> beauty Melvil Poupaud (whom I once wrote a
> poem-in-review-form for in these pages). Yet I can't
> help but note that if I were to isolate a few images
> from the standout fictive features I've seen at this
> year's fest, João Pedro Rodrigues's fantastic Two
> Drifters and Julián Hernández's overly ambitious
> Broken Sky, they might be mistaken for fashion
> advertisements. That observation shows how thoroughly
> materialism has infiltrated queer identity, replacing
> depth with surface, and it's a large part of why the
> visions of a Jack Smith look even wilder, more
> crucial, and most of all, more free
> "literally and metaphorically" today.

For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.