William E. Jones in Person with TEAROOM (Chicago)

From: Patrick Friel (email suppressed)
Date: Thu May 08 2008 - 16:04:23 PDT



SUNDAY, MAY 18, 2008
TWO SHOWS (6:30pm & 9:00pm)

White Light Cinema and The Nightingale are pleased to co-present an
evening with the acclaimed Los Angeles-based filmmaker William E.
Jones, who will screen his controversial new work Tearoom (1962/2007,
56 mins., video), which was selected for the 2008 Whitney Biennial.

A provocative act of appropriation, Jones presents original 1962
police surveillance footage of a men's bathroom with only very minor
intervention. The images are raw and powerful and the film invites
exploration from a number of perspectives: portraiture, queer history,
anthropology, sociology, documentary, voyeurism, structural film, and
ever kinesthetics. It is a rich work, both fascinating and disturbing.

Jones writes: "Tearoom consists of footage shot by the police in the
course of a crackdown on public sex in the American Midwest. In the
summer of 1962, the Mansfield, Ohio Police Department photographed men
in a restroom under the main square of the city. The cameramen hid in
a closet and watched the clandestine activities through a two-way
mirror. The film they shot was used in court as evidence against the
defendants, all of whom were found guilty of sodomy, which at that
time carried a mandatory minimum sentence of one year in the state
penitentiary. The original surveillance footage shot by the police
came into the possession of director William E. Jones while he was
researching this case for a documentary project. The unedited scenes
of ordinary men of various races and classes meeting to have sex were
so powerful that the director decided to present the footage with a
minimum of intervention. Tearoom is a radical example of film
presented 'as found' for the purpose of circulating historical images
that have otherwise been suppressed."

Jones has published a companion book Tearoom (2nd Cannons
Publications), which contains many historical texts relating to the
Mansfield cases, as well as over 100 frame enlargements from the video.

Limited copies of the book will be available for sale at the screenings.

Showing with Tearoom is a short experimental video Jones made from the
original footage: Mansfield 1962 (2006, 9 mins., video).

Additional information on Tearoom, including reviews, interviews with
Jones, and historical texts relating to the case, can be found at
Jones' website: www.williamejones.com.

William E. Jones has been making work for nearly twenty years. His
films Massillon (1991) and Finished (1997) were both highly acclaimed
documentary-essay works and his recent video v.o. (2006) has had great
success on the film festival circuit and at film venues around the
world. His films and videos were the subject of a retrospective at the
Tate Modern in London in 2005. He works in the adult video industry
under the name Hudson Wilcox and teaches film history at Art Center
College of Design under his own name.


This program screens Sunday, May 18, 2008 at 6:30pm and 9:00pm at The
Nightingale (1084 N. Milwaukee Ave.).

Admission: $7.00-10.00, sliding scale.

Website: www.whitelightcinema.com

WHITE LIGHT CINEMA is a new, alternative film screening series
designed to complement the programming of other local film venues and
organizations by presenting, alone and in collaboration, rare,
obscure, overlooked, and resolutely non-commercial films and videos
that have either not been screened in Chicago or have not shown in

While focusing heavily on great works by avant-garde film masters, the
series aims to include both retrospective and contemporary films and
videos that range across a wide spectrum of alternative cinema. White
Light Cinema will present works demonstrating significant aesthetic
merit, originality of vision, radical and commanding investigations of
form, and challenging provocations to mainstream film and media

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