QUEER|ART|FILM CLUB: ALONE TOGETHER A New Season of QUEER|ART|FILM
Organized by Curators Adam Baran and Heather Lynn Johnson
Organized by curators Adam Baran and Heather Lynn Johnson, this special “stay-at-home” season of the long-running screening series— titledQueer|Art|Film Club: Alone Together— has been reformatted in the style of a digital book club: viewers are invited to watch films on their own before joining guest presenters online for an interactive discussion. Taking place entirely online, Queer|Art|Film Club: Alone Together will consider the secret queer pleasures of watching movies alone and reckon with questions of safety and isolation that shape queer lives on a daily basis—not only during global pandemics, but throughout our entire lives. Come be alone with us together. All discussions begin at 8:00 pm EST, on Zoom.
SUMMER LINEUP May 25 - Gavilán Rayna Rossum presents 3 WOMEN June 22 - Baseera Khan presents PAKEEZAH July 13 - Deborah Bright presents THE HUNGER August 17 - Nayland Blake presents THE THING
MONDAY, MAY 25, 8PM Gavilán Rayna Rossum presents 3 WOMEN (Robert Altman, 1977)
On her first day of work, naive Pinky Rose meets chatterbox Millie Lammoreaux, and the two quickly become roommates. Things are good at first, but after the women’s first quarrel, Pinky has a bad accident. When Pinky recovers, the two women's identities begin shifting in mysterious ways. Robert Altman’s queerest film boasts brilliant performances from Shelly Duvall, Sissy Spacek and Janice Rule; a dreamlike narrative similar to PERSONA and MULHOLLAND DRIVE; and a haunting score by gay composer Gerald Busby. Our guest presenter, acclaimed electronic musician and artist Gavilán Rayna Rossum (“The Envoy”, LCD Soundsystem), finds inspiration in the “complex inner feminine worlds the film investigates, the way its ultra witchy version of maid, mother, and crone operates outside of heteronormative rigidity and its ability to elucidate the deeply haunted nature of white American life.”
This 1972 Bollywood musical love story set in turn-of-the-century India stars Meena Kumari as an Indo-Islamic tawai’if (courtesan) who is trained in the art of love but forbidden to fall into it. Director Kamal Amrohi relies on the suffocating, deeply entrenched battle between traditional values and the fear of difference (in this case, an independent woman) suggesting that safety and respectability is only found in the arms of a husband. The legend around the making of this film and the tortured romance between director and star adds to the salacious delight of PAKEEZAH, which translates into “the pure one”. As a native-born Muslim American artist, guest presenter Baseera Khan will explain how this film “became her coat of arms and system of protection,” while growing up in Texas.
MONDAY, JULY 13, 8PM Deborah Bright presents THE HUNGER (Tony Scott, 1983)
This erotically charged vampire film, directed by Tony Scott, has all the delights and horrors of 80s era excess, including shoulder-pads, David Bowie, gothic nightclubs, flowing curtains, slow-motion doves and rapid aging. Susan Sarandon and Catherine Deneuve play star-crossed lovers whose fates become intertwined in what photographer and artist Deborah Bright recalls as “one of the absolute BEST lesbian love scenes in mainstream film.” Beautifully sublime sets, art directed by Clinton Cavers with Stephen Goldblatt’s cinematography, elevates the horror genre into a poetic artifice of decadence and decay. Commended for its queer themes at the height of the AIDS epidemic, Bright saw this movie soon after coming out and found this “visually over the top, very noir and creepy” cult favorite resonating with her and other “adventurous lesbians.”
MONDAY, AUGUST 17, 8PM Nayland Blake presents THE THING (John Carpenter, 1982)
In horror legend John Carpenter’s gory 1982 masterpiece, scientists in Antarctica unearth a frozen alien parasite with shape-shifting abilities. When “the thing” begins imitating the appearance of the scientists, suspicion and paranoia turn everyone against each other in a gruesome hunt to stop it from escaping. Acclaimed non-binary artist Nayland Blake first watched the film in 1983, initially interpreting it as an AIDS analogy, then later as a metaphor for fears of homosexuality. “The body eruptions, mutating orifices, and emotional standoffs between the male characters speak to straight fears of queerness as a disease in itself,” Nayland writes. “THE THING told a horror story at the beginning of the decade that the rest of the world would catch up to over the ensuing years.”
But where can I stream these films? Right here silly!
Lead institutional support for Queer|Art is provided by Bloomberg Philanthropies, HBO, National Endowment for the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and New York State Council for the Arts.