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March 25th, 2010

bad queer

I find myself considering skipping Out Night at the film fest. That's tonight. It's three shorts (one which I saw as a screener) and a feature about a gay bar in Jerusalem (and being gay in Jerusalem). I mean, it looks like an absorbing documentary and all. And then at 10 o'clock there's Wasteland Utopias---

[Wasteland stills]

A cinematic essay tracing the intersection of visionary developer Del Webb (Sun City) and legendary radical psychiatrist/naturalist Wilhelm Reich (Orgone Energy). What on earth could these two possibly have in common? The sunny Sonoran Desert for one thing, a shadowy CIA Operative for another. Desert landscapes, desert soulscapes, sex, sustainability, Emotional Plague, cloudbusting, cosmic intervention---these and other relevancies link the 1950s with our present moment in surprising, and seemingly prophetic, ways.

Filmmaker David Sherman in attendance for audience Q&A.


--- promising. Darned promising.

But I'm going tomorrow night for sure, and day too probably, and some on Saturday and then a lot on Sunday, ... . And I could use a quiet supper at home, hanging with the cats. It's been kinda stressful at work today.

And so here's the other "bad queer" thing: I'm leaning toward skipping the big hoo-ha special guest of the fest, a major figure in American experimental film, who is also a queer icon, or at least the progenitor of some queer iconography: Kenneth Anger. I'm leaning toward skipping his appearance Saturday night cuz I'm just not that gung-ho to see his movies, and his talk---how much will he even talk? I guess if he's a hardcore 83 year-old that could be interesting. But it conflicts with bowling. And, anyway, I just have some overriding "eh" about the whole business of the guy.

Maybe it's the lack of humor. I do love me some John Waters, but not yer Fassbinder, so much. OTOH, I like Tom of Finland, but I bring my own sense of humor to him, and, moreover, I see a kind of glory in his work. (Insert glory hole joke here.) Dark tough dark bleak leather dark stark dark seemingly partly for the sake of how very dark, Satan-Nazi ho hum--- maybe if I were a gay man, particularly in that era. But I doubt it, even then. Step outside it at all and you gotta laugh, at least a little. And I'd definitely want to be stepping outside it, if I were in it. I get that it's (among other things) a carving out of a rebellious space, an assertive right to (and claiming of) the illicit, a f*ck you, a turning of tables, even a version of strength and smarts. I should probably care enough to check out his cinematic style, but I'm pretty sure I'd still value him more for Hollywood Babylon, prominently on the display tables in the gay bookstores of my youth, next to the "Tales of the City" collections and stacks of the latest print guides to where to find the homos in cities around the world.
 
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