Since its inception in 1932, 8mm film has long been considered the province of home movies, often banal travelogues interspersed with birthdays and Christmas trees. Even when it was the precursor to the videotape and DVD releases of Hollywood movies, Super8 “digests” (highly edited versions of feature films) stuck safely to family fare, until commercial porn entered the marketplace. Even then, more intimate expressions of ordinary people have been more rare. This program is a collection of films (and the occasional S8 piece finished on video) that reveals the intimacy of and in narrow-gauge filmmaking, and the particular beauty captured by the gaze of the popular consumer cameras of the 1970s. While at times forthrightly depicting hardcore sex, this program will also present work that engages the erotics of relationships, through the lens of memory, looking, and oneiric desire. Some of the films use a variety of formal techniques, including re-photography, hand processing, contact printing, bleaching, and other manipulations investigating the materiality of film and emulsion. Others are more standard in their relationship to the image, gaining their power from the conceptual elements of the work. Kate Huh’s Rebel Fux is a cut-out animation of literary arcana and gender transgression. Michael Wallin’s Naked Treehouse Commune footage (shot in lush Kodachrome) from the early 1970s is a rare candid look at the counterculture of the day. Jim Hubbard’s Don’t Do It is a hand-processed study in light and a paean to the zoned out sex trade in NYC. Perhaps the lynchpin of the program is Velour, around which the show was conceived, and which trades in layered explorations of slippery relationships to sex, gender and desire. Sodom by the Sea is a multiple-projection piece that implicates the erotic landscape of a love/hate relationship with New York City’s skyline. Inescapably, this is also a program about voyeurism, whether the maker is fetishizing a body, a televised image or another film. Yet unlike the classic adversarial dyad of psychoanalysis, I posit here a less threatening gaze, and wish everyone the happy scopophilia that the filmmakers experienced in creating this work.—Stephen Kent Jusick, curator.

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Naked Tree House Commune
Michael Wallin, c.1968, USA, Regular 8mm, color, silent, 7 min.
These two rolls were given to me when Michael Wallin was cleaning out his storage space. The title is simply what was written on the reels. The images are of a various hippies in a verdant woodland setting.

   

fagtactics
Scott Berry, 2002, Canada, Super8mm, color, sound on tape, 3 min
Obviously a tribute to the "grandmother of lesbian film" Barbara Hammer, but more so a film exploring and celebrating male desires and bodies.

   

Rub
[Name redacted at filmmaker's request] & [Name redacted at filmmaker's request] , 2002, USA/Canada, Super8mm transferred to video,
B&W, sound, 1.5 min.
Masturbation is one of life's sweetest distractions. In this fleeting work, our nude heroine explores the eroticism of the quotidian and the pleasures the vagina can experience all on its own.

   

Endless Obsession
Glen Fogel, 2000, USA, Super8mm blown up to 16mm, color, sound, 5 min.
Self-reflexive and intimate, Glen Fogel’s Endless Obsession reworks footage from Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Saló or the 120 Days of Sodom. Through the use of extraction and re-editing [and a throbbing soundtrack], an erotic tension emerges between the film’s young male subjects.
– Susan Oxtoby

   

Velour
Hans Process, 2002, USA, Super8mm, color and B&W, sound on CD, 12 min.
Alcoholism and gender-variant fantasy. —HP
Velour is a fabric resembling velvet, and as such the title suggests that texture is an important formal and thematic element in this film. Through the use of varied film stocks, hand-processing, contact printing, and re-photography, the maker is constantly working with the visible texture of the film while presenting a fragmentary narrative of shifting and splitting identities. From the first image of snapshots on a wall, the film also explores the texture of relationships—between lovers, as well as between oneself and one’s own body and gender identity, concluding with a configuration of new possibilities.

   

Silver Liquid
Stefan Kunst, 2002, USA, Super8mm, B&W, sound on CD, 3 min.
A hand-processed camera roll of a spontaneous sex scene between two guys in a New York apartment.

   

Rebel Fux!: The Movie
Kate Huh, 2000, USA, B&W, sound on tape, 3 min.
Cut-out animation of cunts, sailors and punk rock clip art all set to a tribal beat, from the creator of the zine Rebel Fux!

   

Don’t Do It
Jim Hubbard, 1998, USA, Super8mm, sound on CD, 3 min.
On one hand Don’t Do It is a hand-processed tribute to the gaudy but beautiful displays of (gay) sex purveyors so recently zoned out by NYC zealots, but on the other the film is a sensitive study in light.

   

Two Week Disaster
Julie Zando, Terry Klein and Ghen Dennis, 2000, USA, Super8mm, sound, 7 min.
An ironic account of a seedy two-week affair shot in the Hotel La Paris in Niagara Falls with queer actors playing it straight up. Hand-processed for greater intimacy and detachment.

   

Aberzombie and Witch
Terry Roethlein, 2002, USA, Super-8, hand processed, color and B&W, 10 min.
You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you'll find you get what you deserve. A love story of sorts for anyone who has ever been called "needy." Sex and hex and a strictly rock and roll soundtrack.

   

Jouissance
Larry Shea, 2002, USA, Super8mm transferred to video, color, 7 min
A celebration of the adventurous souls who brave poison oak, sand flies and State Rangers to spread seeds of love and rebellion in the great outdoors. Recounted stories of sexual exploration in the dunes is manipulated and processed, forming a sonic-erotic sea foam soundtrack for luscious Kodachrome visuals of the inexorable inrush of the tide

   

Why I Am Not a Painter
Wayne Koestenbaum, 2002, USA, B&W, sound on CD, 7 min.
The first ever cinematic treatment of the Frank O'Hara poem.

   

House Boy
Matt Wolf, 2002, USA, Super8mm, B&W, silent, 3 min.
An ambiguously asexual treatment of the erotics of sublimated gay television representation. A basic, all-revealing clue: "Mr. Belvedere."

   

SOS
John Fanning, 2002, USA, Super8mm, color, sound on CD, 4 min.
A strait-laced businessman begins his day as normal, and finds it transformed into a rock’n’roll fantasy with the help of some fairies. Shot on Super8 and edited digitally on a Media 100.

   

Rubber is Natural
Wash West, 1999, USA, Super8mm on video, color, sound, 10 min.
Shot on Super8 negative then transferred to positive and edited on video. From the freeways of LA to the wilds lapping at the roadside, this short depicts safe sex in luscious landscape, and demonstrates how bountiful nature can be. Featuring porn stars Rod Barry and Dean O’Connor

   

Valentine’s Day
Stephen Kent Jusick, 2002, USA, Super8mm, color and B&W, sound on CD, 8 min.
Shot on Valentines Day 2002, this film was made because my friends Wells and Andy always wanted to have their sex filmed, but also to meet a deadline for hand-processing the B&W footage

   

Is Your Wife A Secret Lesbian?
Szu Burgess, 2002, USA, Super8mm, B&W, sound on CD, 8 min.
Re-photographed manipulations of World War II-era stag films, with inter-titles drawn verbatim from a 1966 article in Photo magazine.

   
 

 

Sodom by the Sea
Stephen Kent Jusick, 2002, USA, Super8mm double projection, color, sound on CD, 10 min.
Quick in-camera cutting of the NYC skyline shot from the East River leads to a more sober & stationary final reel when the topography changed forever, while a second projection lies overtop, creating a sexy and ominous counterpoint to the phallic buildings that punctuate the cityscape.

 

plus one more film by an anonymous maker, 2002, USA, 2 min.