"Renwick recounts a sad time in her life, when a friend was dying and she suddenly became aware of the presence of crows... [Renwick] craft[s] a lyrical and moving essay that works its magic through poetic accretion rather than narrative logic." — Holly Willis, L.A. Weekly
Trans filmmaker Jules Rosskam's against a trans narrative is a provocative and personal experimental documentary investigating dominant constructions of trans-masculine identity, gender, and the nature of community.
By sensitively framing the film through his own personal journey within the trans-masculine community, Rosskam creates an electric and original investigation into gender politics and social self-identity.
The “a-ha experience” is the moment when a child first recognizes its own image in a mirror; it is critical to the development of intelligence and identity. It is also the moment when the “self” is surrendered to the control of an external influence. The child accepts the power of the mother to confer or withhold love; it is the mother’s power to fulfill desire that shapes a child’s sense of identity. Similarly, a camera controls love by directing or not directing its attention to the desiring subject.
"I'm not going to go to the Anne Frank House—I don't think I could take it—being a tourist is bad enough—though I'm not really a tourist—I'm here working—my camera's the one on vacation—taking holiday sounds and images—it's having a nice change of pace—for me it's still the same old thing—talking and talking.
"Ever on the lookout for learning opportunities, Reinke envisions an art institute where you don’t have to make anything, and with a library full of books glued together. All the information’s there—you just don’t have to bother reading it!" —New York Video Festival (2002)
A compilation of five of Sadie Benning’s early works. In Jollies, Benning gives a chronology of her crushes and kisses, tracing the development of her nascent sexuality. Addressing the camera with an air of seduction and romance, Benning allows the viewer a sense of her anxiety and delight as she comes to realize her lesbian identity. In If Every Girl Had a Diary, Benning trains her pixelvision camera on herself and her room, searching for a sense of identity and respect as a woman and a lesbian.
Volume 2 includes the pixelvision works made in 1992: A Place Called Lovely, It Wasn't Love, and Girlpower. A Place Called Lovely references the types of violence individuals find in life, from explicit beatings, accidents, and murders to the more insidious violence of lies, social expectations, and betrayed faith. Benning collects images of this socially-pervasive violence from a variety of sources, tracing events from childhood—movies, tabloids, children's games (like mumbledy-peg)—personal experiences, and those of others.
A collection of three remarkable works by Sadie Benning, produced between 1995 and 1998, including German Song, The Judy Spots, and Flat is Beautiful. Shot in black and white Super-8 film, German Song muses on a disengaged youth and grey afternoons spent wandering, and features the hard-edged music of Come, an alternative band from Boston.
Black Body is a harsh and compelling meditation on the contradictory values assigned to black bodies in American culture: they exist as both desired and feared, abject and powerful. The “black body” is a body whose surface reflects projected fears and repressed desires; as such, it exists as a site of ideological struggle, a surface which is simultaneously eroticized and denegrated.
Through a stack of personal journals, this video reconstructs a biography of the South Dakota-born, New York City-enlightened artist James Wentzy. Tracing his days starting out as a struggling artist and later involved as an AIDS activist, the video provides an intimate portrait of a neglected hero. Wentzy reads from journals and shares old family snapshots and notebook sketches. “I hope I don’t die of sainthood,” Wentzy jokes in an entry from 1990—the pivotal time when he was becoming involved with ACT-UP and beginning to live healthier after the revelation of his HIV-positive status.
Produced for Britain’s Channel 4, Bright Eyes is an impressive and complex essay detailing the various factors that have colluded to misrepresent the true nature of the threat posed by AIDS. Exposing the relationship between the mass media, scientific systems of classification, and definitions of pathology, Marshall pinpoints the construction of sexual politics based on a reactionary morality. The video places the AIDS crisis in the context of the historical persecution of homosexuals and focuses on the efforts of gay activist groups to combat social and medical prejudice.