Activism

2015

Little Radek, the step-dancing Bolshevik; Machera, the Andean Robin Hood, and Maria Spiridonova, the Russian socialist assassin are your guides for Past Leftist Life Regression therapy. In this third Inner Trotsky Child video, narrator Lois Severin— a former Trotskyite turned suburban housewife—attempts to radicalize the personal fulfillment and self-help scene.

1970
Construction Worker's Rally

Though this video segment bears the title Construction Workers Rally, much more than issues of labor are addressed. On May 8th of 1970, approximately two hundred demonstrating construction workers, mobilized by the New York State AFL-CIO, had attacked 1,000 high school and college students and others protesting the Kent State shootings, the American invasion of Cambodia, and the Vietnam War.

1970
Curtis's Abortion

In conversation with Carol Vontobel (behind the camera) and Nancy Cain, Curtis (Mary Curtis) Ratcliff describes getting her first legal abortion, soon after the state of New York legalized the procedure in 1970. Curtis supplies details of the cost of abortions at the Women’s Medical Center in New York City versus clinics such as Planned Parenthood, as well as a play-by-play account of her experience at the Center, describing the efforts of a counselor, the doctor’s demeanor, and demographics of the women using the Center’s services.

1971

Though difficult at times to understand what is happening due to audio damage, this tape provides rich historical documentation of a protest on Wall Street in May of 1971. The tape also records the energy in the air created by motivated activists who took to the streets at Columbia University in protest of the Vietnam War.

—Faye Gleisser

1971
Davidson's Jail Tape

Footage from the May Day 1971 events in Washington DC. Davidson, a Videofreex member, gets arrested, and what follows is rarely seen footage of the inside of the detainment bus and the jail cell, videotaped by an arrestee.

2013
Vaginal Davis: An Interview

In this interview, American artist, independent curator, writer, and experimental filmmaker, Vaginal Davis reflects on her initiation into the punk rock and art scenes of Los Angeles during the 1980s and 90s, her stylistic influences, and her ongoing efforts to theorize queerness and visuality. Caught between the opposing poles of Hollywood classicism and the rawness of punk, Davis defines her unapologetically gender-bending, campy, and at times aggressively critical performances as scenarios, rather than spectacles or entertainment.

2000
Dinner at Jane's

Executive produced by Sara Diamond at the Banff Art Centre, co-produced by Michelle Baughn and Suzanne Lacy, directed by Tom Weinberg and Dick Carter, and edited by Holen Kahn.

1990
Direct Effect PSAs--Volume 1

The first of the series includes:

What Does Away Mean? by Jem Cohen advertises the need to recycle through reconsideration of landfills and garbage disposal.

Pro-Choice is Pro-Life by Jane Pratt makes its point with the simple logic that every child should be cared for and wanted.

Historic Preservation by Jim McKay counsels for the preservation of historic buildings endangered by urban decay.

1991
Direct Effect PSAs--Volume 2

This video collects public service announcements created by a number of independent producers, including Jem Cohen and Michael Stipe of R.E.M.  Powerful and provocative, these PSAs address issues such as organic farming, abortion rights, street harassment, and the environment. Included are:

They Have Dreams by Natalie Merchant and Abigail Simon which focuses on the plight of homeless children.

1992
Direct Effect PSAs--Volume 3

The third compilation in this series of progressive, creative public service announcements for under-reported issues. Featuring various styles and formats, from street photography to optical printing, from edgy black and white film to hand-drawn animation, the seven spots in this latest installment are:

The Breathing Tree by Eric Darnell and Doug Loveid, an animated easy-to-understand explanation of how forests contribute to life by producing oxygen.

2017
Sky Hopinka "Dislocation Blues"

An incomplete and imperfect portrait of reflections from Standing Rock. Cleo Keahna recounts his experiences entering, being at, and leaving the camp and the difficulties and the reluctance in looking back with a clear and critical eye. Terry Running Wild describes what his camp is like, and what he hopes it will become.

1997
Dissing D.A.R.E.: Education as Spectacle

D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) is a hyper-war waged on over 20 million children in the United States. Despite overwhelming evidence of its educational ineffectiveness, D.A.R.E. has gained a religious following among educators and parents, and is the only federally-funded drug education program. D.A.R.E.'s imagistic and psychological assault is based on the presence of uniformed gun-toting police officers in the classroom.

1990
Drag Queen Murder Mystery Part One, Queer Fashion Army, and Queer Film Reviews

In this video, Brenda Sexual, Glennda Orgasm, and friends act out a drag queen murder mystery that takes place on their talk show. Later, they attend the Queer Fashion Army Invasion, a sit in of openly queer public fashion performance outside the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan. Then, the pair arrives at a video store to discuss queer undertones of Hollywood films, like Grease, Rocky II, and Yentil.

1991
The Drag Queen Starter Kit, Belverio

In this episode of The Brenda and Glennda Show, Brenda and Glennda create a satire of 1990's infomercials. The video includes interviews and performances by Vaginal Davis, Bruce LaBruce, and Chris Teen.

An episode of The Brenda and Glennda Show, hosted by Brenda Sexual and Glennda Orgasm.

1992
Drag Queens for Jesus, Belverio

In this episode of The Brenda and Glennda Show, Brenda and Glennda comically debate changing the name of their show to Drag Queens for Jesus, in order to convert all the secular homosexuals to Christianity. They discuss topics like abortion and censorship from a drag queen perspective, exploring the hypocrisy and inherent bias of Christian ideals. Later, Brenda gets her nipple pierced in homage to Sandy Daley's Robert Having His Nipple Pierced (1971).