Tuesday, January 22, 2019 at 7pm
Peggy Ahwesh's She Puppet + Doris Wishman's Indecent Desires

155 Freeman Street, Brooklyn

In conjunction with the reissue of Peggy Ahwesh’s zine The Films of Doris Wishman—newly published in an expanded edition by Light Industry and Inpatient Press—we’re hosting a special Ahwesh/Wishman double bill.

She Puppet, Peggy Ahwesh, 2001, digital projection, 15 mins

“An homage to and commentary on the female action-adventure game Tomb Raider and its busty virtual superstar Lara Croft. I played the game on my computer and simultaneously recorded the gameplay onto videotape. Then I treated the material as ‘found footage’ and recut it in order to rethink the game and consider questions about women, virtual bodies, role-playing, identity issues, and fandom. Ignoring the original drive of action, I make Lara explore the game environment at the edges of the programming world created for her. The limited inventory of Lara's gestures and the militaristic scenarios of the game are considered from a feminist perspective in analyzing the symbolic feminine and the popular culture that has sprung up around Lara Croft. Quotations are from three authors who philosophize the alien, the clone, and the orphan: The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa, The Female Man by Joanna Russ, and the jazz mystic Sun Ra.” - PA

Indecent Desires, Doris Wishman, 1967, digital projection, 75 mins

Beginning in the mid-’60s, Ahwesh explains, Wishman “began to produce roughies, a popular style at the time that made explicit the relationship between libido and violence with rough sex play and brutal treatment of women, with very little sexual contact, emotions, or touching. These films have the women endlessly undressing out of their black lace lingerie (a practically Victorian trope), caressing themselves and preening in front of full-length mirrors. As a filmmaker her sense of editing construction has the strangest and most highly developed internal logic; it makes up its own film language.”

Frequently cited as one of Wishman’s finest efforts—and one of her more unsettling roughies—Indecent Desires tells the story of Ann, a blonde secretary who’s secretly stalked by her creepy male neighbor, Zeb. After Zeb finds a doll and magic ring in the garbage, he begins to use the plaything as a supernatural fetish: every time he caresses the toy, Ann feels his sinister touch; each time he strikes it, she writhes in pain. Entirely unaware of the source of these sensations, Ann is slowly driven mad by the remote actions of her invisible assailant.

Shot with remarkable economy and a complete cast of five (plus doll) in a dismally barren outerboro neighborhood, Indecent Desires unfolds in stark monochrome to the sounds of frenetic cocktail jazz, showcasing the director’s idiolectic style as well as what Ahwesh has described as Wishman’s “dystopic views of sexual relations.”

Followed by a conversation with Ahwesh.

Tickets - $8, available at door.

Please note: seating is limited. First-come, first-served. Box office opens at 6:30pm.