Tuesday, February 2, 2016 at 7:30pm
Lifestyle Porn, Part I
155 Freeman Street, Brooklyn
Curated by Gabriel Abrantes, Alexander Carver, Benjamin Crotty, and Daniel Schmidt
“How many times have I told you that homosexuality is only to be used for revolutionary purposes?”
- Gudrun, The Raspberry Reich
“Hmmm, the perfect hug…Those are hard to find, actually.”
- Colby Keller, Kiss•Hug•Fuck•Love
Lifestyle Porn, Part I is a selection of queer films from the last 60 years that underlines a shift in the stylizations of homoeroticism in cinema, from work that assumes the guise of criminal marginality and otherness to more recent forms of alternative bro-ness and bourgeois lifestyle fetishism.
Tonight’s screening looks back to Kenneth Anger’s butch idols as well as Bruce LaBruce’s satirical conflation of radical sexuality with Marxist revolution, and still further into the mythos of American masculine identity with Brokeback Mountain, revealing how queer desire has mutated the various cultural narratives and subjects it inhabits. We hope to find some of the recuperative potential of yesteryear's queer "lifestyles" evidenced in the program, while acknowledging the slippery, precarious nature of subculture.
Tracing this lineage, the lineup contextualizes a recent gay porn, Kiss•Hug•Fuck•Love, within a broader history. The video is a sort of J. Crew advertisement come to life, and ends up double-penetrating itself, spit-roasted by bro-mosexual ideals and the aspirational iconography of Dwell magazine. KHFL is exceedingly earnest in its attempt to exploit an entire concept of masculine identity inside a fantasy of SoCal bohemianism. This comes as no surprise, considering that homoeroticism has often appropriated and distorted hetero-masculine codes, but the normalizing commercial aesthetics make this porn incredibly perverse.
Kiss•Hug•Fuck•Love trailer, Jake Jaxson, 2014, digital projection, 8 mins
“Kiss•Hug•Fuck•Love showcases harmony in its many forms, celebrating the natural moments that occur from the Power of Three! Watch as these confident young men strip away their inhibitions and simply live and just enjoy the four things that most people crave, want and desire everyday.” - CockyBoys
Community Action Center trailer, AK Burns and AL Steiner, 2010, digital projection, 3 mins
CAC “incorporates the erotics of a community where the personal is not only political, but sexual. This project was heavily inspired by 1970’s porn-romance-liberation films which served as distinct portraits of the urban inhabitants, landscapes and the body politic of a particular time and place. Community Action Center is a unique contemporary womyn-centric composition that serves as both an ode and a hole-filler.” - AKB/ALS
Looking for Langston, Isaac Julien, 1989, 16mm, 40 mins
Julien’s New Queer Cinema landmark does not function as a biography of Langston Hughes, but rather as a tribute to his legacy and the Harlem Renaissance as reconstructed from a late-20th-century black gay perspective.
Dyketactics, Barbara Hammer, 1974, 16mm, 4 mins
Described by Hammer as a “lesbian commercial,” this montage of 110 images of naked women frolicking in the countryside suggests a sense of “touch.”
Kustom Kar Kommandos, Kenneth Anger, 1965, 16mm, 3 mins
The production of Kustom Kar Kommandos was funded by a grant from the Ford Foundation following the completion of Anger's biker death-trip Scorpio Rising. His original plan for the project was to create a feature-length film centering on the role of cars as fetish objects among young American males, but the grant quickly ran out, and only this 3-minute segment was ever produced.
Un Chant d’amour, Jean Genet, 1950, 16mm, 26 mins
Genet’s only film is set in a French prison where a guard takes voyeuristic pleasure from observing the inmates as they masturbate. In two adjacent cells, an older man and a handsome young convict dream of a world beyond their walls.
...punctuated by scenes from Brokeback Mountain and The Raspberry Reich.
Friends with Benefits, a retrospective of works by Abrantes, Carver, Crotty, and Schmidt, will run at the Film Society of Lincoln Center from February 5-11. Lifestyle Porn, Part II plays at Spectacle on February 9.
Tickets - $8, available at door.
Please note: seating is limited. First-come, first-served. Box office opens at 7pm.
Print of Looking for Langston courtesy of the Reserve Film and Video Collection of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.
Presented with support from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.