Meeting of Two Queens

In this witty, luminous film, Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich star in the roles of their lives—cast as lovers by Chilean video artist Barriga. Queen Christina meets the Scarlet Empress; Anna Karenina and Blonde Venus transcend tragedy. This beguiling film links the queens of the silver screen through motifs such as the cigarette and a circuitry of meaningful gazes and gestures. Clips from their signature roles are remounted in silent film style vignettes to tell a burgeoning tale of desire and destiny. With gratitude to the Moving Image Archiving and Preservation program at NYU, a digital preservation copy of this film now available for exhibition! Please contact [email protected] for more information.
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As I Remember It

This intimate portrait of writer Dorothy West explores the forgotten role of women in the Harlem Renaissance. From the perspective of her 83 years, the still active writer relates her memories of growing up African American, privileged and enthralled by literature. Archival footage and photographs, interviews and excerpts from her autobiographical novel, THE LIVING IS EASY, capture West's fascinating story.
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Flaming Ears

FLAMING EARS is a pop sci-fi lesbian fantasy feature set in the year 2700 in the fictive burned-out city of Asche. It follows the tangled lives of three women -- Volley, Nun and Spy. Spy is a comic book artist whose printing presses are burned down by Volley, a sexed-up pyromaniac. Seeking revenge, Spy goes to the lesbian club where Volley performs every night. Before she can enter, Spy gets into a fight and is left wounded, lying in the streets. She is found by Nun--an amoral alien in a red plastic suit with a predilection for reptiles, and who also happens to be Volley’s lover. Nun takes her home and subsequently must hide her from Volley. It’s a story of love and revenge, and an anti-romantic plea for love in its many forms. An avowedly underground film which was shot on Super 8 and blown up to 16mm, FLAMING EARS is original for its playful disruption of narrative conventions (the story is a thread rather than a backbone in the film), its witty approach to film genre, and its visual splendor.
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Sphinxes Without Secrets

Since its inception, performance art provided a forum for those artists whose work challenges the dominant aesthetic and cultural status quo. In SPHINXES WITHOUT SECRETS, performers, curators and critics unravel the mysteries of performance art and ponder the world women confront today. Performers featured in this stylish program include Diamanda Galas, Holly Hughes (one of the 'NEA Four'), Robbie McCauley and Rachel Rosenthal; intercut with appearances by many others such as Laurie Anderson, Annie Sprinkle and Reno.
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Praise House

PRAISE HOUSE combines elements of theater, dance and music based on the rhythms and rituals of Africa. Julie Dash, director of DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST, collaborated with Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, founder and choreographer of Urban Bush Women, to explore the source of creativity and its effect on three generations of African American women. PRAISE HOUSE shows the emotional prison so many people live in, even as it celebrates the persistence of belief and creativity, and the splendid legacies African Americans have preserved against all odds. Produced for ALIVE TV, KTCA.
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Sex and the Sandinistas

Nicaragua is known for the Sandinista Revolution, an inspiring struggle for national liberation. What has never been told before is the story of how homosexuals, in the teeth of a machista Roman Catholic culture, battled for their own space inside the Revolution. What really happened when the Sandinistas found their soldiers and revolutionary comrades falling in love with the wrong sex? The unique story is related through the drama of personal experience. Lupita tells of life as a 14 year-old urban guerilla making cocktails in her back room--and what happened when she came out as a lesbian. Alfonso explains how he discovered cottaging in Managua’s ruined Cathedral. Walleska confesses to running away to join the Sandinista People’s army at 13, and undercover lesbian relationships in uniform. In the film, ex-President Daniel Ortega analyses the struggle within the FSLN over respect for lesbian and gay rights. The gay community is shown taking sex education to the streets and into the buses in Nicaragua’s innovative AIDS program. And the emerging gay and lesbian movement asks how will they survive the threat of a hostile new government since the Sandinistas lost power? SEX AND THE SANDINISTAS also explores the hidden world of lesbian and gay culture in Managua- from safe sex demonstrations to drag shows; from lesbian love poetry to debates about butch/femme role playing; and a tribute to Nicaragua’s homosexual indigenous ancestors. Without assuming any prior knowledge of Nicaraguan history, the film brings to life the extraordinary and valuable experience of lesbians and gays coming out in the whirlwind of a Latin American revolution.
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A Place of Rage

This exuberant celebration of African American women and their achievements features interviews with Angela Davis, June Jordan and Alice Walker. Within the context of the civil rights, Black power and feminist movements, the trio reassess how women such as Rosa Parks and Fannie Lou Hamer revolutionized American society. A stirring chapter in African American history, highlighted by music from Prince, Janet Jackson, the Neville Brothers and the Staple Singers.
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Something Like a War

SOMETHING LIKE A WAR is a chilling examination of India’s family planning program from the point of view of the women who are its primary targets. It traces the history of the family planning program and exposes the cynicism, corruption and brutality which characterizes its implementation. As the women themselves discuss their status, sexuality, fertility control and health, it is clear that their perceptions are in conflict with those of the program. SOMETHING LIKE A WAR is an excellent resource for the study of international development and aid, population control, reproductive rights, health and women.
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Home is Struggle

Using interviews, photographs and theatrical vignettes, Home is Struggle explores the lives of women who have come to the United States from different Latin American countries-Nicaragua, Chile, Argentina and the Dominican Republic-for very different reasons, economic and political. In sharing stories about their pasts and present and their views on issues such as sexism and personal and political repression, Home is Struggle presents an absorbing picture of the construction of 'Latina' identity and the immigrant experience.
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Stigmata

STIGMATA is a riveting look at body modification such as tattooing, cutting, piercing and branding, practices which are becoming increasingly popular amongst women. Although these activities are considered radical, the film suggests that they are no more physically radical than cosmetic surgery; and these women are transforming their bodies against conventional stereotypes of femininity rather than to conform to them. STIGMATA explores concepts of beauty, self-determination and the outer limits of female sexuality. Please note that STIGMATA includes some extremely explicit footage.
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Khush

KHUSH means ecstatic pleasure in Urdu. For South Asian lesbians and gay men in Britain, North America, and India (where homosexuality is still illegal) the term captures the blissful intricacies of being queer and of color. Inspiring testimonies bridge geographical differences to locate shared experiences of isolation and exoticization but also the unremitting joys and solidarity of being “khush”. Accentuated by beautifully lit dream sequences, dance segments and a dazzlingly sensuous soundtrack, this uplifting documentary conveys the exhilaration of a culturally rooted experience of sexuality.
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A Powerful Thang

This innovative drama, set in Ohio, traces an African American couple's search for intimacy and friendship. The spirited, African-identified Yasmine Allen is a writer and single mother who has been dating saxophone teacher Craig Watkins for a month. Wishing to end her self-imposed celibacy following her son's birth, Yasmine has reached a turning point in the relationship-but Craig, the Big Lug, wants to take it slow. Sage advice from friends and family members remind them, "sex is a powerful thang." Like her highly acclaimed CYCLES, Davis's film incorporates animation as well as Afro-Haitian dance in a rich exploration of the lives of African Americans.
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Sidet: Forced Exile

During the past two decades, more than two million refugees have left Ethiopia. Famine, poverty and political strife as well as the religious persecution caused by Eritrea’s annexation have already cost countless lives. Narrated by Salem Mekuria, an Ethiopian filmmaker in the US, this lucid documentary presents the life stories of three women refugees in neighboring Sudan. It traces the attempts of individual women to survive displacement, resettlement camps and ineffectual bureaucracy. An astute, politically sophisticated analysis of social and economic crisis from the perspective of Third World women.
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Shoot for the Contents

Reflecting on Mao’s famous saying, “Let a hundred flowers blossom and a hundred schools of thought contend,” Trinh T. Minh-ha’s film—whose title refers in part to a Chinese guessing game—is a unique excursion into the maze of allegorical naming and storytelling in China. The film ponders questions of power and change, politics and culture, as refracted by Tiananmen Square events. It offers at the same time an inquiry into the creative process of filmmaking, intricately layering Chinese popular songs and classical music, the sayings of Mao and Confucius, women’s voices and the words of artists, philosophers and other cultural workers. Video images emulate the gestures of calligraphy and contrast with film footage of rural China and stylized interviews. Like traditional Chinese opera, Trinh’s film unfolds through “bold omissions and minute depictions” to render “the real in the illusory and the illusory in the real.” Exploring color, rhythm and the changing relationship between ear and eye, this meditative documentary realizes on screen the shifts of interpretation in contemporary Chinese culture and politics.
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The Body Beautiful

This bold, stunning exploration of a white mother who undergoes a radical mastectomy and her Black daughter who embarks on a modeling career reveals the profound effects of body image and the strain of racial and sexual identity on their charged, intensely loving bond. At the heart of Onwurah’s brave excursion into her mother’s scorned sexuality is a provocative interweaving of memory and fantasy. The filmmaker plumbs the depths of maternal strength and daughterly devotion in an unforgettable tribute starring her real-life mother, Madge Onwurah.
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History and Memory: For Akiko and Takashige

Groundbreaking and haunting, this film is a poetic composition of recorded history and non-recorded memory. Filmmaker Rea Tajiri’s family was among the 120,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans who were imprisoned in internment camps after the attack on Pearl Harbor. And like so many who were in the camps, Tajiri’s family wrapped their memories of that experience in a shroud of silence and forgetting. Ruminating on the difficult nature of representing the past – especially a past that exists outside traditional historic accounts – Tajiri blends interviews, memorabilia, a pilgrimage to the camp where her mother was interned, and the story of her father, who had been drafted pre-Pearl Harbor and returned to find his family’s house removed from its site. Throughout, she surveys the impact of images (real images, desired images made real, and unrealized dream images). The film draws from a variety of sources: Hollywood spectacle, government propaganda, newsreels, memories of the living, and sprits of the dead, as well as Tajiri’s own intuitions of a place she has never visited, but of which she has a memory. More than simply calling attention to the gaps in the story of the Japanese American internment, this important film raises questions about collective history – questions that prompt Tajiri to daringly re-imagine and re-create what has been stolen and what has been lost.
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Beyond Imagining

Bold literary visionary Margaret Anderson founded the journal Little Review in 1914, an overlooked but profound influence on American literature. Anderson introduced writers such as Gertrude Stein, Emma Goldman, Djuna Barnes and Ezra Pound, and went to trial for publishing excerpts from James Joyce's new work, ULYSSES. Immersed in her own pointed, charismatic writings, this engrossing profile follows Anderson's inspiring life and travels. Anderson resisted censorship, meager finances and mediocrity in her unflagging search for literary enchantment; this film reveals her life to be her greatest creation.
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Sally's Beauty Spot

A large black mole above an Asian woman's breast serves as a metaphor for cultural and racial difference in this engaging experimental film. Offscreen women's voices and scenes from THE WORLD OF SUZIE WONG parallel and counterpoint Sally's own interracial relationships and emerging self-awareness. A provocative and stylish meditation on Asian femininity.
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My Filmmaking, My Life

Matilde Landeta entered the flourishing Mexican film industry in the 1930s, working her way up from script girl to direct 110 shorts and, in the late 40s, to produce and direct three features, including LA NEGRA ANGUSTIAS. In this engrossing documentary filmed in Mexico City, a vibrant Landeta, now in her 70s, recalls those years. Interviews with Mexican directors Marcela Fernandez-Violante and Maria Novaro enrich this illuminating tribute. Produced by Jane Ryder. With gratitude to the Moving Image Archiving and Preservation program at NYU, a digital preservation copy of this film now available for exhibition! Please contact [email protected] for more information.
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Memory/all echo

“Based on selections from late Korean-American writer Theresa H.K. Cha’s ‘Dictee’, this work by filmmaker Yun-ah Hong gives primacy to her staccato, patterned prose. Her chosen words--sometimes written across the screen, more often spoken by three voices--deal with Korean cultural and personal identity in a range of ways both confessional and contemplative, concrete and abstract. Hong weds them to images as varied, including historical footage and silent dramatic enactment. Their often incantatory combination--as if echoing Cha’s thought that ‘truth. . . oblivious to parallels other durations. . . oblivious to itself’ –conveys a recurring sense of loss and need. Though at once emotionally intriguing, ‘Memory/all echo’ still demands multiple viewings for fuller appreciation in art and social studies.” -Jeff Clark, James Madison University Library
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DiAna's Hair Ego: AIDS Info Up Front

Realizing the extreme inadequacy of local information on AIDS prevention, cosmetologist DiAna DiAna, with her partner Dr. Bambi Sumpter, took on the task of educating the Black community in Columbia, South Carolina. This provocative, funny and informative film documents the growth of the South Carolina AIDS Education Network which operates out of DiAna's Hair Ego, the beauty salon where a condom display is as common as a basket of curlers! DiANA'S HAIR EGO has been used by hundreds of educational and community organizations as a model for making a difference.
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