Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Queer Film Pioneer Monika Treut on Of Girls and Horses

A legend in lesbian cinema, Monika Treut has been making films for 30 years, starting with her 1985 narrative feature Seduction: The Cruel Woman (featuring Udo Kier – not bad for a debut film), and right through to this year’s Of Girls and Horses, a poetic coming-of-age tale that also serves as a celebration of nature’s transformational power. Along the way Treut has also explored the nonfiction realm, turning her lens on everything from gender identity (1999’s Gendernauts) to Taiwanese food (2012’s The Raw and the Cooked).

Filmmaker was fortunate enough to catch up with the Hyena Films co-founder (along with Elfi Mikesch, her co-director on Seduction) during post-production on her latest documentary, which was shot in Brazil – her head still “buzzing with Portuguese favela slang.”


To read my interview visit Filmmaker magazine.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

“The Wolfpack” hype: When the line between documentary and “reality” blurs, we see the story we want to see

Winner of the Grand Jury Prize for U.S. Documentary at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Crystal Moselle’s debut feature “The Wolfpack” is “the incredible true story of six teenage brothers raised in isolation in New York, with movies as their only outlet to the world,” according to the press notes that could also serve as a reality TV pitch. The film focuses on the Angulo brothers — eldest Bhagavan, the twins Govinda and Narayana, Mukunda (called the “alpha” of the pack), and younger siblings Krsna and Jagadisa (who now go by Glenn and Eddie, respectively, according to an interview they gave to Vogue) — whom Moselle first encountered not far from their Lower East Side apartment as they raced past her, catching the fashion filmmaker’s eye with their long hair and striking looks. She chased them down, struck up a conversation, mentioned she was a filmmaker, and voilà! — a friendship was born.

To read the rest visit Salon.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Caitlyn Is The New Clint: Why Jenner Matters

In all honesty, I’ve been out of the loop when it comes to the reality TV star formerly known as Bruce. Too young to recall Jenner’s decathlon-winning heyday, which launched him onto Wheaties boxes and into media stardom, and having neglected to keep up with the Kardashians, I’ve really never given a moment’s thought to the spotlight-loving sexagenarian. However, as someone who’s long identified as genderqueer, and is quite curious about cisgender reactions to the trans community, I figured I should finally get around to taking a look at that infamous “coming out” interview Jenner gave to straitlaced Diane Sawyer, especially now that the Bruce who gave it is no more.

To read the rest visit The Rumpus.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Thought Crimes, Sexual Fantasies and “The Cannibal Cop”

Years ago when I worked at a house of domination in NYC’s Chelsea district, there were a handful of clients who were memorable for breaking up the run-of-the-mill fetish (foot worship, spanking, bondage, role playing, repeat) monotony. One was a dude I never saw, but only heard about whenever one of the few Mistresses capable of handling his fantasy would dip out of the emotionally exhausting session to vent in the dressing room. As far as I know he was our only client who spent his high-priced hour rhapsodizing about killing and eating his relatives.

I thought of this client while watching the recent HBO documentary Thought Crimes, filmmaker Erin Lee Carr’s portrait of Gil Valle, a NYC police officer better known as “The Cannibal Cop” after Valle’s online life became the subject of a criminal conspiracy investigation.

To read the rest visit The Rumpus.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Friday, May 29, 2015

Feminist Pornographer Jennifer Lyon Bell on Silver Shoes, PinkLabel.tv, and the Holy F*ck Film Festival

I’ve known Amsterdam-based, San Francisco-bred, Jennifer Lyon Bell ever since we met over half a decade ago at Brooklyn’s much beloved Monkey Town — back when a DIY, Williamsburg performance space could afford to host a Sunday brunch for CineKink Film Festival award winners. (Bell’s Matinée took the Best Narrative Short prize, while Un Piede di Roman Polanski, an homage to Roman Polanski’s foot fetish I co-directed with Roxanne Kapista, nabbed Best Experimental Short.) Since then Bell’s films have been both banned (Matinée from the Melbourne Underground Film Festival by the Australian Film Commission in 2009) and celebrated, most recently in the U.K. and Canada. Her latest, Silver Shoes, available from PinkLabel.tv, premiered at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts and won the Feminist Porn Awards 2014 Movie of the Year.

Filmmaker decided to catch up with Bell to chat about the film’s digital launch via a “fair trade” platform, the current climate for art porn, and Amsterdam’s inaugural (and brilliantly named) Holy F*ck Film Festival.


To read my interview visit Filmmaker magazine.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

What Do We Talk About When We Talk About Film Festivals?

Have something to say? My conversation starter on film fest ethics at Hammer to Nail.