Friday, September 23, 2011

A Richard Kern retrospective tonight and tomorrow at the Anthology Film Archives

From the EV Grieve inbox .... from the Anthology Film Archives ... Richard Kern will be there tonight for both the 7 and 9 screenings...

Richard Kern’s controversial, unconventional, and darkly comedic short films earned him immediate distinction in the 1980s underground film circuit. A prime figure in the “Cinema of Transgression” group of that era, Kern is likely more recognized today for his erotic photographs, books, and videos. Looking back it is clear that Kern’s Super-8 films were an attack on the entrenched avant-garde and a close-up examination of highly subversive behavior. Starring the likes of Lydia Lunch, Nick Zedd, David Wojnarowicz, Karen Finley, Lung Leg, Henry Rollins, and Kembra Pfahler, featuring original soundtracks by musicians such as Foetus and Sonic Youth, and widely distributed on VHS during the burgeoning days of alternative and punk music, Kern’s films remain shocking, sexy, disturbed, debauched, violent, and really quite wonderful. These eye-opening works still rattle the senses.

In conjunction with a group show featuring his photographs at the gallery Maccarone (630 Greenwich Street), opening on September 9, and to celebrate Anthology’s preservation of a number of his works, we present this two-program survey of Kern’s most notable films. Along with a few surprises!

[Lydia Lunch in "Fingered"]

To be screened:

PROGRAM 1 at 7 p.m.:
GOODBYE 42ND STREET (1983, 4 minutes, Super8mm-to-16mm)
Newly preserved, with support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
Kern films the storefronts of famous 42nd Street: the fast-food stands, the sex shops, the grindhouse and porn theaters, and interrupts the visit with random acts of violence.

THE KING OF SEX (1987, 5 minutes, Super8mm-to-HD video)
Featuring Nick Zedd. Music by Killdozer.
A man demonstrates his virility.

YOU KILLED ME FIRST (1985, 12 minutes, Super8mm-to16mm)
Newly preserved, with support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
Featuring Karen Finley, David Wojnarowicz, and Lung Leg.
During Thanksgiving dinner, a young woman recalls family milestones that helped shape her outlook on life.

THE EVIL CAMERAMAN (1986/90, 12 minutes, Super8mm-to-HD video)
Featuring Jap Anne and Jackie O. Music by Foetus Corp.
Radical change in Kern’s cinema. The filmmaker tries to manipulate his models who suddenly show unexpected resistance.

THE SEWING CIRCLE (1992, 7 minutes, Super8mm-to-HD video)
Featuring Kembra Pfahler.
Kern films the extreme piercing operation made on performance artist and singer of TheVoluptuous Horror of Karen Black, Kembra Pfahler.

X IS Y (1990, 4 minutes, Super8mm-to-HD video)
Featuring Jackie O and Cristina. Music by Cop Shoot Cop.
A bunch of sexy women play with the preferred toys of primal dominant males: the automatic weapon.

THE BITCHES (1992, 10 minutes, Super8mm-to-HD video, b&w)
Music by Jim Coleman.
Two women, one man, three bitches. Or how to surprise the average porn watcher.

Plus one secret movie!
Total running time: ca. 70 minutes.
–Friday and Saturday, September 23 & 24 at 7 each night.

PROGRAM 2 at 9 p.m.:
MANHATTAN LOVE SUICIDES (PARTS 1 AND 3) (1985, 18 minutes, Super8mm-to-HD video, b&w)
“Stray Dogs” (Part 1): The thwarted and destructive loves of an art lover facing his idol. Featuring David Wojnarowicz and Bill Rice. Music by J.G. Thirlwell.
“Thrust In Me” (Part 3): This provocative film probably shows the synthesis of the Cinema of Transgression by illustrating the worst taboos. Featuring Nick Zedd and others. Music by The Dream Syndicate.

SUBMIT TO ME (1985, 12 minutes, Super8mm-to-HD video)
Featuring Lydia Lunch and others. Music by Butthole Surfers.
A series of decadent portraits in which sex, bondage, blood, and violence collide.

PIERCE (1986, 9 minutes, Super8mm-to-HD video)
Featuring Audrey Rose.
A bored young woman decides to let a friend pierce her nipples.

FINGERED (1986, 22 minutes, Super8mm-to-HD video, b&w)
Featuring Lydia Lunch, Lung Leg, and Marty Nations.
The misadventures of a sex phone operator after she meets a sexually depraved psychopath.

MY NIGHTMARE (1993, 5 minutes, Super8mm-to-HD video)
Featuring Susan McNamara. Music by Joe Budenhauser.
Kern ironically makes fun of the photography profession and the advantages it provides with women.

Plus one secret movie!
Total running time: ca. 70 minutes.
Friday and Saturday, September 23 & 24 at 9 each night.

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