2009 CESTA FILM SERIES
curated by Karin Rebbert (D) and Britta Lorch (D)

October 4
October 11
October 18
October 25


No. 1
October 4
8:00 pm
CESTA

coming out poster

Coming Out
(GDR 1989)

Heiner Carow
108 min
German w/Czech subtitles




see trailer

Philipp, a closeted teacher is dating a female collegue to keep up appearances. One night, by 'accident' he stumbles into a gay bar, meets and promptly falls in love with a young man. Transformed by this love he is no longer afraid to face up to who he is.

Coming Out


Widely discussed before its release "Coming Out" remains the only East German feature film openly addressing homosexuality. Premiered on November 9, 1989, the very night the wall came down, despite the turmoil outside the audience insisted on the continuation of the screening. Heiner Carow, who was one of the most successfull DEFA directors at the time ("The legend of Paul and Paula", 1973, "Ikarus", 1975) realized the coming-out story of a young teacher at several gay locations in East Berlin, and also made visible other subcultures which were nonexistent in the official discourse. The film missed to completely unfold its impact on society since the political vacuum in the GDR and then the changes in the overall political situation were all-dominant.
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No. 2
October 11
8:00 pm
CESTA

A few short films



Puce Moment (US 1949) 
Kenneth Anger
6 min
16mm

Modern in its aesthetics Kenneth Anger's film quotes clichées of the Hollywood diva while reflecting on fantasies and constructions of the self.


Blow Job (US 1964)
Andy Warhol
excerpt
16mm

One of Andy Warhol's early 16mm films, Blow Job shows young actor DeVerne Bookwalter getting a blow job. The rigidly framed unmoving camera is fixated on the actor's face only, everything else remains offscreen. Warhol extended the duration of his early silent works by having them projected at a slower rate than originally shot at (16 frames per second instead of 24).

Whisky Advertisement (1898)
Anonymous
2 min

A group of men in kilts happily dancing: An image of masculinity from the 1920s.




Alfalfa (EN 1987)
Richard Kwietniowski
9 min

A semantic game on language and gay subtexts as well as a detailed observation of the heteronormative.

Introspection (US 1941/46)
Sara Kathryn Ardlege
6:25 min
16mm

Using the whole screen - painter like - Arledge is showing male bodies in all but abstract movements. The static camera is capturing slow pulsing and revolving movements without fancying stereotypical aesthetics.



The Cut Ups (US 1961/66)
William S. Burroughs
19 min
16mm

Cut-up is a literary technique here applied to film. Burroughs is using a slowly developing often repeated dialogue while travelling through a city highlighting certain messages. Its narrative avoids precast meanings.




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No. 3
October 18
8:00 pm
CESTA

The attendant
The Attendant
(GB 1993)

Isaac Julian
10 min

N.O. Body
N.O. Body
(D 2008)

Renate Lorenz
13 min

the shape of a right statement
The Shape of a Right Statement
(USA 2008)

Wu Ingrid Tsang
5 min

remue menage DVD cover
Remue-ménage
(CH 2002)


Fernand Melgar
52 min
French w/Czech subtitles

see trailer


The Attendant (GB 1993)
In this early work, Isaac Julian, who became a protagonist of what is known as "New queer cinema", chose the museum as site - a bastion of white supremacist conceptions of high art. Against the background of François-Auguste Biard's 19th century painting "Slaves on the West Coast of Africa" the film focuses on a closeted black museum guard, on sexual fantasies and interactions with a white visitor, amongst others. The dominant patterns of the representation of knowledge, power and sexuality get disrupted. Transgressive desire and S/M pleasure queer historical and neocolonial power hierarchies.






N.O. Body (D 2008)
Originally shown as an installation, N.O. Body is based on the artists' research on Magnus Hirschfeld's theory on gender and his use of visual records. The film reenacts a photography of the "Esau (Hairy) Woman" Annie Jones (1865-1902) in a Victorian dress. "Bearded ladies" like her were - at the time - attractions of Circuses and freak shows. Jones also experienced medical objectivation, and images of her became part of Hirschfeld's collection. The reenactment shows performer Werner Hirsch as Annie Jones projecting slides of Hirschfeld's collection in an empty lecture hall. He/she appropriates the practice of staring and laughing - inverting the dominant order.









The Shape of a Right Statement (USA 2008)
"The Shape of a Right Statement" is a reenactment of the video "In My Native Language" (2007), which the autism activist Amanda Baggs made public on YouTube (http://youtube.com/watch?v=JnylM1hI2jc). In her YouTube video Baggs makes a strong statement on the disrespect and oppression she is faced with day-to-day. She applies a unique language and automated voice attonation, and also takes the efford to provide a "translation" - a generous communicative gesture which is bridging two different representational systems. Artist and trans-activist Wu Ingrid Tsang takes up Bagg's wording and tone, but shifts the context by tieing it to queer aesthetics and politics.






Remue-ménage (CH 2002)
Fernand Melgar documents the life of a married with children queer couple in a small town near Lausanne. Crossdressing mechanic Pascal and his wife Carole claim the basic right for self-determination and a life which is different from the heteronormative order. The camera is accompanying them for the period of one year. It is not just revealing the social exclusion or child custody problems Pascal and Carole are facing, but instead draws an impressive picture of a caring dialogue between the two lovers. 


Remue Menage

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No. 4
October 25
8:00 pm
CESTA

rekax cover
Relax
(GB 1990)

Chris Newby
22 min
English


aids remember me still
Aids - Remember Me?
(2006)

EU advertisement
3:39 min
English w/Czech subtitles

venus boyz cover
Venus Boyz
(CH/US/D 2001)


Gabriel Baur
102 min
English/German w/English and Czech subtitles


Relax (GB 1990)
The film - released 19 years ago - shows young Steve waiting for the results of an HIV test. It elaborates on his anxieties, which isolate him and affect all social relations - to his gay lover and family. Finally, filmmaker Newby proposes an open, experimental ending.














Aids - Remember Me? (2006)
Many early educational videos produced and distributed by activists such as ACT UP were particularly made against governmental inactivity and oppression, and often addressed specific publics. About two decades later and very different in style and approach, the EU Directorate-General for Health and Consumer Protection distributed a video and launched a campaign in 2006, which is reminding young people of all sexual orientation that HIV/AIDS "is still with us" and that "infections are on the rise."








Venus Boyz (CH/US/D 2001)
The documentary aims at making the Drag King and (female-to-male) transgender experience accessible to an audience beyond subcultural affiliation. It departs from a Drag King night in a New York Club, portraying a number of participants and performers of a multifaceted and international transgender scene, which assembles all kinds of LGBTIQ identities and politics. The protagonists adapt, pirate, parody, revise, rework and transform dominant concepts of masculinity and male eroticism in a performative way, some of them also in everyday life. At the shows they celebrate each other, queering traditional role expectations and subverting heteronormative identity concepts.


venus boyz still


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