A selection of movies and TV about putting on wigs, masks, capes, and fake beards and acting like somebody else, somebody really weird. Highlights include Jean Rouch’s ethnographic classic “Les Maîtres Fous” presented on 16mm film and the WORLD PREMIERE of Bailey Scieszka’s “Hoops Made of Chains Burn All Night” detailing the plight of famous porn star clown Stephan Cassidy.
Program curated by Jason Sudak
Co-presented by Mothlight Microcinema
be sure to rsvp on our facebook event page.
**Guests are encouraged to bring a mask, wig, fake beard, or cape for a free drink.
Carol Anne is Dead by Michael Robinson (7:00, video, 1992/2008) A suburban family comes together to remake “The Poltergeist” on home video in 1992.
The Scary Movie by Peggy Ahwesh (9:00, 16mm presented on video, 1993) “Ahwesh’s two young actresses, Martina and Sonja, cross-dress in vampire capes and werewolf claws, re-enacting familiar horror tropes. A roughly corresponding soundtrack of stock screams and “scary” music suggests that the girls’ toying with gender roles and power dynamics may have dire consequences.”
My Name is Oona by Gunvor Nelson (9:00, 16mm ripped from Youtube, 1969) “MY NAME IS OONA captures in haunting, intensely lyrical images fragments of the coming to consciousness of a child girl. A series of extremely brief flashes of her moving through night-lit space or woods in sensuous negative, separated by rapid fades into blackness, burst upon us like a fairy-tale princess, with a late sun only partially outlining her and the animal in silvery filigree against the encroaching darkness; one of the most perfect recent examples of poetic cinema. Throughout the entire film, the girl, compulsively and as if in awe, repeats her name, until it becomes a magic incantation of self-realization.” – Amos Vogel, The Village Voice
Les Maîtres Fous (The Mad Masters) by Jean Rouch (36:00, 16mm film, 1955) “The West African Hauka cult withdraw from the city of Ghana to a rural outpost and hold a possession ceremony in which men and women play-act as the “mad masters” of the title. Working themselves up into drooling fits, burning themselves, sacrificing a dog and drinking its spurting blood, they mime the pomp of their colonial overlords, calling one another “captain,” “governor,” “secretary general,” and so on, and holding an officious conference to debate whether to eat the dog raw or cooked. The next day, back in Accra, the revellers trade one role for another, returning to their jobs as merchants, soldiers, laborers, and thieves.”
Oh Dem Watermelons by Robert Nelson (10:00, 16mm film ripped from YouTube, 1965) Confronting racial stereotypes in an anarchic and playful way, the film finds watermelons used as footballs, bombs, and sensuous if awkward love objects. A group of mines in blackface chase those watermelons but then the watermelons chase them back.
Hoops Made of Chains Burn All Night (3:00, video, 2014) Famous porn star clown, Stephan Cassidy, no longer dreams while asleep.
Roseanne: “Trick or Treat” (A-plot edit) (12:00, TV episode, 1990) Roseanne’s car breaks down on Halloween night and she enters into a Midwestern honky tonk to call for assistance. While waiting for help to arrive, her wardrobe of fake beard and flannel allows Roseanne to penetrate and tweak the social fraternity of drunk bar dudes. (The B-plot, in which D.J. causes Dan some consternation by dressing as a witch, has been edited out for expediency’s sake.)