A Few Odd Girls Out Leave Behind the Old New Queer Cinema
Good social consciousness doesn't necessarily make for good arta hard truth underscored by the shorts available for preview from the latest edition of Mix, the Experimental New York Lesbian & Gay Film/Video Festival. Far too many of this year's filmmakers fail to think beyond freshman-level identity politics, song-of-myself narcissism, and redundant sex-positivity; it's as if the subculture remains stranded within the conceptual confines of its mid-'90s queer heyday. As a result, those few shorts that attempt something different become standouts almost by default, such as Shawn Durr's Kuchar-on-crack gorefest Die, Faggot, Die!, Matt Wolf's self-reflexive student tape on activist generations Smalltown Boys, and Louise Bourque's glittering neo-feminist abstraction Jours en Fleurs.
Concerned cineastes looking to support Mix's still valuable raison d'être would be advised to gravitate toward the guest-curated programs, where filters are set higher. Case in point is "Queerly Classed," a program about lesbians and working-class existence, which sticks to its thematic guns with the righteous tenacity of old-style activism and thereby uncovers some interesting historical threads. Some of the best bits include Harry Dodge and Stanya Kahn's Winner, an improvised interview with a half-baked artist, Tammy Rae Carland's 1994 pixelvision diary Odd Girl Out, and Eileen, Cecilia Dougherty's video portrait of writer Eileen Myles.
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