Anthology Film Archives, PUNK LUST: RAW PROVOCATION

May 31st @ 7:30 pm

Anthology Film Archives
32 Second Avenue (at 2nd St.)
New York, NY 10003 USA


“Punk Lust” traces the seeds of Punk culture to queer film and theater movements of the early to mid-1970s, and explores the ways the booming sex industry blurred lines between pornography and art. The sex industry provided a space to experiment (and a source of steady income) for inquisitive artists and was often a featured theme, whether through camp invocation or autobiographical exploration. The films in this series revel in fantasy, filth, and freedom, and are staged in abandoned cities like New York, Berlin, and San Francisco, where youth culture was left unattended and given license to explore forbidden boundaries. 

In conjunction with the Museum of Sex’s exhibition “Punk Lust: Raw Provocation, 1971-1985,” Anthology hosts a related film program that expands on the exhibition by surveying how Punk culture used the language of sexuality – both visually and lyrically – to transgress and defy, whether in the service of political provocation, raw desire, or simply to break through the stifling gender norms and social expectations of its time. Highlights of the series include in-person Q&As with filmmakers such as M. Henry Jones, and a rare event with punk and gender pioneer Jayne County appearing via Skype, along with her manager, Max’s Kansas City veteran Jimi LaLumia.

The film series is curated by Tessa Hughes-Freeland and co-organized by Lissa Rivera (Curator, Museum of Sex).

Program includes:

(1971, 33 min, 16mm)
Starring the infamous and influential cult San Francisco theater group The Cockettes, and also including the brief screen debut of Tomata du Plenty (before the formation of his seminal band, The Screamers), TRICIA’S WEDDING is a camp parody reenactment of Patricia Nixon’s marriage to Edward Cox. The many celebrity guests include Queen Elizabeth II, Golda Meir, Jackie O, and Indira Gandhi. The film premiered on the day of the wedding, June 12, 1971, at the Palace Theatre in North Beach. It was also shown at a secret private screening at the White House arranged by Nixon’s chief of staff.

George Kuchar
(1976, 30 min, 16mm)
“This film is about depression, although it’s not that depressing. I suppose it has a message of faith and hope in it – it does for me. But then again my interest may not match yours.” –George Kuchar

Kuchar’s camp humor reigns in this steamy underground comedy. It is a melodramatic depiction of loneliness and alienation in an offbeat story of infidelity, tragic accidents, extreme weather, alcoholism, suicidal tendencies, and all other manner of untold dysfunctions.

Suzan Pitt
(1979, 20 min, 35mm. Preserved by the Academy Film Archive.)
ASPARAGUS is a baroque fantasy or daydream. The animation moves in a rhythmic and cyclical manner and the sexual elements metamorphose into dreamlike imagery, giving way to a surrealistic adventure of desire that is inextricably intertwined with nature, falling somewhere between the magical and the erotic.

Total running time: ca. 90 min.