Monday, December 1, 2008

Poison, Chant d'Amour at The Revival House, ATA

Wednesday 19 November, Artists Television Access, San Francisco.

Poison (Todd Haynes, USA, 1991) and 
Un Chant d'Amour (Jean Genet, France, 1950)

What could be unique and compelling about a bunch of kids watching DVDs in a drafty storefront in a town that already has an internationally renown LGBT film festival?  That would be programming which lives up to its slogan.

Todd Haynes, like Jean Genet, specializes in a fascination with the queer conversion of boyhood shame, punishment, and abuse into pride and sexuality.  This can be seen in his films Dottie Gets Spanked and Velvet Goldmine as well as Poison, wherein Haynes' retelling of Genet's Miracle of the Rose is also a cinematic homage to Genet's stylized tableaux of male prison fantasies, Un Chant d'Amour, shot by an uncredited Jean Cocteau.

For more on Poison, I highly recommend the authoritative book The Cinema of Todd Haynes:  All that Heaven Allows, in particular the insightful essays by Sam Ishii-Gonzales, Lucas Hilderbrand, and Jon Davies. 

Come see the Revival House Series Finale with Bara no soretsu (Funeral Parade of Roses, Japan 1969) on Wednesday, December 17, 8pm, at ATA, 992 Valencia Street at 21st.

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