Blood, Guns and Barbie Dolls

  • Films by Linda Feesey and Peggy Ahwesh
  • Wednesday December 5, 8 pm $2
  • The Rex Hotel, 194 Queen Street West

Part of Fall 1990

Linda Feesey is a self-taught Toronto filmmaker, who has produced an accomplished body of films over the past few years (unbeknownst to most of the local film community) that focus the camera on herself as the subject of solo body-rituals. Peggy Ahwesh is New York filmmaker with a reputation for making crazy, frenetic, home-movie-like work that break social taboos. Tonight Pleasure Dome presents a selection of Feesey’s and Ahwesh’s films together in a pastiche of blood, guns and barbie dolls that represents part of the move by many women filmmakers towards a new harder edged way of working.

Fuckhead Film Cycle – L. Feesey, 30 min, 1989-90.
“I make short films of 21/2 to 5 minutes duration without narrative using regular 8mm equipment inherited from my father. The Fuckhead Film 30 minute cycle of films is a selection of 10 films shot over 8 months from Sept. 1989 to May 1990. I would list some of my influences for making films as performance art, pornography, industrial art and the films of Andy Warhol. I tend to use the symbolism of mainstream cinema such as nudity, blood, guns to create impact. I wanted (in making these films) to develop a cinema from the ground up. I followed my instincts using the camera as a recording device and a participant in acts of ritual empowerment.”

Ode to the New Pre-History – P. Ahwesh, 22 min, 1984-87.
“This film focuses on my niece and nephew as main subjects. As I watched them grow up and followed their interests and childhood behaviors, I was intrigued by the level of violence and aggression that was present in their day-to-day activities. This film is loosely compiled essay on a variety of themes evoked by the children and inspired by the home movie type intimacy of the footage, including: playing of children, street violence, the sexual play of adult lovers and a prophesy on our nuclear end.”

I Ride A Pony Named Flame – P. Ahwesh, 5 min, 1987.
“In Flame, a sly commentary on the smarmy Calvin Klein TV ads of several years back, a woman named Margie assumes a number of identified female stereotypes: Princess, Man Eater, Tart, Cowgirl. Her direct address to the camera (‘Sometimes you just have to know when to surrender’) is crosscut with close-ups of the sort of Cosmo fetishes: ‘ red fingernails, spike heels, tight jeans; ‘ that pin women into claustrophobic ‘femininity’.” (Manohla Dargis, Village Voice).

Martina’s Playhouse – P. Ahwesh, 20 min, 1989.

Martina’s Playhouse is a Pee-Wee’s Playhouse for girls. Young Martina narrates and playacts at being, alternatively, baby and grown-up mom. In Ahwesh’s playhouse, encounters with ‘friends’ or ‘objects’ are loaded with extra meanings. “Martina’s Playhouse is a glimpse into the realm of identity and the development of social meaning for a girl.”