Part of Winter 1996
Many a treatise has been written on ‘cinematic language’; but leave it to a bunch of queer filmmakers to take the notion to its literal extreme and turn it on its head. How to Read a Film brings together a collection of videos and films that use language, in the form of text, words or the alphabet, as a strategy to push forward a radical reading of queer identity.
John Lindell’s Put Your Lips Around Yes kicks off the program with a pulsating, hot video exploring the eroticism of words.
Alfalfa by Richard Kwietniowski follows with an alternative alphabet of gay slang: C is for Clone, H is for Heaven, I is for Invest, R is for Rim.
In East River Park Zoe Leonard records the graffiti she comes across in a park, constructing a narrative of hatred and homophobia.
Based on the Oscar Wilde poem, Kwietniowski’s video The Ballad of Reading Gaol delivers an erotic, modern-day meaning to Wilde’s testimonial by finding searing, slangy gay images to match every word.
Sue Friedrich’s Sink or Swim offers twenty-six short narratives, beginning with zygote and working her way through the alphabet, recounting the events that shaped her childhood and formed her adult perceptions of fatherhood, family, work and play.