Jean Genet in Chicago

  • A video by Frédéric Moffet (In Person)
  • Friday, June 8, 8 pm
  • Cinecycle, 129 Spadina Ave.

Part of Summer 2007

Frédéric Moffet’s Jean Genet in Chicago is that rarest of birds: a sexy political documentary. Using archival footage, Genet’s writings, and shots of masked figures in contemporary Chicago (posing as Genet, Burroughs, Ginsberg and others), this video explores Jean Genet’s visit to the tumultuous 1968 National Democratic Convention. Thousands of protesters were brutally beaten by the police while the Yippies, the Black Panther Party and other lefties rallied for an alternative voice far from the chaotic politics unfolding on the convention floor. In his classic literary voice, Genet engages the reader/viewer with sexual-political erotica, waxing poetic over hunky Chicago cops.

Jean Genet in Chicago will be presented together with another rarity: a 16mm print of Genet’s only film. Shot in 1950, this semi-pornographic visual poem was initially banned in France. Clearly influenced by Genet’s African military service, Un chant d’amour features solitary military prisoners flirting through glory holes and playing with hard-ons. Senses of Cinema calls it a “close-to-perfect template for gay cinematic expression” .