Later on tonight, you might be brushing your teeth and instead of that familiar googly-eyed likeness staring back at you (everyone has that problem, right?) you’ll see nothing less than an animal abuser, or perhaps even a slave owner if you choose to be really honest with yourself. Your French bulldog Greg will suddenly seem like a sullen prisoner in that skin-tight raincoat you force him to wear on the reg, even when it’s a cloudless, sweltering 90-degree July day and he’s emitting piercing, parrot-like screams as he struggles to escape. And those Bob Evans sausage griddles you chased with a tall glass of heavy whipping cream for dinner? Well, your Wienerwurst Wednesday tradition might seem, suddenly, very disgusting.
Juliet Jacques, the author of Trans: A Memoir, which accounts for her own experiences transitioning from male to female and her life from childhood up to her present 30-something self, will be on hand to present Rosa von Praunheim’s City of Lost Souls, a “trans musical spectacular.” Filmed in 1982, it provides an early look at identity politics and trans identity years before there was mainstream understanding of what it means to be trans. The film is such an early example of gender exploration that it’s lacking in recognizable “transgender” language– in fact, the word is never mentioned in the film (though there are instances of its use at that time). Read more here.
This “roaming screening series” has set up shop in venues across New York City and unofficially dubbed July queer cinema month. The organizers are calling it “a series of queer interventions” in the form of performance art, but mostly cinema inside LGBT cultural landmarks, art institutions, DIY spaces, and even in places where the ghosts of queer past linger, like defunct bathhouses and former meeting spots. Screenings are showcasing not just classics of gay cinema but recent efforts by local up-and-comings.