May 8th – Forbidden Film Fest: Banned Films!

May 8th, 2014
@ The Vortex Theater (map)
9pm
$14 / Forbidden Film Fest Pass (Buy Tickets Here)

Add to Calendar 05-08-2014 21:00:00 05-08-2014 23:00:00 11 Forbidden Film Fest: Banned Films! ERC’s Scott Stark presents two avant garde film masterworks that were banned for obscenity upon their original release: Kenneth Anger’s 1947 homoerotic dreamscape Fireworks,which led to an “epic obscenity trial” in the California Supreme Court, and Jack Smith’s 1963 visual orgy of drag queens, hermaphrodites, vampires and jittering body parts, Flaming Creatures, which had the distinction of being shown to members of the U.S. Senate as an example of offensive art. The program will also include oddball excerpts from vintage erotica and found smut. Presented on 16mm and 8mm film! $12 / Forbidden Film Fest Pass. Full details at http://www.ercatx.org/may-31st-handmade-bohemia-the-films-of-helen-hill/ 320 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78701 Experimental Response Cinema admin@ercatx.org https://www.facebook.com/events/1428248200759747 false MM/DD/YYYY

ERC’s Scott Stark presents two avant garde film masterworks that were banned for obscenity upon their original release: Kenneth Anger’s 1947 homoerotic dreamscape Fireworks, which led to an “epic obscenity trial” in the California Supreme Court, and Jack Smith’s 1963 visual orgy of drag queens, hermaphrodites, vampires and jittering body parts, Flaming Creatures, which had the distinction of being shown to members of the U.S. Senate as an example of offensive art. The program will also include oddball excerpts from vintage erotica and found smut. Presented on 16mm and 8mm film!

“The story of Jack Smith’s film Flaming Creatures and the “Fortas Film Festival” illustrates the dialectic of obscenity. The obscenity doctrine expresses the conventional wisdom that the First Amendment actually protects art, and protects pornography only by extension. But Flaming Creatures and the Fortas Film Festival suggest that obscenity is dialectical. The obscenity doctrine provides the thesis: art protects pornography, by justifying the protection of sexual expression. Flaming Creatures and the Fortas Film Festival provide the antithesis: pornography protects art, by normalizing sexual expression. The history of obscenity law provides the synthesis: art and pornography protect each other. In other words, art transgresses and pornography reifies.” – Brian Frye

forbiddenForbidden Film Fest is brought to you by the producers of The Texas Burlesque Festival and Austin’s kink provider since 1981, Forbidden Fruit. Forbidden Fruit, its owners, and staff have been at the forefront of the battle to keep sex legal and positive in Texas. As Austin’s original non-smutty sex shop since 1981, we have been forcibly shut down, fined, threatened and warned-all for attempting to sell dildos! Despite the ludicrous Texas Obscenity Laws, and since their death, we have continued to cross the line and done our best to bring sexual education, quality sex toys, and fun, sexy events to our home and love, Austin, TX. Forbidden Film Fest is our newest venture and we hope that you join us in taking another step towards a more open, inclusive, sex positive society.

Flaming Creatures by Jack Smith
43 min / 16mm / sound / 1962-63

NEWLY RESTORED PRINT COURTESY OF THE GLADSTONE GALLERY

“[Jack Smith] has graced the anarchic liberation of new American cinema with graphic and rhythmic power worthy of the best of formal cinema. He has attained for the first time in motion pictures a high level of art which is absolutely lacking in decorum; and a treatment of sex which makes us aware of the restraint of all previous filmmakers.

“He has shown more clearly than anyone before how the poet’s license includes all things, not only of spirit, but also of flesh; not only of dreams and of symbol, but also of solid reality. In no other art but the movies could this have so fully been done; and their capacity was realized by Smith.” – Film Culture

“During its final deliberation, the selection jury decided to state explicitly that the majority of its members recognized the aesthetical and experimental qualities of the film FLAMING CREATURES by Jack Smith, but had to ascertain unanimously that the showing of it was impossible in regard to Belgian laws.” – Program Notes, Third International Experimental Film Competition, Knokke-Le-Zoute, Belgium, 1964

Awards: Fifth Independent Film Award, Film Culture; Prix Film Maudit, Third Int’l Film Exposition, Knokke-Le-Zoute, Belgium, 1964.

Fireworks by Kenneth Anger
15 min / 16mm / sound / 1947

In FIREWORKS I released all the explosive pyrotechnics of a dream. Inflammable desires dampened by day under the cold water of consciousness are ignited that night by the libertarian matches of sleep and burst forth in showers of shimmering incandescence. These imaginary displays provide a temporary release. A dissatisfied dreamer awakes, goes out in the night seeking a “light” and is drawn through the needle’s eye. A dream of a dream, he returns to a bed less empty than before.

“FIREWORKS comes from that beautiful night from which emerge all the true works. It touches the quick of the soul and this is very rare.” – Jean Cocteau

“The dream of aggression has as its target not only Anger himself, but the external society which acts as omnipotent repressive force. Thus in its iconography of matches, Christmas trees and roman candles, it satirizes social institutions in the manner of Buñuel’s L’Age d’Or. As Anger himself has ironically put it: ‘This flick is all I have to say about being seventeen, the United States Navy, American Christmas and the Fourth of July.'” – Lucy Fisher, A History of the American Avant-Garde Cinema