This series was organized by my colleague Jesse Pires at International House Philadelphia. Kudos to him. I provided a few suggestions and put together the January 30th program (Radical Sex Education Films from San Francisco’s Multi-Media Resource Center) which accompanies an article of the same name I wrote for the series catalog, which will be published in January 2014.
In the Realm of the Senses, WR: Mysteries of the Organism, I Am Curious (Yellow)
More than 60 commercial and underground films dedicated to the sexual revolution will be presented in Free to Love: The Cinema of the Sexual Revolution, running Jan. 10 – Feb. 15, 2014, at International House Philadelphia’s Ibrahim Theater, a resource for world-class avant-garde and repertory cinema since 1976. This expansive film series, which includes appearances and talks by several of the original filmmakers and influential film historians, explores the political and artistic tumult of the 1960s and ’70s and its effect on contemporary culture. The series is supported by a grant from the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage.
Free to Love: The Cinema of the Sexual Revolution, developed by International House Philadelphia (IHP) curator Jesse Pires, will present rare screenings and mainstream favorites. Titillating, trailblazing, playful and politically charged, the films represent the range of sexually liberated cinema, including films by James Broughton, Barbara Hammer, Jack Smith and Andy Warhol. The series is a thoughtfully provocative look at an era of transgression and risk-taking, when seismic cultural shifts in attitudes toward gender roles, pre-marital sex and sexual orientation played out for the first time on the big screen.
“The sexual revolution, as defined by this film series, encompasses the publication of Helen Gurley Brown’s Sex and the Single Girl, the mass availability of the Pill, the Stonewall riots and the sudden rise in popularity of erotic cinema,” says Pires. “Free to Love shows how the conflicts and contradictions of this period inspired new and radical filmmakers, taking the conversation to the most polite corners of the culture.”
Rare screenings in the series include Freedom to Love (Jan. 17, 7 p.m.; dir. Phyllis & Eberhardt Kronhausen, West Germany, 1969), a quasi-documentary on human sexuality; and Score (Jan. 24, 7 pm.; U.S./Yugoslavia, 1972), a “porn chic” exploration of bisexual relationships from adult film auteur Radley Metzger, who will make a personal appearance to discuss the film. On Feb. 13 at 7 p.m., feminist filmmaker Barbara Hammer, whose experimental films of the ’70s have been highlighted as pioneer queer work and featured in retrospectives at The Museum of Modern Art New York, Tate Modern London and gay and lesbian film festivals worldwide, will present an evening of seven of her short films such as A Gay Day (1973) and Women I Love (1976).
The series includes famously banned films Flaming Creatures (Jan. 16, 7 p.m.; dir. Jack Smith, US, 1963) and In the Realm of the Senses (Jan 11, 7 p.m.; dir. Nagisa Oshima, Japan, 1976), as well as lighter fare highlighting the humorous side of free love and its accompanying anxieties: Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (Jan. 25, 9 p.m.; dir. Paul Mazursky, US, 1969) and Woody Allen’s Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Sex (Feb. 14, 7 p.m.; US, 1972). The mainstream popularity of Swedish films I am Curious (Yellow) (Jan. 10, 7 p.m.) and I am Curious (Blue) (Feb. 15, 8 p.m.; both dir. Vilgot Sjoman, Sweden, 1967) as well as the infamous Deep Throat (Jan. 11, 10 p.m.; dir. Gerard Damiano, US, 1972) represent the era’s increasing crossover from pornography into mainstream culture.
The exhibition will be accompanied by introductions from noted film critic J. Hoberman, curator Karl McCoolof Dirty Looks NYC and film historians Eric Schaefer, Whitney Strub, and Elena Gorfinkel. A scholarly catalog will be available for purchase and will feature essays by film historians and a DVD of short films shown during the series.
Pink Narcissus, The Telephone Book, Flaming Creatures
Friday, January 10 at 7 p.m.
I am Curious (Yellow), Vilgot Sjoman, 1967, 121 min., 35mm
Touch Cinema, Valie Export, 1968, 1 min., digital
Saturday, January 11 at 5 p.m.
Pink Narcissus, James Bidgood, 1971, 71 min., 35mm
Jabbok, Tom Chomont, 1967, 3 min., 16mm
Oblivion,Tom Chomont, 1969, 6 min., 16mm
Saturday, January 11 at 7 p.m.
In the Realm of the Senses, Nagisa Oshima, 1976, 109 min., 35mm
Saturday, January 11 at 10 p.m. (Introduced by Karl McCool of Dirty Looks NYC)
Deep Throat, Gerard Damiano, 1972, 61 min., 35mm
Confessions, Curt McDowell, 1972, 16 min., 16mm
Thursday, January 16 at 7 p.m. (Shorts Program)
Flaming Creatures, Jack Smith 1963, 45 min., 16mm
Fuses, Carolee Schneemann, 1967, 30 min, 16mm.
Lovemaking, Scott Bartlett, 1970, 13 min., 16mm
Schmeerguntz, Gunvor Nelson, 1965, 15 min., 16mm
6/64 Mama & Papa: An Otto Muehl Happening, Kurt Kren, 1964, 4 min., 16mm
Friday, January 17 at 7 p.m, (Introduced by Eric Schaefer)
Phyllis & Eberhardt Kronhausen, Freedom to Love, 1969, 90 min., 35mm
Saturday, January 18 at 5 p.m.
Gift (aka Venom), Knud Leif Thomsen, 1966, 96 min., 35mm
Saturday, January 18 at 8 p.m. (Introduced by producer Merv Bloch)
The Telephone Book, Nelson Lyon, 1971, 81 min., DCP
Desire Pie, Lisa Crafts, 1976, 5 min., 16mm
Saturday, January 18 at 10 p.m.
Fritz the Cat, Ralph Bakshi 1972, 78 min., 35mm
Thursday, January 23 at 7 p.m.
The Set, Frank Brittain 1970, 102 min., 35mm
Friday, January 24 at 7 p.m., (Introduced by Elena Gorfinkel, followed by a discussion with director Radley Metzger)
Score, Radley Metzger,1972, 95 min., HD
Saturday, January 25 at 5 p.m.
Hot Times (aka My Erotic Fantasies), Jim McBride, 1974, 80 min., 35mm
Saturday, January 25 at 7 p.m.
I, a Man, Andy Warhol, 1967, 97 min., 16mm
Mario Banana no. 2, Andy Warhol, 1964, 3 min., 16mm
Saturday, January 25 at 9 p.m.
Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, Paul Mazursky, 1969, 105 min., 35mm
Thursday, January 30 at 7 p.m., (Multimedia Resource Center Program – introduced by Herb Shellenberger)
A Quickie, Dirk Kortz, 1970, 3 min, 16mm
Rich and Judy, Laird Sutton, 1970, 12 min., 16mm
Riverbody, Alice Anne Parker, 1970, 7 min., 16mm
Holding, Constance Beeson 1971, 13 min., 16mm
Love Toad, Greg Von Buchau 1970, 2 min., digital
Fullness, Laird Sutton, 1974, 13 min., 16mm
First Date, Mariko Tse, 1976, 5 min., digital
Eyetoon, Jerry Abrams 1968, 7 min., 16mm
Unfolding, Constance Beeson, 1969, 16 min., 16mm
Orange, Karen Johnson, 1971, 3 min., 16mm
Friday, January 31 at 7 p.m. (Pat Rocco Program, Introduced by Whitney Strub)
A Special Friend,1967, 15 min., digital
A Matter of Life, 1968, 14 min., digital
Sex and the Single Gay(trailer), 1970, 4 min., digital
Breath of Love, 1969, 20 min., digital
How to Shoot a Nude on the Freeway, 1969, 4 min., digital
Sign of Protest, 1970, 20 min., digital
Yes, 1968, 23 min., digital
Discovery, 1969, 12 min., digital
Saturday, February 1 at 5 p.m.
Barbarella, Roger Vadim, 1968, 98 min., DCP
Saturday, February 1 at 7 p.m.
No More Excuses, Robert Downey, Sr., 1968, 62 min., 16mm
The Continuing Story of Carel & Ferd, Arthur Ginsberg & Video Free America, 1970-75, 58 min., video
Saturday, February 1 at 10 p.m.
Boys in the Sand, Wakefield Poole, 1971, 90 min., HD
Love Objects, Tom Chomont, 1971, 11 min., 16mm
Saturday, February 8 at 5 p.m.
It is Not the Homosexual Who is Perverse, But the Society in Which he Lives, Rosa von Praunheim, 1971, 67 min., 16mm
Queens at Heart, Southeastern Pictures Corporation, 1967, 22 min., digital
Saturday, February 8 at 7 p.m. (Introduced by J. Hoberman)
WR: Mysteries of the Organism, Dusan Makavejev, 1971, 84 min., 35mm
Thursday, February 13 at 7 p.m. (Barbara Hammer Early Short Films, Introduced by Barbara Hammer )
A Gay Day, 1973, 3 min., 16mm
Menses, 1974, 4 min., 16mm
Dyketactics x 2, 1974, 8 min., 16mm
Women I Love, 1976, 27 min., 16mm
Multiple Orgasm, 1977, 10 min., 16mm
Double Strength, 1978, 15 min., 16mm
No No Nooky TV, 1987, 10 min., 16mm
Friday, February 14 at 7 p.m.
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex *But Were Afraid to Ask, Woody Allen, 1972, 88 min., 35mm
The Bed, James Broughton, 1968, 20 min., 16mm
Saturday, February 15 at 8 p.m.
I am Curious (Blue), Vilgot Sjoman, 1967, 107 min., 35mm