So, let’s talk about Hilary Goldberg‘s recLAmation, a feature-length genre-hopping experimental documentary-slash-fictive narrative shot on Super 8, in which capitalism in contemporary Los Angeles is overthrown, and queer superheroes — one of which there’s a more-than-decent chance I inhabit via Gaylord Wilshire, spandex tights and flame-retardant cape notwithstanding — navigate a possible future.
Yes. Yes, let’s talk about it. I spoke of its unique tripartite structure in a previous post, though in brief : In the first two sections, Consumption and Colonization, personal narratives interact with moving images of contemporary Los Angeles, stop motion animation, and sound design. Writer/director Goldberg’s memoir unfolds, offering reflections on time spent with her mother’s violent fiancé and in a mental hospital.
The filmmaker’s recollection of forced institutionalization is as poetic as it is poignant.
[ An excerpt ] :
“There were no ‘Please Do Not Disturb’ signs on the doorknobs because it was too late. Ghosts haunted the halls, moaning and groaning with each unbearable second. People cried and screamed and urinated on the floor. A man continuously kicked himself in the head with his bare foot. Others paced quietly, then dropped to the ground in fits of madness with intervals like a John Cage composition.”
As with the stark black and white film stock utilized in Goldberg’s neo-noir project In The Spotlight, the employment of Super 8 — an anamorphic film format known for producing a unique dream-like quality, as if everything is coated in an amniotic haze; it’s also believed to invoke feelings of nostalgia for the viewer, mimicking a sense of connection to the material presented — renders these passages particularly powerful.
Then? Then comes the third section : a fictional narrative envisions a dream of Los Angeles after it has been liberated from capitalism.
At any rate, after a successful international tour and critically-acclaimed jaunt around the festival circuit, it’s available to view via streaming, here and now. . .
Director Hilary Goldberg between takes, with Michelle Tea [ as Olive Clutch ] and Clint Catalyst
Well, after great critical acclaim and a tour of film festivals around the world — including Inside Out Toronto, Frameline, Outfest, Vancouver Queer Film Festival, Fresno Reel Pride, Women Make Waves Taiwan, Seattle Queer, American Cinematheque Third Annual Focus on Female Directors, Reel Women International, Frederick Film Festival, Reel Pride Michigan, and The Dark Arts Festival in Salt Lake City — this meta-fictive neo-noir is finally available to watch in the comfort of your own home…for a scant 99 cents.
Still on the proverbial fence? I know; I know — it’s almost an entire dollar, maing! As you mull the idea over, feel free to peek “beneath the cut” and view the film’s official trailer, stills, and…oh yeah! Details about that give-away I mentioned!
UNLIKE THAT ENGORGED NIP BLINKING A MESSAGE OF
“TOUCH ME/TWEAK ME/C’MON FREAK ME, BABY” IN [ WH ]ORSE CODE
The Following Info? Bitch, Don’t Get It Twisted. . .
Said another way?
No, I’m not providing marked time codes as any sort of encouragement to
“just fast-forward to [my] section.” If I were that much of an egomaniac,
I’d have—oh, I don’t know—assaulted you countless times via Facebook
messages [ HATE. THOSE! ] & event invites for The Adonis Factor‘s
4 pm time slot among the airwaves, this Sunday past. . .
On the contrary, the [ forthcoming ] digits have been designated
for those who might be skimming this text &—at the moment—have but a few minutes to spare.
IN SUCH AN INSTANCE, HOWEVER, THE IDEA
IS THAT YOU’LL RETURN WHEN CHANCE PRESENTS.
Not only am I grateful to have been chosen as an interviewee for this film with such timely subject
matter, but I also want to formally express my thanks to the scribes who’ve included me in reviews :
those in which I’m mentioned by name or [ somewhat ]reasonable facsimilie ,
as well as references to me by archetype, regardless of phrasing.
All the clichés about “the ugly side of being beautiful,” a director’s “unflinching gaze” [ homophone
much? ] : they’re all applicable—as are the strong reactions Hines’ investigation provokes.
[ one example ] :
“‘If you’re gonna be gay, you’re just gonna have to experience the wrath of the A crowd,’
one perfect 10 in search of an 11 attests.
Some of us are just too allergic to house music to hazard that . . .”
“Whoever said opposites attract clearly never went to the Folsom Street Fair, where every body type runs in packs of two (or several). Sure, mom said looks aren’t everything. But was she a gay man? It’s brutal out there. Combine a sophisticated, compartmentalized urban gay scene like San Francisco’s own with the Internet’s heightened judging-book-by-cover — no actual book reading implied — and you’ve got a recipe for looks obsessiveness that can snare even the safely off-market.”
To which filmmaker Christopher Hines counters, via
interview with Edge New York :
“The point of the film is that we’re men. We’re not going to hold hands and sing ’Kumbaya’
and just all be nice to each other.”
Touché, Mssr. Hines. . . Touché!
That being stated, my Q & A [ conducted on a sweltering summer afternoon, sans the luxury
of air conditioning—hence the Yes-I-Know-I-Could-Moonlight-at-KFC, Honey /
Ain't-No-Need-To-Mention-My-Mug-Being-Beyond-"Dewy" look ]
is nestled within the
25:17 — 28:37
If you can survive the commercials
[ we're all impatient, so don't even consider visiting that territory—
same as the unedited, 30 minute longer version with extras: convenience is a privilege, not a 'right' ]
…or wherever it is the telly’s located. [ Assuming, that is, that you own one! ]
jumping right in on that tip
[ the one by which I'm putting the ass in "assumption," yes ]
I dare say:
perhaps you recognize the following image, credited to a certain ‘Dirk Mai‘
[ Make-Up by Stacey Hummell ]
Yeah, you know, the one in which I’m all gussied-up in the grand regalia of Mildred von Hildegard’s
highly-coveted [ & oft-imitated ] line of conceptual bespoke brilliance
known as ‘Mother of London‘
[ ...? ]
the photo shoot was captured on film—
namely, the latest documentary by Christopher Hines entitled
“Chiseled bodies, flawless skin, sculpted jawlines. At a time when popular culture objectifies men more than ever, it’s hard for them to avoid the pressure to possess such physical traits. In his follow-up to The Butch Factor, director Christopher Hines exposes how far some will go to attain the ‘Adonis Factor’ — the kind of god-like masculine beauty only seen in ancient Greek sculptures.
Hines takes viewers on an eye-opening journey through circuit parties, gay porn, and [ AHEM! ] avant-garde fashion photo shoots, all of which promote their own kinds of idealized physiques. By capturing a diverse range of voices — from those who dedicate their lives to the pursuit of mainstream male beauty, to those who openly spurn it — The Adonis Factor ultimately
poses the question: does a man’s fixation on body image make him any happier?”
“More than ever, we live in a body conscious world, one where images of the male body are targeted at you 24/7. No wonder then that many men, both gay and straight, find themselves unhappy with their body image, opting to go to various lengths, some extreme, in the pursuit of their ideal of physical perfection.
Yet in an increasingly superficial society, one where your look may well shape, if not define you, is this any surprise? Indeed as one participant in this thought-provoking documentary from writer, producer and director Christopher Hines put it, “how I look has made my experience of being a gay man, the
better” and here cue more parties, more sex, more friends. Yet life is a lot more complicated, as Hines sets out to show, along the way taking into account the thoughts of dermatologists, doctors, psychologists and sexologists, to plastic surgeons kept busy with never-ending requests for face lifts to pec implants.
Yet whilst surgically enhanced male beauty comes with a price tag attached to it, others things in life arrive with alarming side effects. For here Hines charts not just the use of illegal growth hormones and steroid abuse, but shocking slimming disorders that see twink styled teens resorting to aerobic bulimia, literally working off everything they eat, as opposed to throwing the calories up, just to stay thin beyond thin. All of which brings to mind the question of what has society become, when the pressure to fit in results with many playing Russian Roulette with their health?”
[ In Conclusion ]
“Filled with more buffed-to-perfection muscular studs than what you can shake a waxing strip at…” [ L O V E ! ] Hines “deliver[s] an eye-opening insight into the yin and yang of the gay world.”
“…Willowy model Clint Catalyst [ with a marvelous makeup sequence that magically employs loose chains and spray paint to conjure up a compelling cover visage ] has moved miles away from the persecution of small-town bigotry to moulding his admiration for the likes of David Bowie into a personal statement that can be truly savoured.
By journey’s end, there is much hope that the queer amongst us will be accepted first by themselves, then by their peers and finally by the world at large. As commentator-comedian Bruce Vilanch points out, the ultimate male physique has been deified and envied since the original Olympics, where competitors never had to struggle into skimpy spandex.”
“A billionaire bottoms out; it’s hard out there for a Russian pimp; gang bangers play doctor;
a pyromaniac gets burned; an ice cream man gets iced; a bad actor needs a hand;
a Greek gets his brass handed to him.”
About The Series:
“1000 Ways To Die showcases some of the most outrageously true stories about those who
succumbed to the Grim Reaper in the most unorthodox stories.”
Whichever/Whatever the case, one thing is most certain (indeed…indeed!)
My attempt to maneuver around four-letter words is more a rough-hewn Scotch tape-&-staple job of
“edits” than it is some mad profesh, seamless-as-a-pair-of-Cervin Paris Rive Gauche
silk-stockinged affair. All the same, long overduethis post—yes, though
h e r e ✷ finally ✷ h e r e
Embedded in the rectangle above?
A nine minute, 25 second-long exploration of Hollywood’s illustrious Gemini Manor, a locale as eclectic
as the “subjects” presented in this clip: namely, a coterie of fashion vigilantes filmmaker Ramzi Abed
recruited to populate his latest feature, the “darkly romantic horror ensemble mystery” known as Noirland.
The film’s killer cast (Velveeta-laden double-entendre too delish to resist, sorry/kthnx) also boasts luminaries
Twink Caplan (forever chambertombed to mine heart as “Miss Geist” from Amy Heckerling’s Clueless) † Lloyd Kaufman (The Toxic Avenger, Horrorween) & a slew of other IMDBrepeat-offenders, but I
whittled the preceding list down to the folks featured in this footage
that awaits your ogling
✷ now ✷
Yes, that includes Mr. Duval—even if his appearance is the veritable “Where’s Waldo?” of the bunch.
Moreover, while actor/producer Edwin Santos‘ countenance is absent from such an implicitly poised-for-viral-domination* collection of digital frames, if it were not for his kind role as our
impromptu DP, this footage would not exist.
Up first : we’ve got ”just another” genre-hopping, stop-motion animation experiment in contemporary celluloid communications, interspersed with autobiographical super 8 docu-dramitization of writer/director Hilary Goldberg‘s disparate experiences spanning a wasteland of family, palm trees, a violent car salesman and a stint in a mental institution . . .
before fact is eclipsed by the story-line of a fictive post-apocalyptic, “unincorporated community formerly known as Los Angeles” — where riot police, Amy Goodman, and Queer Superheroes run rampant, that is.
Uh-huh. You read that correctly. And I may or may not very well play the role of a character known as Gaylord Wilshire. [ Conversely, I may or may not play the role very well! ]
“Hilary Goldberg’s recLAmation is a feature-length experimental documentary/narrative film shot on Super 8 in which capitalism in contemporary Los Angeles is overthrown, and queer superheroes navigate a possible future. recLAmation illuminates historic connections between private and public systems of oppression, and explores how worldview shifts caused by personal trauma rendered the capitalist paradigm nonsense.
In the first two sections 1) Consumption and Colonization, 2) Collapsepersonal narratives interact with moving images of contemporary Los Angeles, stop motion animation, and sound design. Writer/director Goldberg’s memoir unfolds, offering reflections on time spent with her mother’s violent fiancé and in a mental hospital. Then, a fictional narrative envisions a dream of Los Angeles after it has been liberated from capitalism. Queer superheroes explore a possible future for the city that includes housing for all, truly free markets, the end of prisons, and more. The World Premiere Film Event is accompanied with live narration.”
Then, four days later . . . Same city, different festival — and an incomparable project to contrast:
Renown documentarian Christopher Hines is “following fast on the heels of his success last year with The Butch Factor,” by examining not only mannerisms and varying degrees of masculinity among gay men, but also the broad spectrum of ways in which the pursuit for perfection — or perhaps merely a desire to “belong” — manifests [itself] physically.
For those of you whom I haven’t seen in a while — or ever — look for me in the first 60 seconds of this clip. I’m the tan guy, no shirt, pecs so pumped-up; you might as well call ‘em “mam”s.
See me there? No, not that one. Definitely not that one, either. Wait . . . what? You’re kidding, right? I’m that one, there, by the dude wearing a baseball cap!
“Do looks matter? When it comes to the male physique in the gay community, the answer is of course a resounding YES. In this fascinating, thought-provoking documentary, filmmaker Christopher Hines (The Butch Factor, Frameline33) turns his camera on guys of all shapes and sizes to explore how body image affects status among gay men.
Through intimate interviews with men across the United States, including several from the Bay Area, Hines uncovers the very common, often unsettling reality of how many gay men struggle to achieve and maintain a particular image in order to be accepted. As he talks with experts and everyday folks, we hear how body discrimination can lead to feelings of inadequacy, as well as issues around drug abuse and severe eating disorders that transcend sexual orientation.
One especially muscular guy admits that even though he knows it’s superficial, he “feels more respected and accepted” when people compliment his look. Hines explores how these issues trickle into other areas of our modern world by looking at everything from the gay porn industry to a naked yoga class in San Francisco that helps students feel more comfortable with their bodies.
The Adonis Factor deftly balances diverse viewpoints and voices to paint a picture of a complex world where beauty is too often considered skin deep.” — BRENDAN PETERSON
Remember that gorgeous independent film I’m in? You know, “Delphinium: A Childhood Portrait of Derek Jarman”? The one I yammered about a while ago. Well, it’s screening at Sundance, and…yeah. As an Angeleno transplant, over the years I’ve acclimated to the freon-tinged climate shady people imbue this brightly-lit place. To fair the “whether,” the most important reaction I could have is: act as if this news isn’tvery important at all.
It’s a tricky thing, this More-Jaded-Than-The-Orient sense of feigned indifference—because if “reality” T.V. cameras are added to the equation? Flip it. Be so real it’s Faux Real…and it will be: on film.
Semantics and human behavior are complicated. But how I feel? How I feel, for once, is pure and simple and precise. I’m so excited; I’m spinning around like tinsel on a majorette’s baton at half-time.
That being said, the vitals are:
Friday, 22nd January, and Saturday, 23rd January 2010, 2pm
ShowWX Presented by MicroVision at The Sundance Film Festival