THE COCKETTES: Midnight at the Palace
followed at 9:30 PM by a special performance by Atlanta's legendary DIAMOND LIL and her band
$10 (includes all evening events from 7 PM on)
OR $50 all-inclusive five-day pass available at www.mondohomo.com
Working girls: Rumi and John McGowan in Elevator Girls in Bondage (1972)
NOTE EARLY START TIME - Films will begin promptly at 7:00 PM!
In the 1970s, San Francisco became an international vanguard of the Gay Liberation movement. In campy, anarchic film and theater works and onscreen explorations of their own sexual experience, gay and lesbian filmmakers in 1970s San Francisco fused politics, sex, and art, and created a body of work that is as radical as it is entertaining. As part of the five-day arts festival Mondo Homo, Film Love presents two nights of rare films from a legendary time and place in queer history.
Part 2 - THE COCKETTES: Midnight at the Palace Pansexual, psychedelic, and covered in glitter, the fabulous Cockettes were a cross between hippie commune, radical political theater troupe, and the best secondhand costume department in the world. Only 1970 San Francisco could have produced them. Performing and partying along with the troupe were John Waters superstar Divine and future disco diva Sylvester. Back in the spotlight as the subject of a celebrated 2002 documentary, the Cockettes' reputation as the anarchic heart of Gay Liberation (and as a fashion influence!) continues to grow.
This program features extremely rare short films from the private collection of original troupe member and Cockette archivist Rumi, along with the classic “Tricia's Wedding” in a new 16mm print.
In Tree, we see the twenty-year-old future Cockettes founder Hibiscus, along with Rumi in a naked, comic dance at Land’s End. Palace, the only known film made during an actual Cockettes performance, documents the backstage and onstage goings-on at the group’s only Halloween show, Les Ghouls.
The hilarious and highly politically incorrect Tricia’s Wedding is the Cockettes at their outrageous best. The 1971 White House nuptials of Richard Nixon’s daughter provided perfect satirical fodder for the group. Characters include Mick Jagger, Indira Gandhi, Mamie Eisenhower, and Prince Charles. Disco diva Sylvester portrays Coretta Scott King. Eartha Kitt spikes the White House punch with LSD, and the resulting group orgy does not disappoint. Meanwhile, Marxist revolutionaries, along with perverts of various stripes, are skewered with inspired silliness in the political/sexual satire Elevator Girls in Bondage. In her greatest role, Cockette Rumi leads a striking group of hotel workers, "spouting a surreal mix of folk songs and Marxist maxims."
NOTE: This program contains graphic imagery and radical ideas.
Tree, Your Sap Beats Gently Against Mine Brittle Jam (Michael Kalmen, 1969) 19 minutes, 16mm screened on video
Palace (Syd Dutton and Scott Runyon, 1971) 23 minutes, 16mm screened on video
Tricia’s Wedding (Sebastian, 1971) 33 minutes, 16mm
Elevator Girls in Bondage (Michael Kalmen, 1972) 56 minutes, 16mm screened on video
Go to Program one (Bodies - the sexual revolution on screen)
QUEER SAN FRANCISCO 1970-1980 is a Film Love event. The Film Love series provides access to rare but important films, and seeks to increase awareness of the rich history of experimental and avant-garde film. The series is curated and hosted by Andy Ditzler for Frequent Small Meals. Film Love was voted Best Film Series in Atlanta by the critics of Creative Loafing in 2006.
QUEER SAN FRANCISCO is co-sponsored by the following organizations and departments at Emory University: American Studies, the Office of LGBT Life, Studies in Sexualities, and Women's Studies.
Cockettes founder Hibiscus, 1971 (photo by Ingeborg Gerdes)