When a film festival's community sponsors have names such as DDevious Delights, National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, Gay Male S/M Activists, Leather Invasion, Lesbian Sex Mafia, the film festival in question must be CineKink NYC, currently taking place at the Anthology Film Archives, at 32 Second Avenue & 2nd St. in New York City.
Among the screening films are Daryl Wein's documentary Sex Positive, about an early AIDS activist; Robert Pratten's horror thriller Mindflesh; a shorts program called – I kid you not – “Whips & Restraint”; the documentary Graphic Sexual Horror; and the sex-film industry parody The Auteur, which happens to be the only film among those listed that I've seen. (The best thing about The Auteur is an extreme case of male bonding at the film's outrageous – both figuratively and literally – climax.)
CineKink NYC 2009 runs until March 1.
The schedule below is from the CineKink website:
Wednesday, February 25 - 6:45 PM
CineKink Season Opener!
(Daryl Wein, 2008, USA, 78 minutes)
When Richard Berkowitz arrived in New York City in the late 1970s, the sexual revolution was at its peak and, in a time when gay men lived and loved with wild abandon, he enjoyed lucrative work as an S/M top. And then he developed AIDS. Transforming himself from sex worker to ground-breaking AIDS activist, Berkowitz collaborated with performer Michael Callen and virologist Dr. Joseph Sonnabend to investigate and bring attention to the illness, and he helped author the first safe-sex manual. But instead of being lauded for such efforts, the assertion that a hedonistic lifestyle was contributing to the transmission of AIDS was denounced as self-hating and sex-negative, as few people-just as they were enjoying new freedoms-were ready to accept that they might be endangering their health with their choices.
With safer-sex practices a matter-of-fact occurrence for so many today, it's hard to remember that they weren't always in existence and Berkowitz's influence on our early awareness has been all but forgotten. In the face of this, SEX POSITIVE weaves an absorbing story of an activist hero-and places something we now take for granted into a compelling historical context.
AIDS CONFERENCE COCKSUCKERS
A split-screen seques a spontaneous sexual encounter with myriad activities at an international AIDS conference, all culminating in a big birthday climax with a charismatic Bill Clinton at the dais. (Charles Lum, 2008, USA, 15 minutes)
Filmmakers Daryl Wein and Charles Lum will be on hand following the screening for discussion.
Wednesday, February 25 - 9:00 PM
New York Premiere
(Robert Pratten, 2008, United Kingdom, 75 minutes)
In this psycho-sexual horror/thriller, a London taxi driver is haunted by increasingly realistic apparitions of a beautiful woman and fantasies that suddenly veer well beyond the realm of consent. Enlisting the help of a parapsychologist, he learns he must relinquish his obsession with this goddess from a parallel dimension-or alien beings will destroy the one he truly loves.
(Based on the Buddhist horror novel, “White Light” by William Scheinman.)
THE OTHER HALF
(Bret Wood, 2008, USA, 17 minutes)
To evade the psychological cruelty of her disabled husband, a woman arranges a tryst for him and a 'dancer' at a cheap motel.
Filmmakers Robert Pratten and Bret Wood will be on hand following the screening for discussion.
On Thursday, February 26 at 6:45 PM it's WHIPS & RESTRAINT, a kinky collection of shorts that dip into the toy-bag and play with the dynamics of sexual power and release, control and submission.
Program includes: GRAVUREN DESADE (John Campbell, 1992, USA), BUTLER (Erik Rosenlund, 2005, Sweden), IN THE CLOSET (Hungry Heart, 2007, Norway), 20 LICKS (Joseph S. Valle, 2008, USA), BELLE DE NATURE (Maria Beatty, 2008, France, 12 minutes), SERVING MADAME GINA (Gabriele Hoff, PsyD, 2008, USA) and KINK, INC. (Casey Clark, 2008, USA).
Then, at 9 PM, put on your favorite dress-up for LIPSTICK & CRINOLINES, a colorfully pansexual mash-up of gender frolics, blurred boundaries, several pairs of Lycra bicycle shorts-and some very high style!
Program includes: MISS JEZEBEL'S FEATHERS (Jesse Miksic, 2008, USA), DORIAN: A PICTURE (above, Joe E. Jeffreys, 2008, USA), PRITCH AND PANCH DO… THE CINDERFELLA EXPERIENCE AT MISS VERA'S FINISHING SCHOOL (Dylan Wynn Davies, 2005, UK) and THE TOUR DE PANTS (Luke Woodward, 2008, USA).
On Friday, Feb. 27 at 6:45 PM, THE WORKSHOP travels to a wooded glade near San Francisco, where a controversial 10-day seminar challenges the boundaries of normal convention and takes on societal constructs of sexuality and monogamy.
At 9 PM the shorts program, WANTON FEMALE DESIRE, celebrates the pursuit of female pleasure and offers up some general guidance as to what it is that a woman might want.
And at 11:10 PM, GRAPHIC SEXUAL HORROR takes a long peek behind the imposing facade of the notorious bondage website Insex.com, to explore the dark mind of its artistic creator and ask hard questions about personal responsibility and consent.
Kicking off Saturday, February 28 at 12:30 PM, and playing with several other BDSM-related shorts, KINKY is a sexy, informative and humorous look at black sexuality, fetish and kink.
At 2:30 PM, HAPPY ENDINGS? is an intriguing exploration of the Asian massage parlor industry in a city where a 25-year-old loophole has made the exchange of sex for money legal-as long as it happens indoors.
At 4:30 PM, the comedic MARTA'S SEX TAPE, about a painter who decides to make “special films” to pay off a loan, plays with two other colorful shorts on some ins-and-outs of work in the adult sphere.
At 6:45 PM it's TWISTED KNICKERS, a swirl of assorted kinky comedic bits, some of them funny “ha-ha,” some of them just a little bit off-kilter.
At 9 PM, THE AUTEUR [above], a mélange of romantic comedy and raunchy satire set in the world of adult film, tells the story of renowned porn director Arturo Domingo, the creative genius behind such classics as 'Five Easy Nieces' and 'Requiem for a Wet Dream.'
And, closing out the festival's regular screening schedule at 11:10 PM, a special event, BRING IT!, features a dazzling array of talent from today's adult cinema, each representing a wide range of genres and visual styles, all stepping up with a hot sampling of their recent creative endeavors.
CineKink NYC concludes the evening of Sunday, March 1 at 6 PM, with an Awards Celebration, including encore screenings of jury-selected best shorts from the week and presentation of the annual festival awards, to be followed at 8:3O PM by the CineKink Afterglow Party, one last chance to mingle with like-minded festival-goers and enjoy a few additional screenings, this time in a relaxed play party setting. The locations for both events will be announced at a later date.
Tickets: Tickets for each program - $10/door; $8/advance; $6/seniors & students, door only
Discounted pass: http://cinekink.bside.com/2009/films/cinekinknycfestivalpass_cinekink2009