Home International Cinema Annie Sprinkle & Shortbus + Buck Angel & ‘Best of Lezsploitation’ + Eastern European Cinema

Annie Sprinkle & Shortbus + Buck Angel & ‘Best of Lezsploitation’ + Eastern European Cinema

Buck Angel - Schwarzwald - Richard Kimmel
Buck Angel in Schwarzwald.

CineKink – the name says it all – has announced the opening night selections of its fifth annual film festival, CineKink NYC. The event, scheduled for Feb. 26–March 2 is described as “a pansexual celebration that will also feature music, live performances and a fundraising silent auction.”

The selections are:

  • Richard Kimmel’s Schwarzwald, which was screened at Outfest in Los Angeles last fall. The film, starring female-to-male transsexual sex star Buck Angel, “combines elements of Druidic ritual with the passionate, leather-clad goings-on of NYC’s annual Black Party.”
  • Leah Meyerhoff’s Team Queen, a music video “that features some of the best in New York burlesque in a gender-bending, fire-breathing, tassel-twirling, post-punk rock ‘n roll extravaganza.” (Meyerhoff, a former Student Academy Awards finalist – for the short Twitch – served as a jury member at the 2008 Slamdance Film Festival.)
  • Photographer Steven Speliotis’ film debut, A Dog’s Tale, described as “a sensuous and layered reverie on control and submission, longing and desire.”

CineKink NYC’s program – approximately 70 films and videos – “cuts across orientations to celebrate and explore a wide diversity of sexuality. In addition to screenings, the event will also feature a short film competition, audience choice awards, presentations, parties and a closing afterglow celebration.”

The full line-up for CineKink NYC, as well as additional details on the kick-off gala and advance tickets for the festival, will be available online beginning Monday, February 4.

For more information, visit the CineKink website.

Shortbus by John Cameron Mitchell

From the CineKink press release:

Among the headliners, first up, on Wednesday, Feb. 27 at 7 PM, is the festival’s CineKink Tribute screening of SHORTBUS [above], honoring the ground-breaking film for its “extraordinary depiction of kink in mainstream film and television.” Then, at 9:30 PM, a program titled “New York Stories,” surveys adult entertainment offerings from New York-based directors Tony DiMarco, Venus Hottentot, Michael Lucas, Radley Metzger, Porno Jim, Audacia Ray and Candida Royalle.

On Thursday, February 28 at 7 PM is TRIPLE X SELECTS: THE BEST OF LEZSPLOITATION, an international feast of lesbian-exploitation highlights from the 1960s and ’70s, presented in all of their notoriously twisted glory, followed at 9 PM by VIVA [above], the sordid tale of a bored housewife who gets swept up in the sexual revolution, a highly stylized film that draws on classic exploitation cinema for its look, characters and story-line.

On Friday, February 29 at 7 PM, it’s CALL ME TROY, an inspirational and moving tribute to gay activist and spiritual leader, Reverend Troy Perry. At 9 PM, SUSAN FOR NOW is a first-person account of a woman reclaiming her sexual freedom after a ten-year period of self-imposed celibacy. And at 11 PM, it’s SEX MANNEQUIN and SUPERFREAK [above], a shape-shifting, body-swapping double-header of girl-girl adventures.

Kicking off Saturday, March 1 at 1 PM, “Lust, Animation!” is a colorful collection of naughty bits – some animated, all with lust burning hot in their hearts. At 3 PM, “Chick Flicks” presents works by women directors that incorporate explicit sex into their stories of hook-ups and romance. At 5 PM, during “Women Behind the Lens,” a panel of female directors will discuss their roles within the adult entertainment industry and the individual approach each takes in depicting sexuality on screen. At 7 PM, it’s “Mix, Match & Mingle,” [above, the short Wildest Dreams] a round-up of shorts that look at the delights – and some dilemmas – of moving beyond monogamy, followed by “Give & Take” at 9 PM, a kinky collection of works that probe, prod and play with the dynamics of sexual power and release, control and submission. And, rounding out the day’s screening schedule at 11 PM, THE THREE TRIALS is a dark, fairy-tale fantasy set against a backdrop of sexual fetishes.

SUNDAY
Festival screenings move to Pioneer Theater on Sunday, March 2 at 1 PM with the New York premiere of ANNIE SPRINKLE’S HERSTORY OF PORN, featuring the best (and worst) clips from dozens of the 150+ films that Annie Sprinkle [right] made from 1973 onwards. At 3 PM, “Sunday How-To Sex-O-Rama” is a selection of excerpts taken from top-notch educational and how-to offerings. Concluding the festival’s regular screenings at 5 PM, the US premiere of SILKEN SLEEVES sensuously presents four seasons of domination and submission as rendered by bondage expert and artisan, Midori.

CINEKINK AWARD CELEBRATION – Sunday @ 6:30 pm
Come out and drink a toast to this year’s fantastic crop of CineKink filmmakers! Featuring encore screenings of jury-selected best shorts from the festival, along with presentations of the annual CineKink Awards. (FREE admission; location tba)

CINEKINK AFTERGLOW – Sunday @ 8:30 pm
But wait, there’s more! Be sure to come out for our popular Afterglow Party, one last chance to meet, mix and mingle with your fellow CineKinksters and enjoy a few more select screenings, this time in a relaxed play party setting. Lounge on the sofas, find yourself a private nook or recline across a spanking bench and settle in for one final evening of CineKinky goodness unfolding all around you. Not to be missed! (More info to come, but please note that a very limited number of $25 advance purchase admission will be released; priority VIP admission will be given to CineKink NYC All-Access Pass holders.)

Advance tickets and passes are already on sale. Ticket prices for each regular screening are $10/$8 advance; $6 for seniors and students. Special event/party admissions are as noted above.

Discounted CineKink NYC All-Access Pass, including admission to all 16 regular film programs, plus the Kick-Off Gala & Opening Night Screening, party, the Awards Celebration and priority VIP entrance to the AfterGlow Party. Representing a 50 percent discount over individual ticket purchase, supplies will be restricted.

CineKink is also looking for volunteers. “We’ve got a variety of volunteer shifts and positions available – and can offer you comp tickets and our eternal thanks and admiration in return! Just email volunteers at cinekink dot com to sign-up! (Though, er, please watch for a return verification email from us if this is your first time corresponding with us. We really do want to hear from you.)”

Photos: CineKink

Taxidermia Movie New Europe Gyorgy Palfi bizarre grotesque situations‘Taxidermia’ movie directed by György Pálfi: ‘Films from the New Europe’ includes unusual Best Foreign Language Film Oscar entry.

‘Films from the New Europe’ at USC: Grotesque ‘Taxidermia,’ unusual ’12:08 East of Bucharest’

The University of Southern California (USC) is presenting the mini-festival “Films from the New Europe” on Friday, Feb. 29, and Saturday, March 1, ’08, at the Norris Cinema Theatre / Frank Sinatra Hall in downtown Los Angeles.

As per the USC website, the showcase includes “recent feature films and animated shorts from Eastern and Southern* Europe that directly engage with post-Cold War transformations and the rethinking of what European identity and European cinema mean. The films that will be presented combine the auteurist legacy of European arthouse films with an aesthetic appeal that makes them accessible and competitive on a global market.”

I’ve only seen one of the feature films: Corneliu Porumboiu’s quirky Romanian comedy and 2006 Cannes Golden Camera winner 12:08 East of Bucharest, which has received quite a bit of praise in the United States and elsewhere. In my view, the film – which pokes fun at the (mis)construction of history – has its moments, but I didn’t quite get much of Porumboiu’s humor.

Also in the “Films from the New Europe” program:

  • György Pálfi’s bizarre-looking, political dark comedy Taxidermia, Hungary’s submission for the 2008 Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award.
  • Pawel Pawlikowski’s Last Resort, about an asylum-seeking Polish woman who develops a relationship with a seaside merchant in Britain.
  • Fatmir Koçi’s Albanian documentary The Land of Eagles, about the convoluted history of that small country and Koçi’s narrative feature Tirana Year Zero, about a young couple in search of a better life away from Albania.

* I’m assuming the USC press release meant Southeastern – not Southern – Europe. Since the “Films from the New Europe” showcase focuses on former Communist countries, no films from Italy, Spain, or Portugal have been included in the program.

All screenings are free and open to the general public, but individual reservations will be required for each screening.

12:08 East of Bucharest Films from the New Europe Corneliu Porumboiu’12:08 East of Bucharest’: Corneliu Porumboiu entry in ‘Films from the New Europe’ mini-festival.

‘Films from the New Europe’ schedule

The schedule below is from the USC website:

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 29

7 p.m. Animated Shorts Program. Introduced by Prof. Christine Panushka (USC).
Ersatz (1961), by Dusan Vukotic, Former Yugoslavia, 10 min.
Birthday (1994), by Janno Poldma, Estonia, 10 min.
Waiting (1962), by Witold Geirsz, Poland, 10 min.
Repete (1995), by Michaela Pavlatova, Czech Republic, 8 min.
Across the Fields (1992), by Jerzy Kucia, Poland, 17 min.
1895 (1995), by Priit Parn, Estonia, 30 min.

8:30 p.m. Taxidermia (2006), directed by György Pálfi, Hungary, 91 min.
Followed by a panel discussion with Prof. Aniko Imre (USC), Prof. Katarzyna Marciniak (Ohio University) and Prof. Melinda Szaloky (UCSB).

SATURDAY, MARCH 1

12 p.m. 12:08 East of Bucharest (2006), directed by Corneliu Porumboiu, Romania, 89 min.
Introduced by doctoral candidate Alice Bardan (USC).

2 p.m. The Land of Eagles (2007), directed by Fatmir Koçi, Albania, 77 min.
Followed by a Q&A with director Fatmir Koçi and producer Donika Bardha.

4 p.m. Tirana Year Zero (2001), directed by Fatmir Koçi, Albania, 89 min.
Followed by a Q&A with director Fatmir Koçi.

6 p.m. Catered reception in Queen’s Courtyard. Open to all, no reservations necessary.

7 p.m. The District (2005), directed by Áron Gauder, Hungary, 87 min.
Followed by a Q&A with director Áron Gauder and writer/producer Erik Novák.

9 p.m. Last Resort (2000), directed by Pawel Pawlikowski (Poland), U.K., 73 min.
Given the uncertainty of an available 35mm print, this film may be screened from a DVD.
Introduced by doctoral candidate Alice Bardan (USC).

All screenings are free and open to the general public. Individual reservations will be required for each screening.

The schedule and film synopses below are from the USC website:

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 29

7 p.m. Animated Shorts Program
Introduced by Prof. Christine Panushka (USC).

8:30 p.m. Taxidermia (2006), directed by György Pálfi, Hungary, 91 min.
Followed by a panel discussion with Prof. Aniko Imre (USC), Prof. Katarzyna Marciniak (Ohio University) and Prof. Melinda Szaloky (UCSB).

SATURDAY, MARCH 1

12 p.m. 12:08 East of Bucharest (2006), directed by Corneliu Porumboiu, Romania, 89 min.
Introduced by doctoral candidate Alice Bardan (USC).

2 p.m. The Land of Eagles (2007), directed by Fatmir Koçi, Albania, 77 min.
Followed by a Q&A with director Fatmir Koçi and producer Donika Bardha.

4 p.m. Tirana Year Zero (2001), directed by Fatmir Koçi, Albania, 89 min.
Followed by a Q&A with director Fatmir Koçi.

6 p.m. Catered reception in Queen’s Courtyard
Open to all, no reservations necessary.

7 p.m. The District (2005), directed by áron Gauder, Hungary, 87 min.
Followed by a Q&A with director áron Gauder and writer/producer Erik Novák.

9 p.m. Last Resort (2000), directed by Pawel Pawlikowski (Poland), UK, 73 min.
Given the uncertainty of an available 35mm print, this film may be screened from a DVD.
Introduced by doctoral candidate Alice Bardan (USC).

ABOUT THE FILMS

Animated Short Program

Far from being primarily a children’s medium, animation in Eastern Europe has long been a rich field of formal experimentation and highly charged politics. This selection of short films by masters of East European animation offers a unique taste of how animation varied across the region and changed across the decades. Dusan Vukotic’s Oscar-winning Ersatz and Witold Giersz’s Waiting are rarely-seen gems made during the communist 1960s. The rest of the selection, made in the 1990s, features a piece by Michaela Pavlátová, one of the most original younger filmmakers from the Czech Republic, Polish Jerzy Kucia, known for his minimalist style as “the Bresson of animation,” and two films from Estonia –; you don’t want to miss this opportunity to see Janno Poldma’s Birthday, Priit Pärn’s wonderful 1895, and a peek into one of the most exciting animation cultures in the world, finally emerging from beyond the Iron Curtain.

Ersatz (1961), by Dusan Vukotic, Former Yugoslavia, 10 min.
Birthday (1994), by Janno Poldma, Estonia, 10 min.
Waiting (1962), by Witold Geirsz, Poland, 10 min.
Repete (1995), by Michaela Pavlatova, Czech Republic, 8 min.
Across the Fields (1992), by Jerzy Kucia, Poland, 17 min.
1895 (1995), by Priit Parn, Estonia, 30 min.

Taxidermia (2006), directed by György Pálfi, Hungary, 91 min.

Gyorgy Palfi’s Taxidermia tells the stories of three generations of Hungarian men (one a sexually frustrated, low-life, peeping-tom soldier; his son who is an obese Communist champion speed eater; and the grandson, a twisted taxidermist who is trying to invent a machine so he can embalm himself) while at the same time satirically mocking Hungary’s struggles as it passes from imperial servitude, through Soviet authority, to independent lethargy.

Taxidermia is a no holds barred attack on the senses, filled with grotesque imagery and surreal beauty that not only lampoons society but reveals the sometimes ugly truth about mankind and our excesses, all in one of the most bizarre films ever seen.

12:08 East of Bucharest (2006), directed by Corneliu Porumboiu, Romania, 89 min.

16 years after the Revolution and just days before Christmas, a local television station in Bucharest has invited several guests to share their moments of glory, as they allegedly stormed city hall, chanting “down with Ceasescu!,” before Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife fled the presidential palace by helicopter so many years ago. An alcoholic history teacher and a lonely retiree, who moonlights as Santa, are forced to answer questions from dubious viewers who aren’t overly convinced that the Revolution ever took place in their city.

The Land of Eagles (2007), directed by Fatmir Koçi, Albania, 77 min.

The Land of Eagles is about the history of Albania in the 20th century, a documentary based on extraordinary and rare film footage about a small, bizarre and unknown country in Europe. It’s about an ancient people in the Mediterranean, the Albanians, descendants of the Illyrian’s, the old civilization that lied between ancient Greece and Rome, a vital bridge that joins East and West.

The film is about the unveiling of Albania after 450 years under the Ottoman Empire and its struggle to be self reliant. It is about the vibrant history of the land which bore Mother Teresa [sic, Mother Teresa, though of Albanian parentage, was actually born in Skopje, Macedonia] and the age-old tradition of religious tolerance and harmony. It is about a rich culture of diverse music and dance and century-old and odd customs that still live today. It is the history of a country that for 47 years after World War II and around the fall of the Berlin Wall –; became one of the most isolated places in the world under the brutal communist dictatorship of Enver Hoxha. It is a film about the dream of freedom, a dream that proved to be more beautiful than freedom itself.

The Land of Eagles gives a rare insight to the struggle and survival of one of the proudest and most resilient, but still unknown or misunderstood people of the Mediterranean: the Albanians. Scripted by Ismail Kadare, three time Nobel Prize nominee and winner of the inaugural Man Booker International Award, and narrated by actor Michael York.

Tirana Year Zero (2001), directed by Fatmir Koçi, Albania, 89 min.

Tirana Year Zero is a 2002 Albanian film that tells the story of a young couple in post-communist Albania, at a time when many Albanians left the country in search for a better life abroad. The protagonist of the movie is Nik, who lives in the capital of Albania, Tirana, along with his mother and father. He is in love with a beautiful girl named Klara, who wants to move to Paris to be a model. Nik makes his living with an old truck that belonged to his father, who is now sick, and seemingly dying. Amidst the criticisms of his mother, the confusion and desperation covering the country, and the desire of his girlfriend to leave, Nik is still unsure whether he wants to leave. The film explores the way Nik handles the events of his life.

The District (2005), directed by Áron Gauder, Hungary, 87 min. A group of teens from the wrong side of Budapest’s tracks band together to make themselves rich by traveling back in time, burying a horde of wooly mammoths under the city’s streets, then returning to the present and drilling for oil. As creators of a new oil-producing nation, their scheme draws the attention of Putin (who uses the district’s Russian hookers as spies), Blair and George W. Bush. In the midst of it all, star-crossed teen love is in bloom. This outrageous and visually stunning animated satire plays like an unhinged ghetto updating of “Romeo & Juliet” smash-filtered through a politically-charged and politically-incorrect –; kaleidoscope of clashing world views and social unrest, complete with musical numbers and a wicked soundtrack of Hungarian hip-hop. You have never seen anything like it.

Last Resort (2000), directed by Pawel Pawlikowski (Poland), UK, 73 min.

A young Russian woman and her son arrive in London, expecting to be met by her fiancé. When he does not arrive, they claim asylum, and are confined to a small seaside town while their claim is considered. A relationship develops between the woman and the manager of a local amusement arcade.

For more information about Visions and Voices: The USC Arts & Humanities Initiative, please visit their website or contact them at visionsandvoices@usc.edu or (213) 740-6786.

Taxidermia image: Memento Films, via USC’s “Films from the New Europe.”

Corneliu Porumboiu’s 12:08 East of Bucharest image: Artroumain.

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