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Dirty Looks NYC | FRENZY: A Riot Decade | The Kitchen

  • Location:
    The Kitchen, 512 West 19th Street , New York, New York, 10011, US

Tuesday, April 30, 7PM
Filmmakers Sadie Benning, Michael Lucid, Jennifer Reeves and Jill Reiter in attendance

Some say it started with the call to arms, "we need to start a girl RIOT."

Jennifer Reeves, Monsters in the Closet, 16mm, 15min, 1993
Sadie Benning, It Wasn't Love, PixelVision, 20min, 1992
Jill Reiter, Frenzy, Super 8 on digital video, 12min, 1993
Shu Lea Cheang, Fingers and Kisses, video, 4min, 1995
Michael Lucid, Dirty Girls, video, 18min, 1996/2000

In the 1990s, a generation of new voices—young, feminist, queer—took culture by storm through zines, music, and filmmaking. FRENZY traces that surge, from its adolescent stirrings and early inspiration in cinematic bad girl archetypes to the formation of a movement and entry into the consciousness of the mainstream, from works shot in a bedroom in Middle America to the dive bars of New York, the streets and subways of Tokyo, and a high school in Santa Monica.

In her early short, Monsters in the Closet, Jennifer Reeves mines adolescent sexuality and rebellion, offering "dirty little girl stories, girl gangs, and other tales from the closets of adolescence." In her seminal video, It Wasn't Love, shot largely in her bedroom on a Fisher Price PixelVision camera, Sadie Benning further charts the growing pains of teenage queer girlhood, acting out various roles from Classical Hollywood iconography: the femme fatale, the platinum blonde, the 50s crooner, and the tattooed biker. Frenzy brings the grrrl riot to the NYC music scene, as Jill Reiter revels in the wild antics of a "queer grrrl" thrash band, whose even wilder audience is inspired to rip off their clothes and grab and kiss the grrrls in the band, tearing them away from their instruments. As Chris Straayer writes of Frenzy: "Raw energy is its style. It screams licentiousness." In Fingers and Kisses, Shu Lea Cheang finds a similar rawness and queer energy in Japan, capturing bold displays of lesbian public sexuality, with the help of Superdyke Inc, Japan, and the "out-and-loud" music of Chu. Dirty Girls offers a fascinating and funny glimpse into the riot grrrl movement at the height of its influence, as it entered the mainstream and American high schools everywhere. Dirty Girls comprises footage Michael Lucid shot in 1996 as a senior in high school and later edited into a short documentary while at NYU in 2000. As Lucid tells it, after making the festival circuit in 2000, Dirty Girls "sat in a box" in his apartment, "until Dirty Looks contacted him and asked him to upload it to YouTube so they could consider it for a screening; since then, it has racked up nearly 250,000 views and counting!"

Beer lovingly provided by Brooklyn Brewery.
Admission is free.