Sunday, June 19, 2011

We Who Are Sexy: The Film List

Susan Stryker and I had a great time this afternoon at the Victoria Theater presenting the Frameline: San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival premiere of our clip show, We Who Are Sexy: The Whirlwind History of Transgender Images in Cinema. We had a wonderful audience there, many of whom joined us for a post-screening Q&A at Muddy Waters on 16th & Valencia. A few people were interested to know the titles of all the films we included so I promised to post the list here on my blog. Do run out to the video store to get these (we recommend Four Star and Lost Weekend who helped us in our research process), tho' of course many of these are so rare that they are not actually available on consumer home video or DVD. There are so many films — this really just scratches the surface.

We Who Are Sexy: The Whirlwind History of Transgender Images in Cinema 
Presented by Susan Stryker & Jenni Olson
Guys in Dresses — Girls in Suits: The Early Days
Judith of Bethulia (1913)
A Florida Enchantment (1914)
Sylvia Scarlett (1936)
Boy! What a Girl (1945)

Kitsch, Camp & The Avant-Garde 
Kaming Mga Talyada (We Who Are Sexy) (1962)
Funeral Parade of Roses (1969)
Homicidal (1961)
Women In Revolt (1971) trailer
Female Trouble (1974) trailer excerpt
Let Me Die a Woman (1977)
Dandy Dust (1998)

Fear & Loathing + “T” & Sympathy 
I Changed My Sex (1953) trailer
The Christine Jorgenson Story (1970) trailer
Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001)
Ticked Off Trannies with Knives (2010) trailer

Hilary Swank’s Oscar speech (1999)
Paris is Burning (1991) trailer
Queens at Heart (circa 1967)
Stonewall (1995)
The Look of Love (1996) 
By Hook or By Crook (2000)
The Aggressives (2005)
She’s a Boy I Knew (2008)
No Dumb Questions (2001) 
Just Call Me Kade (2001)

Stuff We Just Love
Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde (1971)
Something Special (1986)
Summer Vacation: 1999 (1988) 
The East is Red (1993)
Chocolate Babies (1997)
Maggots & Men (2009)
Two Spirits trailer (2009)

The End 

Supplemental sampling of interesting titles from the past 40 years: 
Myra Breckenridge (1970), I Want What I Want (1972), The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), Outrageous (1977), La Cage Aux Folles (1978), Victor/Victoria (1982), Yentl (1983), Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985), Second Serve (1986), Vera (1986), Torch Song Trilogy (1987), Orlando (1992), The Crying Game (1992), Mrs. Doubtfire (1993), M. Butterfly (1993), The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994), The Birdcage (1996), Different for Girls (1996), Ma vie en rose (1997), You Don’t Know Dick (1997), The Brandon Teena Story (1998), Gendernauts (1999), Southern Comfort (2001), The Cockettes (2002), Soldier’s Girl (2003), Beautiful Boxer (2004), Unveiled (2005), Breakfast on Pluto (2005), Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton’s Cafeteria (2005), Boy I Am (2006), Cruel and Unusual (2006), Red Without Blue (2007), Trained in the Ways of Men (2007), Against a Trans Narrative (2008), Prodigal Sons (2008), Pageant (2008), Be Like Others (2008), The Last Summer of La Boyita (2009), Forever’s Gonna Start Tonight (2009).

There are more than a few Transgender films on this year’s festival circuit:
Becoming Chaz (2011), Bob’s New Suit (2011), Gun Hill Road (2011), Leave It On The Floor (2011), Madame X (2011), Miwa: A Japanese Icon (2011), The Mouth of the Wolf (2011), Orchids: My Intersex Adventure (2011), Renee (2011), Romeos (2011), Tales of the Waria (2010), Tomboy (2011).

And a few coming eventually to a theater near you:
Albert Nobbs (2011), The Danish Girl (2012), Pierrot Lunaire (2011)

We are also excited to present our program in Los Angeles — at Outfest, on Saturday, July 16th at 4:30pm at DGA2

Please feel free to post any comments or questions below. Thanks!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

575 CASTRO ST. Update

Two exciting bits of news to share about my short film, 575 Castro St. this month. 

First and foremost is a brand new opportunity for San Franciscans and visiting tourists to view the film in the most perfect venue I could ever have imagined. You may have read that the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) recently relocated their San Francisco store to the now legendary address of Harvey Milk's old Castro Camera shop (yes, that would be 575 Castro St.). As part of the new HRC Store they have worked with our awesome GLBT Historical Society to create a wonderful historical display about Harvey Milk and Castro Camera. A prominent part of the display is an installation of my film, 575 Castro St. exhibited on a continual loop, with a set of headphones so you can listen to the soundtrack while you watch. Of course the most amazing thing about this is the fact that not only was my film footage shot at this address (in 2009 when it was the empty Castro Camera Store set of Gus Van Sant's Milk) but the audio of Harvey Milk talking about his wishes in the event of his assassination was also recorded in this very room (not upstairs in his apartment as fictionally depicted in Milk).

I am so thrilled at the prospect of so many people being exposed to my film and want to express my gratitude to the folks at HRC (and to the folks at for granting permission for the installation). Please go visit the HRC Store next time you're in the Castro and take a look at my film if you have a chance! 

I'm also very proud to report that an HD tape of 575 Castro St. is now officially on deposit with the Sundance Collection at the UCLA Film & Television Archive as part of their effort to preserve all of the fabulous films that have been showcased at the Sundance Film Festival over the years. One of these days I will get it together to deposit my negative of The Joy of Life

Thursday, June 09, 2011

AMERICAN FABULOUS at SF Main Library — Thursday, June 16th @ Noon

Come on out to the Koret Auditorium at the San Francisco Main Library on Thursday, June 16th @ Noon for the latest installment of this exciting series of highlights from the Hormel Center’s Frameline Movie Archive Project. 

American Fabulous  (1991) USA, English, 120 mins. 
Director Reno Dakota will be at the screening for a Q & A session.

Winner of the 1991 San Francisco International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival Audience Award for Best Video.

Adding to a hearty tradition of ascerbic gay folklore, American Fabulous is the very oral biography of Jeffrey Strouth, a wild, storytelling homosexual whose unglamorously picaresque life makes for compulsively addictive narratives that are unbelievable, hilarious, and movingly tragic. From a thronelike position in the backseat of a 1957 Cadillac, Strouth indulges in an autobiographical yakfest while the uninspiring landscape of Columbus, Ohio, provides a moving backdrop.  He recounts a life so relentlessly melodramatic that, as he says, “nobody could make this up, and if they did, why would they want to?”  Between cigarettes Strouth tells us about his first gay friend, the toothless “Myth Earl”; his psychopathic, abusive father; being kept, at 14, by a kindly 400-pound drag queen with a closet full of faux denim leisure suits; his passion for sex and drugs; and just about all the poop on the East Village club scene. Like a queeny, white-trash Kerouac, Strouth's most poignant moments take place on the road.  To hear his epic of hitchhiking from Ohio to Hollywood with a mincing, Tallulah Bankhead groupie boyfriend, a tiny yapping dog, and a finch in a cage is classic Americana, alone worth entering this tragicomic universe. As indulgent as its subject, the tape's two-hour length may send you out screaming, but if you can stick with it—and I suggest you do—Strouth emerges as an admirably uncompromising "free spirit" who has more than earned his endearing bitchiness.

The screening will be introduced by series curator Jenni Olson and is co-presented by Wolfe. Please click thru for more info HERE.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011


I got to watch a DVD press screener of Queen of the Sun: What are the bees telling us? last week with my family. I continue to feel so emotionally impacted by the film, I want to encourage everyone to get out and see it when it opens in theaters June 10th (in New York City at the Cinema Village) and June 17th (at the Laemmle Monica 4-Plex in Santa Monica). And take your teenagers! It's a perfect educational film for kids. My 12 year-old daughter Hazel gives it a big thumbs up and adds a hearty, "Bravo!"

This harrowing and beautiful new documentary from Taggart Siegel (The Real Dirt on Farmer John) ought to be subtitled: "a portrait of the miraculous and endangered honeybees — and the people who love them." An international array of scientists, scholars and beekeepers vividly explain the apocalyptic consequences of pesticides, corporate agriculture and industrial farming as they also wax poetic about the joys of honey and the vital importance of bees in our ecosystem. 

Queen of the Sun offers an impassioned introduction to basic and advanced environmental issues in a way that is really accessible for kids — and will motivate their latent activist selves with a desire to pursue environmental justice for these amazing creatures. 

Watch this film and you will never eat non-organic honey again!

More info, trailer and playdates here:
Queen of the Sun: What are the bees telling us?

Sunday, June 05, 2011

We Who Are Sexy — Clip Show at Frameline (June 19th) & Outfest (July 16)!

We Who Are Sexy: The Whirlwind History of Transgender Images in Cinema

Join film historians Jenni Olson and Susan Stryker for a whirlwind ride through the history of transgender images in film. A smart combination of on-stage conversation and film clips, this program will showcase an amazing array of rarely seen tidbits ranging from the bad old days of guys in dresses and pathological transsexuals up through the empowered self-representations of the early '90s and into the hot transgender best of the 21st century.

Sunday, June 19, 2:00 PM
Victoria Theatre
Ticket Code: SEXY19V

Saturday, July 16, 4:30 PM

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Hazel, I'm a big fan of your work

Click to see a gallery of four of my favorite images from a recent photo shoot Hazel did down on the Embarcadero. You can also click through to see more of her wonderful compositions on her Flickr page.