Monday, 28 September 2015

SQIFF: Something Positive

I'm sitting out front of the CCA in the 'parklet' with Sam Kenyon. I am only talking to him because I respect his opinion and really like him: I had previously intended to boycott him because he didn't come in to see Pasolini's Theorem. Sam is being reasonable, and pointing out that the word 'queer' is all about the fluidity of meaning, while I am moaning that it is being appropriated by the mainstream. I think we are both right, although I am being conservative and wanting to hang onto an idea of queer that belongs to Jarman, Bikini Kill and the 1990s.

What makes us old once made us young.

Sam also programmed the selection of more experimental films - films that I regard as being more queer because their formal aspects (which some people might call bad editing, rejecting the gloss of contemporary cinema) offer the kind of retinal shudder that I dig. They are not easy to watch, allude rather than display, and juxtapose images in a way that reflects intersectionality. 

There has been a lovely atmosphere in the CCA during SQIFF. I shy away from conversations about political matters in public (except for with Sam, who gets the full-frontal Vile jabber), but the building has been full of people who care about art as a medium for discussion. Diane Torr did her banana dance on the Friday night, and where there are bananas, there is fun.

The range of films has been great - not least because Pasolini got a slot, and I got to see some difficult 'feminist pornography' (which I did not enjoy, either in the feminist or pornographic sense). Like Arika's exploration of the Ballroom scene, SQIFF gave me plenty of food for thought, ready to be half-baked by me into opinion. 

Sam is always a great deal more thoughtful than I am, but I like to think we share a sensibility. Both the tough art films and the big blockbuster are valuable to us, and the possibility of conversation combats the misery of catching rotten art. 

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