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Your Nostalgia is Killing Me!

26 November – 1 December 2014
Australian Cinémathèque | Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA)
FREE

‘Your Nostalgia is Killing Me!’ reflects on three decades of artistic responses to HIV/AIDS, and highlights the intersection of art and activism in film and video relating to the epidemic. It brings together works that illustrate some of the critical positions linked with AIDS cultural activism — from the documentation of individual and collective trauma during the late 1980s and early 1990s, to rethinking issues of memory and representation in the contemporary setting.

The program takes place at an important moment in terms of AIDS visibility and cultural production. Since the mid-1990s, HIV has been recognised as a manageable illness, a shift in understanding that has been linked to a decline in the production of works dealing with the present-day experience of people living with HIV. Yet at the same time a form of nostalgia has led to a renewed recognition of AIDS in contemporary media, with the success of biographical films and documentaries revisiting the early days of the epidemic and the origins of the AIDS activist movement in the United States. 

The program’s title is borrowed from the poster/VIRUS project by Canadian artist Vincent Chevalier and activist–academic Ian Bradley-Perrin, which asks us to rethink the cultural responses that have been canonised as part of the AIDS narrative. As writer Ted Kerr has described, the poster was an articulation that “their current life chances as people living with HIV were being reduced by a focus on AIDS of the past. The stigma, health, and social realities that they experience were being ignored in lieu of a look back.” Chevalier and Bradley-Perrin’s phrase is used here to incite a rethinking of the visual character of AIDS more generally, shifting the emphasis from gay men’s healthcare in the northern hemisphere to other histories and conversations taking place throughout the global south, where artists and filmmakers are responding to local issues of stigma, visibility and medical treatment.

The Gallery’s Australian Cinémathèque acknowledges all the filmmakers, estates, archives and distributors who have generously provided screening materials for this program. Program curated by José Da Silva, Senior Curator, Australian Cinémathèque. 

 

▼ PROGRAM 1 ▼


JOHN GREYSON | Canada, b.1960
<strong>The ADS Epidemic</strong> 1987

The ADS Epidemic 1987

Wed 26 Nov 6.00pm (with A Virus Knows No Morals) / Cinema A

SD VIDEO, COLOUR, STEREO, 4 MINUTES, CANADA, ENGLISH / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT/CINEMATOGRAPHER: JOHN GREYSON / EDITOR: GEOFFREY SHEA / MUSIC: JOHN GREYSON, GLENN SCHELLENBERG / PRODUCTION CO: TRINITY SQUARE VIDEO / COURTESY: V-TAPE

‘The plague in John Greyson's music-video parody of Luchino Visconti’s Death in Venice is ADS, acquired dread of sex – something you can get from, among other things, watching TV. Tadzio is a pleasure-loving blonde who discovers that condoms are “his very favorite thing to wear,” and Aschenbach is a middle class bigot who, observing the sexy shenanigans of Tadzio and his boyfriend, succumbs to the acquired dread of sex. Made for a thirty-six-monitor video wall in the Square One shopping mall in Mississauga, suburb of Toronto, The ADS Epidemic is directed to adolescents and appropriates a PSA format they're used to, but in this case the message is both pro-sex and made for the kids most seriously at risk – sexually active gay boys. The playfulness of Greyson's tape should not obscure this immensely important act: not a single piece of government-sponsored education about AIDS for young people, in Canada or the US, has been targeted to a gay audience, even though governments never tire of emphasizing the statistics showing that the overwhelming numbers of reported cases of AIDS occur in gay and bisexual men.’ Douglas Crimp, How to Have Promiscuity in an Epidemic (1987)



ROSA VON PRAUNHEIM | Latvia, b.1942
<strong>Ein Virus kennt keine Moral (A Virus Knows No Morals)</strong> 1985 Ages 18+

Ein Virus kennt keine Moral (A Virus Knows No Morals) 1985 Ages 18+

Wed 26 Nov 6.00pm (with The ADS Epidemic) / Cinema A

16MM, COLOUR, MONO, 82 MINUTES, GERMANY, GERMAN (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: ROSA VON PRAUNHEIM / CINEMATOGRAPHER: ELFI MIKESCH / EDITOR: MIKE SHEPHARD / MUSIC: MARRAN GOSOV / PRODUCTION CO: ROSA VON PRAUNHEIM FILMPRODUKTION / COURTESY: ROSA VON PRAUNHEIM FILMPRODUKTION / SCREENING FORMAT: DVD

‘My message was to provoke my own people, to make them wake up and take action… I wanted to change gay people, to have them be more aware, and now the opposite has happened. Especially in Germany, gay people seem passive and unpolitical ever since they got a piece of the cake. They are no better than heterosexuals.’ Rosa von Praunheim

Rosa von Praunheim has created controversy throughout Germany with his confrontational documentation of gay social history. He offers little comfort to his audience and explicitly renounces inspirational or optimistic treatments of homosexual past. A Virus Knows No Morals is a black comedy that uses nonprofessional actors to tell a story of the debilitating effects the AIDS epidemic had on Germany. Impertinent yet at the same time deadly serious, this multilayered story tells the tale of a gay sauna owner (played by von Praunheim) whose only concern with AIDS is that it could put him out of business, but things get personal when he and his partner contract the disease.



▼ PROGRAM 2 ▼


DANI MARTI | Spain, b.1963
Grey 2012

Grey 2012

Wed 26 Nov 7.45pm (with Silverlake Life: The View From Here) / Cinema A

HD VIDEO, COLOUR, STEREO, 10:20 MINUTES, AUSTRALIA, ENGLISH / DIRECTOR/CINEMATOGRAPHER/EDITOR: DANI MARTI / COURTESY: THE ARTIST

‘Met John through BBRT. When I went first to his place to have sex, I was taken by the transformation of this body due to the HIV drugs. I asked him if I could film him, and he replied that it would be ok as long as his protuberant stomach was not to be shown.’ Dani Marti



TOM JOSLIN | United States, b.1946

PETER FRIEDMAN | United States
Silverlake Life: The View From Here 1993 Ages 18+

Silverlake Life: The View From Here 1993 Ages 18+

Wed 26 Nov 7.45pm (with Grey) / Cinema A

SD VIDEO, COLOUR, STEREO, 99 MINUTES, UNITED STATES, ENGLISH / DIRECTOR: PETER FRIEDMAN, TOM JOSLIN / CINEMATOGRAPHER: TOM JOSLIN / EDITORS: FLORENCE FRADELIZI, PETER FRIEDMAN / MUSIC: LUCIA HWONG / COURTESY: PETER FRIEDMAN

Silverlake Life is a video diary documenting the final year of Tom Joslin and Mark Massi’s 22 year relationship as they both struggle with AIDS-related illness. Originally conceived as a community portrait of the Los Angeles neighbourhood the couple resided in, the project became a testimony to survival against physical death and the cultural survival after death.  The 40 hours of videotapes shot during this year were edited after their deaths by Peter Friedman, whose final film is a moving testament to both men.



▼ PROGRAM 3 ▼


JOAQUIM PINTO | Portugal, b.1957
E Agora? Lembra-me (What Now? Remind Me) 2013 Ages 18+

E Agora? Lembra-me (What Now? Remind Me) 2013 Ages 18+

Thu 27 Nov 2.00pm / Cinema A

HD VIDEO TRANSFERRED TO DCP, BLACK AND WHITE AND COLOUR, STEREO, 164 MINUTES, PORTUGAL, PORTUGUESE (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: JOAQUIM PINTO / CINEMATOGRAPHERS/EDITORS: JOAQUIM PINTO, NUNO LEONEL / PRODUCTION CO: C.R.I.M / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: C.R.I.M PRODUCTIONS

‘In times of crisis and recession, HIV and HCV are no longer priority topics. Unlike recent documentaries about HIV and HCV with an approach from the outside that I could describe as “compassionate”, this project proposes a return to an “insider” reflection for more general questions, in keeping with the works produced until the mid-eighties by authors who assumed their condition as HIV positive.’ Joaquim Pinto

Joaquim Pinto has been living with HIV and HCV for almost twenty years. What now? is the notebook of a year of clinical studies with toxic, mind altering drugs as yet unapproved. An open and eclectic reflection on time and memory, on epidemics and globalization, on survival beyond all expectations, on dissent and absolute love. In a to-and-fro between the present and past memories, the film is also a tribute to friends departed and those who remain.



▼ PROGRAM 4 ▼


VINCENT CHEVALIER | Canada, b.1983
So... when did you figure out that you had AIDS? 2010

So... when did you figure out that you had AIDS? 2010

Fri 28 Nov 6.00pm (with Liberaceón + Smalltown Boys) / Cinema A

SD VIDEO, COLOUR, STEREO, 5:35 MINUTES, COLOUR, CANADA, ENGLISH (WITH SUBTITLES) / COURTESY: THE ARTIST

So... when did you figure out that you had AIDS? consists of home video footage recorded when I was 13 years old in which I play the role of “a man dying from AIDS” on a daytime talk show. The video predates both my HIV diagnosis and entrance into art academia by six years. The video serves as a foundational work within my art and identity histories, as it predicts themes of performativity and representation that I would later come to explore.’ Vincent Chevalier



CHRIS VARGAS | United States, b.1978
Liberaceón 2011

Liberaceón 2011

Fri 28 Nov 6.00pm (with So... When Did You Figure Out That You Had AIDS? + Smalltown Boys) / Cinema A

HD VIDEO, COLOUR, STEREO, 16 MINUTES, UNITED STATES, ENGLISH / COURTESY: THE ARTIST

Liberaceón re-narrates portions of the biography of Liberace – the flamboyant, yet closeted, apolitical pop pianist who died in 1987 – in order to insert him into a queer history of radical AIDS/HIV activism. The central component of the video installation is a short narrative in which Vargas performs as Liberace, embellishing details from his life and spinning them into a mythic origin story of the in/famous direct-action group, ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power).’ Chris E Vargas



MATT WOLF | United States, b.1982
Smalltown Boys 2003

Smalltown Boys 2003

Fri 28 Nov 6.00pm (with Liberaceón + So... When Did You Figure Out That You Had AIDS?) / Cinema A

DVC PRO TRANSFERRED TO BETACAM SP, COLOUR, STEREO, 21 MINUTES, UNITED STATES, ENGLISH / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT/EDITOR: MATT WOLF / CINEMATOGRAPHER: JODY LEE LIPES / COURTESY: THE ARTIST

‘The historical relationship between AIDS activist artist David Wojnarowicz and Sarah Rosenberg, a fictional teenage lesbian from New York's Upper West Side are imagined in this experimental documentary. The year is 1994 and as Sarah fights to save the television show My So-Called Life from cancellation, David has died amid the fury of culture wars and an aggressive AIDS activist movement. These overlapping biographies consider generational politics and the relevance of activism in contemporary America.’ Matt Wolf



▼ PROGRAM 5 ▼


MATTHIAS MÜLLER | Germany, b.1961
Pensão Globo (World Hotel) 1997

Pensão Globo (World Hotel) 1997

Fri 28 Nov 7.00pm (with The Living End) / Cinema A

16MM, COLOUR, STEREO, 15 MINUTES, GERMANY, ENGLISH / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT/EDITOR: MATTHIAS MÜLLER / MUSIC: DIRK SCHAEFER / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: SIXPACK FILM

‘A man faces his approaching death. He takes a journey, his last perhaps, and ends up at the Pensão Globo in Lisbon, where he sets out on aimless excursions through the city. The film depicts a life in a state of transition.’ Matthias Müller

Matthias Müller has for years been seen as one of the most important experimental film-makers in Germany and one of the most personal. In Pensão Globo a man in Lisbon prepares for his approaching death. In the narration, we hear his last thoughts: Sometimes it's like I'm already gone, become a ghost.

GREGG ARAKI | United States, b.1960
The Living End 1992 R18+

The Living End 1992 R18+

Fri 28 Nov 7.00pm (with Pensão Globo (World Hotel)) / Cinema A

16MM TRANSFERRED TO DIGITAL BETACAM, COLOUR, STEREO, 84 MINUTES, UNITED STATES, ENGLISH / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT/CINEMATOGRAPHER/EDITOR: GREGG ARAKI / MUSIC: COLE COONCE / PRODUCTION CO: DESPERATE PICTURES / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: FORTISSIMO FILMS

At a time when Hollywood actively avoided representing AIDS onscreen, Gregg Araki’s The Living End made an aggressive representation of people living with AIDS. Billed by Araki as ‘an irresponsible film’ and dedicated to “the hundreds and thousands who have died and the hundreds and thousands more who will die because of a big white house full of republican ****heads”, the title represents a reckless endgame for LA film critic Jon and hustler Luke, two HIV-positive lovers who take to the highways of America after murdering a homophobic police officer. As their relationship begins to fracture, Luke becomes increasingly obsessed with suicide – a mode reflected in their physical intimacy. Araki’s soundtrack features industrial bands Coil, Psychic TV and KMFDM, framing the film's caustic eroticism and unforgettable nihilism.



▼ PROGRAM 6 ▼


MIKE HOOLBOOM | Canada, b.1959
Buffalo Death Mask 2013

Buffalo Death Mask 2013

Fri 28 Nov 9.00pm (with A.I.D.S.C.R.E.A.M. + Breeden) / Cinema A

HD VIDEO, BLACK AND WHITE AND COLOUR, STEREO, 23 MINUTES, CANADA, ENGLISH / DIRECTOR/WRITER/EDITOR: MIKE HOOLBOOM / CINEMATOGRAPHERS: MIKE HOOLBOOM, STEVE SANGUEDOLCE, PHILIP HOFFMAN, JOHN PRICE / MUSIC: MACHINEFABRIEK, JASPER TX / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: VIDEO DATA BANK

‘For more than two decades Mike Hoolboom has been one of our foremost artistic witnesses of HIV. A personal voice documenting and piercing the clichéd spectrum of living with AIDS from carnal abjection to incandescent spirituality, no surviving moving image visionary surpasses him. Buffalo Death Mask is a three-part meditation — visual, oral and haptic, both campy and ecstatic — on survival, mourning, memory, love and community. A conversation between Hoolboom and visual artist Stephen Andrews, both long time survivors of the retrovirus, floats over what seems to be a dream of Toronto and some of its ghosts. No one savours the intimations of immortality inherent in recycled footage like Mike, no one else understands how processed Super 8 can answer the question “Why are we still here when so many are gone?’ Tom Waugh



JERRY TARTAGLIA | United States
A.I.D.S.C.R.E.A.M. 1988

A.I.D.S.C.R.E.A.M. 1988

Fri 28 Nov 9.00pm (with Buffalo Death Mask + Breeden) / Cinema A

16MM, COLOUR, STEREO, 6 MINUTES, UNITED STATES, ENGLISH / DIRECTOR: JERRY TARTAGLIA / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: LUX ART MOVING IMAGE

‘Each of my films portrays some aspect of gay consciousness, sexual representation, or self-identity. At the same time, each film utilises the medium's unique potential as visual metaphor. I am not very interested in creating narrative forms, which generally are used to show how gay people are supposed to become lavender carbon copies of straight people. Instead, I work with short, personal, experimental forms which explore and celebrate another kind of conscious human identity… AIDS has become a convenient excuse to desexualize gay men and thereby destroy gay liberation. This experimentally processed film expresses Queer anger and rage at the no-win constructs of straight culture’s refusal to acknowledge the political impact of the disease.’ Jerry Tartaglia



VINCENT CHEVALIER | Canada, b.1983
Breeden 2014

Breeden 2014

Fri 28 Nov 9.00pm (with Buffalo Death Mask + A.I.D.S.C.R.E.A.M.) / Cinema A

HD VIDEO, COLOUR, STEREO, 20 MINUTES, CANADA/UNITED STATES, ENGLISH (WITH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT/EDITOR: VINCENT CHEVALIER / CINEMATOGRAPHERS: VINCENT CHEVALIER, ELLIOTT BREEDEN / MUSIC: TROXUM / COURTESY: THE ARTIST

‘This experimental documentary video follows the work of Breeden, a young American videographer working in independent film and hardcore gay pornography. The video is an anti-portrait: while Breeden remains at the centre of the document, he is never revealed to the viewer. He is a figure and a presence, working from behind the camera or being represented in proxy by amateur actors. Made up of a mixture of appropriated material and scripted reenactments, Breeden examines questions around queer representation, anonymity, biography, and authorship.’ Vincent Chevalier

The Gallery wishes to acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts for their support of this project and for enabling the artist to travel to Brisbane to introduce this screening.

Canada Council for the Arts



▼ PROGRAM 7 ▼


PHIL ZWICKLER | United States, b.1954

DAVID WOJNAROWICZ | United States, b.1954
Fear of Disclosure: The Psycho Social Implication of HIV Revelation 1989

Fear of Disclosure: The Psycho Social Implication of HIV Revelation 1989

Sat 29 Nov 11.00am (with My Husband in in Denial + Disclosure) / Cinema A

SD VIDEO, COLOUR, STEREO, 4:45 MINUTES, UNITED STATES / COURTESY: PHIL ZWICKLER CHARITABLE AND MEMORIAL FOUNDATION TRUST

‘People had been talking about the problems of maintaining a strong and vibrant sexuality during the AIDS crisis and the difficulties of relations between HIV-negative and HIV-positive men, but Fear of Disclosure was the first film to deal with those issues. And Phil did it in his typical fashion—confronting it head on and resolutely exposing his own vulnerabilities. The image may be more David Wojnarowicz, but the spirit of the piece is pure Phil.’ Jim Hubbard



ROGÉRIO MANJATE | Mozambique, b.1972
O meu marido esta a negar (My Husband is in Denial) 2007

O meu marido esta a negar (My Husband is in Denial) 2007

Sat 29 Nov 11.00am (with Fear of Disclosure: The Psycho Social Implication of HIV Revelation + Disclosure) / Cinema A

DVCAM, COLOUR, STEREO, 20:20 MINUTES, MOZAMBIQUE, PORTUGUESE/CHUABO (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: ROGÉRIO MANJATE / CINEMATOGRAPHER/EDITOR: PANU KARI / MUSIC: FRANCISCO CARDOSO

‘Hermínia is an HIV positive mother. She found out when she went in for a pregnancy check-up. Gabriel, her husband, knows about her illness and accepts it. But he refuses to take the tests. As long as he does, it’s useless for Hermínia to follow a treatment. She thinks that if he sees a play about it, he might change his mind. My Husband is in Denial takes a fascinating look at the interactive performances that The Teatro do Oprimido and its goals: To make the audience aware of AIDS and help change their behaviour.’ Festival de cine Africano



DANI MARTI | Spain, b.1963
Disclosure 2009/2014

Disclosure 2009/2014

Sat 29 Nov 11.00am (with Fear of Disclosure: The Psycho Social Implication of HIV Revelation + My Husband is in Denial) / Cinema A

HD VIDEO, COLOUR, STEREO, 35 MINUTES, SCOTLAND/AUSTRALIA, ENGLISH / DIRECTOR/CINEMATOGRAPHER/EDITOR: DANI MARTI / COMMISSIONED BY THE GALLERY OF MODERN ART, GLASGOW / COURTESY: THE ARTIST

‘I interviewed in bed a few volunteers to talk about intimacy and disclosure.  There is a huge stigma still in Scotland about homosexuality and even more about disclosing your HIV status.’ Dani Marti



▼ PROGRAM 8 ▼


JIM HUBBARD | United States b.1951
Two Marches 1991

Two Marches 1991

Sat 29 Nov 2.00pm (with I Hung Back, Held Fire, Danced and Lied + Le Récit d'A (The Story of A) + Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien (No Regret)) / Cinema A

16MM, COLOUR, MONO, 8 MINUTES, UNITED STATES, NO DIALOGUE / DIRECTOR/EDITOR: JIM HUBBARD / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: LUX ARTIST MOVING IMAGE

‘Jim Hubbard juxtaposes scenes at two national gay marches on Washington, DC to reveal some of the devastating changes in the gay movement from 1979 to 1987, as hope is replaced by frustration and mourning. In Hubbard's roving footage we follow the shifts in spirit, age and racial composition of the demonstrators and witness the growing organization of the protest spectacle, as ragtag bunches of rebellious marchers give way to marching bands and the unfurling of the Names Project AIDS Quilt. Yet his touch is always gentle, and deeply, if elusively, personal, from the opening shots of Hubbard embracing the late filmmaker Roger Jacoby to the beautifully choreographed hands of deaf people signing. Always working within a small scale and tightly focused format, Hubbard has developed an astonishingly varied and emotionally complex body of work over the years, a series of personal film essays of intertwined loss and liberation.’ The Filmmakers Cooperative



TOM KALIN | United States, b.1962
I hung back, held fire, danced and lied 1997

I hung back, held fire, danced and lied 1997

Sat 29 Nov 2.00pm (with Two Marches + Le Récit d'A (The Story of A) + Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien (No Regret)) / Cinema A

SUPER 8, 16MM AND DIGITAL VIDEO TRANSFERRED TO DIGITAL BETACAM, BLACK AND WHITE AND COLOUR, MONO, 5 MINUTES, UNITED STATES, ENGLISH / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT/CINEMATOGRAPHER/EDITOR: TOM KALIN / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: VIDEO DATABANK

'In I hung back, held fire, danced and lied Tom Kalin confronts loss, intimacy and estrangement. This visually arresting piece is constructed of Super 8 fragments that document familiar and foreign spaces, lovers and strangers. Rapidly intercut with these images are brief glimpses of names of individuals who have died from AIDS — some famous, others not so well known — that further notions of anonymity and immortality. Kalin's imagery serves as an 'imprint' of the living world, preserving for an unknown viewer personal experiences that have already fled. Kalin concludes with a quote from The Black Boy Looks on the White Boy by James Baldwin: "I hung back, held fire, dance and lied. I was not going to come crawling out of my ruined house, all bloody, no, baby, sing no sad songs for me."' Electronic Arts Intermix



ESTHER VALIQUETTE | Quebec, 1962-1994
 Le Récit d'A. (The Story of A) 1990

Le Récit d'A. (The Story of A) 1990

Sat 29 Nov 2.00pm (with Two Marches + I Hung Back, Held Fire, Danced and Lied + Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien (No Regret)) / Cinema A

SD VIDEO, COLOUR, STEREO, 20 MINUTES, QUÉBEC, QUÉBÉCOIS FRENCH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT/CINEMATOGRAPHER/EDITOR: ESTHER VALIQUETTE / COURTESY: VIDÉOTHÈQUE

Le Récit d'A consists of a series of tales which evolve within the same video: parallel universes which reflect each other without ever meeting. The tale of Andrew, the diary of a voyage and thoughts of Edmond Jabes are all elements in the free play of the composition. I use autobiographical traces (the scanner, the super 8) to speak of vaster spaces: the existential desert of Jabes; the desert of the 90' decade; our youth devastated by AIDS; my life deprived of its youth. The video also speaks of a way of seeing, of a change in consciousness, and of what can open up, even in front of such an apparently fatal issue.’  Esther Valiquette

The screening materials for this session are provided by Thomas Waugh (Concordia University), whose research on Esther Valiquette in 2010 produced this bilingual subtitled version.



MARLON RIGGS | United States, 1957-1994
Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien (No Regret) 1992

Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien (No Regret) 1992

Sat 29 Nov 2.00pm (with Two Marches + I Hung Back, Held Fire, Danced and Lied + Le Récit d'A (The Story of A)) / Cinema A

SD VIDEO, COLOUR, STEREO, 38 MINUTES, UNITED STATES, ENGLISH / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT/CINEMATOGRAPHER/EDITOR: MARLON RIGGS / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: VIDEO DATA BANK

‘One of the most prominent media artists and critics of the late ’80s to early ’90s, Marlon Riggs made insightful and personal documentaries about black gay identity. No Regrets features a series of interviews with HIV-positive black men. Through music, poetry and quiet - at times chilling - self-disclosure, five seropositive black, gay men speak of their individual confrontations with AIDS, illuminating the difficult journey African-American men make in coping with the personal and social devastation of the epidemic. Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien (No Regret) is a poetic and intimate film presenting moving testimonials and portraits of five black gay men. They each disclose their HIV+ status and how they fiercely combat the stigma around the disease. Marlon Riggs died with HIV/AIDS in 1994 and was dedicated to confronting the urgency of the AIDS epidemic in African American communities and especially among black gay men.’ California Newsreel



▼ PROGRAM 9 ▼


RICHARD FUNG | Trinidad and Tobago, b.1954
Sea in the Blood 2000

Sea in the Blood 2000

Sat 29 3.30pm (with This is Not an AIDS Advertisement + (A World Without) Pity) / Cinema A

SD VIDEO, BLACK AND WHITE AND COLOUR, STEREO, 26 MINUTES, CANADA, ENGLISH / DIRECTOR/CINEMATOGRAPHER: RICHARD FUNG / SCRIPT: ARLENE MOSCOVITCH, KERRI SAKAMOTO / EDITOR: CAROLE LARSEN / MUSIC: PHIL STRONG, LAUREL MACDONALD / PRODUCTION CO: FUNGUS PRODUCTIONS / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: VIDEO DATA BANK

Sea in the Blood is a personal documentary about living with illness, tracing the relationship of the artist to thalassemia in his sister Nan, and AIDS in his partner Tim. At the core of the piece are two trips. The first is in 1962, when Richard went from Trinidad to England with Nan to see a famous hematologist interested in her unusual case. The second is in 1977 when Richard and Tim made the counterculture pilgrimage from Europe to Asia. The relationship with Tim blossomed, but Nan died before their return. The narrative of love and loss is set against a background of colonialism in the Caribbean and the reverberations of migration and political change.’ Video Data Bank



ISAAC JULIEN | London, b.1960
This Is Not an AIDS Advertisement 1987

This Is Not an AIDS Advertisement 1987

Sat 29 Nov 3.30pm (with Sea in the Blood + (A World Without) Pity) / Cinema A

SUPER 8 TRANSFERRED TO SD VIDEO, COLOUR, STEREO, 14 MINUTES, UNITED KINGDOM, ENGLISH / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT/CINEMATOGRAPHER/EDITOR: ISAAC JULIEN / COURTESY: THE ARTIST

‘The impulse to counteract the sex-negative messages of the advertising industry's PSAs informs Isaac Julien’s This is Not an AIDS Advertisement. There is no hint of a didactic message here, but rather an attempt to give voice to the complexities of gay subjectivity and experience at a critical historical moment. In Julien's case, the specific experience is that of a black gay man living in the increasingly racist and homophobic atmosphere of Thatcher's Britain. Using footage shot in Venice and London, This is Not an AIDS Advertisement is divided into two parts, the first elegiac, lyrical; the second, building upon and repeating images from the first, paced to a Bronski Beat song. Images of gay male sexual desire are coupled with the song's refrain: This is not an AIDS advertisement. Feel no guilt in your desire.’ Douglas Crimp, How to Have Promiscuity in an Epidemic (1987)



SUNIL GUPTA | New Delhi, b.1953
(A World Without) Pity 2003

(A World Without) Pity 2003

Sat 29 Nov 3.30pm (with Sea in the Blood + This is Not an AIDS Advertisement) / Cinema A

HD VIDEO, COLOUR, SOUND, 30 MINUTES, INDIA/UNITED KINGDOM, ENGLISH/HINDI (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT/CINEMATOGRAPHER/EDITOR: SUNIL GUPTA / COURTESY: THE ARTIST AND SEPIA EYE

‘This video was made as the result of a three-year fellowship in the creative and performing arts that I held at the University of Southampton, Department of English. The narrative is simultaneously a travelogue recording the journey back to the village in Uttar Pradesh, India, that my father left to live in Delhi, and a recording of the situation of HIV/AIDS in India. The work is intended to be seen together with a series of large scale colour photographs called ‘Homelands’ depicting the three locations that I have lived in: Northern India, Eastern Canada and the US, and London.’ Sunil Gupta



▼ PROGRAM 10 ▼


CHURCHILL MADIKIDA | South Africa b.1973
Virus 2002

Virus 2002

Sun 30 Nov 1.30pm (with Sadness) / Cinema A

SD VIDEO, COLOUR, STEREO, 2 MINUTES, SOUTH AFRICA, ZULU (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / COURTESY: THE ARTIST

‘For a number of years Churchill Madikida has produced a series of works relating to the HIV/AIDS virus including a set of lambda prints Virus I-V. These works share their iconographic imagery with his short video work Virus that continues and extends this approach to exploring the sphere of the personal and the intimate as a political statement. Both the prints and the video present imagery derived from the micro-structure of the HIV virus itself, but referencing this personal experience by including the figure of the artist himself in the centre of the cell structure.’ Chris Meigh-Andrews



TONY AYRES | Macau, China b.1961

WILLIAM YANG | Australia b.1943
Sadness 1999 G

Sadness 1999 G

Sun 30 Nov 1.30pm (with Virus) / Cinema A

DIGITAL BETACAM, BLACK AND WHITE AND COLOUR, STEREO, 52 MINUTES, AUSTRALIA, ENGLISH/MANDARIN (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: TONY AYRES / SCRIPT: TONY AYRES / BASED ON THE ORIGINAL WORK ‘SADNESS’ BY WILLIAM YANG / CINEMATOGRAPHY: TRISTAN MILANI / EDITING: REVA CHILDS / NARRATOR: WILLIAM YANG / PRODUCTION: MICHAEL MCMAHON, MEGAN MCMURCHY / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: NATIONAL FILM AND SOUND ARCHIVE AUSTRALIA / A FILM AUSTRALIA NATIONAL INTEREST PROGRAM. PRODUCED IN ASSOCIATION WITH SBS INDEPENDENT / © 2011 NATIONAL FILM AND SOUND ARCHIVE OF AUSTRALIA

Sadness is based on the stage play of the same name by photographer William Yang. Yang examines two sides of his identity that have been shaped and influenced by death. On the one hand, he searches for his roots in northerly Queensland, where one of his relatives was once killed. The other thread in the film is Yang’s grief for the many friends he lost to AIDS over the past years. The photographs of his ancestors and the pictures he made of his ailing friends make him an eyewitness of this time, but at the same time a mirror is in some way held up to him, so he can unify his personal history with present-day life and experience the comforting effects of this process. As Yang says himself: “The Chinese believe that the true self, the real ‘I’, is a spirit that never dies, which is eternal. Sadness is a celebration of that unyielding spirit.”’ International Documentary Film Festival

The screening will be followed by a short Q/A with William Yang



▼ PROGRAM 11 ▼


CHRIS GRAVES | New Zealand, b.1960
Elegy 1993

Elegy 1993

Sun 30 Nov 3.00pm (with Fig Trees) / Cinema A

35MM, BLACK AND WHITE AND COLOUR, STEREO, 10 MINUTES, NEW ZEALAND, ENGLISH / DIRECTOR/PRODUCER: CHRIS GRAVES / CINEMATOGRAPHER: RICK ALLENDER / EDITOR: PATRICK MONAGHAN / CHOREOGRAPHER/PERFORMER: DOUGLAS WRIGHT / MUSIC: JOHN WILSON (TAKE, O TAKE THOSE LIPS AWAY), SUNG BY ALFRED DELLER WITH LUTENIST DESMOND DUPRET / PRODUCTION CO: BARESKIN PRODUCTIONS / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: ELIOT FILMS

Douglas Wright, one of New Zealand's most known contemporary dancers/choreographers performs his work Elegy as a tribute to three people who died recently of AIDS. The film opens with Wright's simple dedication: "Since I am still lucky enough to have a body, I decided to make a dance for my friends who have died of AIDS, and this is it."



JOHN GREYSON | Canada, b.1960
Fig Trees 2009

Fig Trees 2009

Sun 30 Nov 3.00pm (with Elegy) / Cinema A

HD VIDEO, BLACK AND WHITE AND COLOUR, SOUND, 104 MINUTES, CANADA, ENGLISH / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT/PRODUCER: JOHN GREYSON / CINEMATOGRAPHER: ALI KAZIMI / EDITOR: JARED RAAB / PRODUCTION DESIGNER: BILL LAYTON / MUSIC: DAVID WALL / PRODUCTION CO: GREYZONE / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: V-TAPE

Fig Trees is a film-essay and opera about the struggles of AIDS activists Tim McCaskell of Toronto and Zackie Achmat of Cape Town, as they fight for access to treatment drugs.  In 1999, South African AIDS activist Zackie Achmat went on a treatment strike, refusing to take his pills until they were widely available to all South Africans. This symbolic act became a cause celebre, helping build his group Treatment Action Campaign into a national movement - yet with each passing month, Zackie grew sicker.’ Greyzone



▼ PROGRAM 12 ▼


AI XIAOMING | China, b.1953

HU JIE | China, b.1958
 中原紀事 (The Epic of the Central Plains) 2006

中原紀事 (The Epic of the Central Plains) 2006

Mon 01 Dec 12.00pm / Cinema A

HD VIDEO, COLOUR, STEREO, 122 MINUTES, CHINA, MANDARIN (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTORS: AI XIAOMING, HU JIE / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: VISIBLE RECORDS

‘In the late 1980s and early 1990s, in an attempt to stop the spread of AIDS, the Chinese government sought a “purer” blood supply from its rural population. Burdened by agricultural taxes and rising costs of education and health care, many peasants sold blood to state and private blood-collectors. Due to lack of sanitary control, a large number of blood-sellers were infected with HIV. Starting from the mid-1990s, AIDS villages multiplied. In The Epic of the Central Plains, made by Ai Xiaoming and Hu Jie, two veteran filmmakers with extensive involvement in political filmmaking, AIDS villages are portrayed not as isolated spaces of private suffering, but as connected spaces for political mobilization. Ai's and Hu’s film creates a cinematic space shared by people from various social backgrounds living in both cities and the countryside, brought together by the circulation of the virus. Peasants who sold blood, urban families who got infected from blood transfusions, doctors who advocated for both kinds of patients, and the filmmakers form a network of activists seeking redress from an unresponsive government.’ Harvard University



▼ PROGRAM 13 ▼


THOM FITZGERALD | United States, b.1968
3 Needles 2005 M

3 Needles 2005 M

Mon 01 Dec 3.00pm / Cinema A

35MM, COLOUR, DOLBY DIGITAL, 127 MINUTES, AFRIKAANS/MANDARIN/XHOSA/FRENCH/ENGLISH (ENGLISH SUBITLES) / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: THOM FITZGERALD / CINEMATOGRAPHER: TOM HARTING / EDITOR: SUSAN SHANKS / PRODUCTION DESIGNER: LEK CHAIYAN CHUNSUTTIWAT / MUSIC: CHRISTOPHE BECK, TREVOR MORRIS / PRODUCTION CO: BIGFOOT ENTERTAINMENT, EMOTION PICTURES, LEGEND FILMS / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: EMOTION PICTURES

3 Needles depicts the misconstructions surrounding the transmission of HIV in three stories set in South Africa, China and North America. The version of the film presented in this screening is the Director's Cut.

‘The structure of the film rests on religious rituals, which are pieced together as a mosaic. We follow the stories of several characters who are not connected by interaction with each other, but who are very connected through the circumstance of a worldwide plague and through their individual spirituality. I wanted the movie to flow like a book of short stories rather than a novel. We all know that a virus mutates with exposure to other life forms, and in these stories, I wanted to explore how people mutate as a result of their exposure to a virus.’ Thom Fitzgerald