Flaming Classics Announces New Series “Sex. Violence. Whatever.” to Highlight 90s Queer Cinema
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 4th, 2018
Coming off the success of their 2017 run, Flaming Classics is back with a thrilling new series entitled Sex. Violence. Whatever. With a distinct focus on queer cinema of the 1990s, Flaming Classics will be showcasing four radically different films over the months of January and February.
Sex. Violence. Whatever. opens with a screening of Paul Verhoeven’s erotic thriller BASIC INSTINCT on January 14th and is followed by a screening of F. Gary Gray’s heist film SET IT OFF on January 28th. On February 11th, the series will feature a screening of Lana and Lilly Wachowski’s debut neo-noir BOUND. Closing the month on February 25th will be a screening of Gregg Araki’s apocalyptic road movie THE DOOM GENERATION.
The series is a bold way to kick off the year, energized by the recent announcement that Flaming Classics was awarded a grant by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, as part of their 2017 Knight Arts Challenge.
“Last year we dedicated a lot of time to reading films queerly and we are starting this year by overtly placing queer bodies front and center on screen,” Juan Barquin says of the series. “This point in 90s cinema was such a turning point for queer cinematic representation in a brazen and fascinating way. We are excited to show our audience a few of the radical works that helped shape the diverse canon of work we now hold dear.”
The first series of 2018 focuses on a sliver of 90s cinema, at the nexus of a unique moment in which the New Queer Cinema, as identified by B. Ruby Rich, is coalescing while simultaneously affecting Hollywood Cinema with a new level of prestige and exposure. The films selected, as well as a wider swath of Queer cinema and characters, were on the cusp of mainstream success and engagement with wider audiences.
“What unites these seemingly disparate films,” co-creator Trae DeLellis posits, “is the characters’ rejection of heteronormative or patriarchal society, primarily its order and rules. These are characters filled with angst, rage, and wry wit, they are self-aware and self-possessed, and are raging against the system, a system stacked against them. Each film is about power, money and sex and how its characters violently challenge that order.”
DeLellis continues, “These characters have been restrained too long and are willing to take power back by whatever means necessary. During their original release, the flirtation with criminality in these films sparked debates over the idea of good and bad representation. What is exciting about revisiting these films with a new audience is to examine them outside that binary. It’s the epitome of queerness, these are characters who are enraged, messy, human and everything in-between.”
As with their past screenings, each film will be paired with a uniquely curated drag performance by local queer artists that draws inspiration from the work on screen. Returning to the series are performers King Femme, and Miss Toto, and joining the family are Bria Mason Deluxx, Ded Cooter, Kat Wilderness, Kunst, Opulence, and Sensitive Black Hottie.
The series also features commissioned poster artwork by local artist Matthew Morris inspired by the curated films.
Tickets for Flaming Classics are currently on sale at http://www.flamingclassics.com/. Tickets are $9.75 online and $11 at the door.
FLAMING CLASSICS: SEX. VIOLENCE. WHATEVER.
BASIC INSTINCT (Paul Verhoeven, 1992) – 127 minutes
Initially protested during its very production by queer activists for being a negative representation of bisexual women, Basic Instinct went on to be a wildly popular film, notably praised as one of Sharon Stone’s greatest roles. An erotic thriller at its core, the film follows Detective Nick Curran (Michael Douglas) as he investigates a murder he believes was committed by Catherine Tramell (Stone), the novelist whose past work contains exactly how the crime occured. The sleazy script by Joe Esztherhas was misinterpreted in the 90s, but many have gone on to reappraise it as a dark and delicious work of satire.
Live performance by Kat Wilderness. Introduction by Flaming Classics co-creator Juan Barquin.
SET IT OFF (F. Gary Gary, 1996) – 120 minutes
In 1996 the heist film genre got an exhilarating update with Set It Off. Combining all the tension and action of the established genre, the film broke new ground and added a layer of commentary by focusing on the lives (and robberies) of four black women played by Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, Kimberly Elise, and Vivica A. Fox. The film explores the ways in which these women are systematically undervalued and taken advantage of in contemporary society as women and as black women. After a series of devastating events force the women to reflect on their lives, they collectively decide to take control through robbing banks in the Los Angeles area. The film is action packed, full of emotion, and a rare and fascinating look at the black female experience that became one of the year’s biggest box office triumphs.
Live performance by Bria Mason Deluxx, King Femme, Miss Toto, and Sensitive Black Hottie. Introduction by filmmaker and Sundance Knight Fellow April Dobbins.
BOUND (Lana & Lilly Wachowski, 1996) – 108 minutes
A stellar debut by directors Lana & Lilly Wachowski, Bound queers film noir in a way that made waves upon its mid-nineties premiere. After a wave of sexy thrillers in this period, Bound stands out in its subversion of both masculinity and femininity through the duo of Violet (Jennifer Tilly) and Corky (Gina Gershon), presumed femme fatale and masc ex-con from the get-go. The film follows this duo as they fall in love and plot how to steal millions from Violet’s mobster boyfriend Caesar (Joe Pantoliano).
Live performance by Ded Cooter and Opulence. Introduction TBD.
THE DOOM GENERATION (Gregg Araki, 1995) – 83 minutes
The second film in director Gregg Araki’s Teenage Apocalypse Trilogy, The Doom Generation is the ultimate embodiment of teenage angst. The film is a dystopian road film, a 90s cynical sibling to Easy Rider, centering on the misadventures of Amy Blue (Rose McGowan), Jordan White (James Duval), and Xavier Red (Johnathan Schaech). Ironically billed as “a heterosexual movie by Gregg Araki,” The Doom Generation is a nihilistic examination of youth, sex, and violence on the American road that explores the dynamics of abjection and polyamory. The film also features cameos from 90s icons like Heidi Fleiss, Margaret Cho, Perry Farrell, and indie queen Parker Posey.
Live performance by Kunst. Introduction by Flaming Classics co-creator Trae DeLellis.
BASIC INSTINCT Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/380880899006743/
SET IT OFF Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/918809781628093/
BOUND Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1652588311450672/
THE DOOM GENERATION Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/155995198373269/