Dirty Looks is thrilled to present the work of Warren Sonbert and Tom Chomont, two key figures in queer and underground film. From the late sixties until their untimely deaths (in 1995 and 2010, respectively) Warren Sonbert and Tom Chomont made some of the most innovative and thrilling film and video diaries around. Documenting queer experience from wild sixties drug cultures to the regressive, Reaganite years of the early AIDS crisis, these lyrical works delve into the quotidian, showcasing explicit drug use, S&M rituals, kittens at play, hardcore sexuality, and Grace Jones.
Sonbert codirected his first film, Amphetamine, with Wendy Appel, while still a teenager. At the time of its release in 1967, the Village Voice praised Amphetamine as "a heart-stopping film … completely symptomatic of the filmmaking revolution." An ecstatic ode to queer sex and drugs, its two boys shooting up and kissing to a Supremes soundtrack, Amphetamine marked the arrival of Sonbert on the underground film scene. Divided Loyalties showcases the brilliant camera work and rapid editing Sonbert is famous for, leading Amy Taubin to praise it as his "most complex and richest film to date," upon its release. Honor and Obey questions all forms of male-dominated authority, military, religious, familial.
In Jabbok, Chomont reimagines Jacob wrestling the angel all night by the river Jabbok, mixing, as much of his work does, mysticism with eroticism. In Razor Head, Chomont is shaved by his older brother, in a highly charged erotic ritual. Lastly, the BDSM-themed Slash Portrait, made after Chomont transitioned to video, offers a kaleidoscopic portrait of his lover, in leather with his obedient slave.
The event will also feature a complimentary publication featuring writings and original artwork.
Image copyright estate of Warren Sobert, courtesy of Canyon Cinema
Dirty Looks is a roaming screening series, a salon of influences, an open platform for inquiry, discussion and debate.
Dirty Looks is:
Director / Bradford Nordeen
Assistant Director / Karl McCool
Associate Director / David Everitt Howe
Design / Deric Carner
Projectionist / Alex Lake
Dirty Looks runs on suggested door donations. Online donations help us to continue our free public programming.