Our girl Biddy B aka the magnificent photographer, filmmaker and wit James Bidgood – is back this week to tackle two problems, one of etiquette and the other of sexual appetites. Have a problem that needs a-solvin’? Send it in to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get you an answer!
Hi Biddy B,
My little niece wants to be a movie star badly and wants to move to, of course, Hollywood. I know a bit about the business, but in today’s world of show business even the Disney kids know how to work a stripper pole. I’m worried that her desperation will lead her down a wrong road as, sorry sis, she’s not that bright. What should I tell her and how should I advise her?
A Worried Uncle
Dear Worried Uncle,
Well, Dahling, whatever council you impart, your niece will no doubt do exactly the opposite and so were I you, I would help her make ready for transport and pay her bus fare making sure to caution her that no matter how dire her circumstances she must never join an order of nuns! More…
I met Chloe Dzubilo for the first time at Blacklips Performance Cult at Pyramid Club the night they staged her play “Vagina.” I found it to be a hilarious, mystical and transformative piece, beautiful and transgressive all at once. Chloe herself was beautiful and transgressive, mystical and hilarious. We became famous friends in blue walled dingy basements, in various apartments, parks and diners. Once, at brunch, really early in our friendship I witnessed a healing between Chloe and her father. She shared that intimate moment with me and she cried. I felt like I’d found a sister. I would call her when I was freaking out; with compassion and humor, she would talk me through.
I photographed Chloe a lot. With her band, with lovers, with friends who looked like her, with her dog, alone, nude, clothed, with writing on her body: “precious diva” “family” “love tummy.” When I finally decided to make a film, she had to be in it. It was a girl gang movie, Gang Girls 2000 Betsy came up with the gang name, Blades, which I elaborated to the Famous Blades of Chinatown, prompted by the freely given use of Chloe’s Chinatown apartment as the gang headquarters. Chloe was to play the leader of the gang. I said, “What should your gang name be?” She didn’t hesitate. “Transella Coutorture,” she replied. More…
The meatrack is a small forest tucked behind the beach and sand dunes of Fire Island. It bridges the gay and queer summer communities of The Pines and Cherry Grove. It is where people go to meet, have sex and make art. It is a place where dry bones breathe.
The first time I went through the meatrack I followed the sunburned neck of pioneering contemporary artist AA Bronson. I was working as his assistant; accompanying him and artist Ryan Brewer as they scouted locations for an art project they were doing involving rituals, and the use of a long black, Victorian Comme Des Garcons skirt AA had recently acquired.
As I kept on eye on AA’s long white luminescent beard, I struggled to take in everything. I had been hearing about Fire Island my whole gay life – the adventures of Tennessee Williams, Edward Albee, and Christopher Isherwood, as well as how, according to Larry Kramer, the island and it’s hedonistic vibe was the sign of the gay man’s demise. It was heady to be walking on the shifting ground, moved by the intense weight of emotions washing over me. As soon as I stepped into the rack I felt very unalone. More…
To mark the occasion of the opening night of the 24th New York Queer Experimental Film Festival, the festival’s co-founder Jim Hubbard has generously allowed us to reprint the following essay detailing the origins of the festival, first published in French to mark the 15th anniversary of Scratch Cinema in Paris in 1999. Much has changed within the festival since this article was first written, but the history of its birth remains the same.
Sarah Schulman and I were smoking pot one cold night in February 1987. As Sarah passed me the joint, she said, “We should do a lesbian and gay experimental film festival.” I said, “I’ve always wanted to do one. When should we do it?” “September.” “Do you think we could do it for two weeks?” “No, one week is more than enough work.” And so, the New York Lesbian and Gay Experimental Film Festival was conceived.
When we approached Howard Guttenplan, director of Millennium, to rent the space for the festival, he asked us if we thought there was an audience for this work. I replied that I had no idea, but we were going to find out. More…
One of the most significant and rarely seen films by the underrated German gay filmmaker Rosa Von Praunheim, Tally Brown, New York (1979) is a verite documentary that follows the now forgotten downtown performer through her life. As seen in Praunheim’s film, Brown was a short, stout woman whose warm and unique demeanor suggested a combination of Little Edie Beale and Edith Massey. Brown appeared in three Andy Warhol films (Camp, Batman/Dracula, and ****) and was a fixture at 60′s and 70′s clubs like Reeno Sweeney’s, S.N.A.F.U, and the Continental Baths. Brown’s specialty was her German-tinged takes on classics by rock legends like David Bowie and the Rolling Stones. In the clip above, which opens Praunheim’s film, the camera slowly zooms in, letting us hear the powerful voice, before meeting its owner in full frame. When the two come together, it’s quite astonishing. A perfect tune for a full moon.
Our girl Biddy B- aka the magnificent photographer, filmmaker and wit James Bidgood – is back this week to tackle two problems, one of etiquette and the other of sexual appetites. Have a problem that needs a-solvin’? Send it in to email@example.com and we’ll get you an answer!
During a recent excursion to avoid the perils of hurricane Irene, I stumbled upon an instance of disastrous host/guest etiquette. This rainsoaked affair involved a small cluster of early-20s blond girls who invited my friend and I (both gay men) to seek shelter in their “food and booze stocked” abode. We entered baring gifts, as any gracious guest would, and proceeded to construct a veritable cornucopia of food upon their table. They asked us to tape their windows for them, as their short arms prohibited them from doing, what they intoned, was a man’s job. Back in the kitchen, they stared quietly out at us, as they nibbled hungrily on the food that we had supplied. They proceeded to prepare a lavish meal and then as I watched in silent horror sat at the table before us and slowly ate without once offering us either food or beverage. After their meal had been consumed, our main host related, “I have a bottle of wine that’s been open in the fridge for a few days, now. I’m not sure if it’s any good.” I naturally passed. I am from the south, as was our blond host and I was fundamentally flummoxed by such behavior. —–(edited) —–Do I need to keep better company? Is old fashioned etiquette dead? Or does it just go home to Paris for the spring? Well, I am not.
Faithfully yours, Bradford
Well, Dahling, it would be equally cheeky of me to impugn any person or persons level of intelligence. Lord knows I myself am by no meter’s measure the brightest bulb in the chandelier and you convey the impression of being a very well educated fellow, although perhaps a mite loquacious. However, Dahling, I can not help but wonder —can you spell c.u.n.t.? More…
Tuesday nights in the late ’80s meant Dean Johnson’s Rock and Roll Fag Bar at the World. Getting near the corner of Avenue C on 2nd Street back then involved passing a gauntlet of thin, aggressive guys offering heroin and it’s accoutrements: “need works?” they asked, “horse?” Or, “scag?” It wasn’t uncommon to see society’s dregs lying in doorways with a syringe dangling from their arm, blood dribbling out of the puncture. Dodge a crack head or two on the way, some beggars, a guy pissing against a tenement, and for your effort a gay paradise awaited. More…
It’s been 16 years since the documentary version of The Celluloid Closet, activist Vito Russo’s landmark book about gay representation in film, was released in theaters. Vito spent nearly his whole life watching films, screening them for others and helping to explain how film perpetuated stereotypes about gay and lesbian people in film. Tonight, Vito returns to theaters as the star of the film, rather than a spectator. Jeffrey Schwartz’s eagerly-anticipated documentary Vito, which explores Vito’s life as a cinephile activist as well as an important AIDS activist will screen at 6PM and 9:15PM at the Walter Reade Theater as part of the New York Film Festival. The screening is sold out, but there are rush tickets available for both screenings. The film features interviews with Lily Tomlin, Armisteaud Maupin, and many of Vito’s closest friends and colleagues. Don’t miss it.
Tony Osso’s The Devotion Project is a series of short films that aims to document LGBT couples “of all stripes” according to the project’s website. Osso’s first endeavor More Than Ever is a simple and touching portrait of an older gay couple, Bill Campbell and John Hilton, in their 54th year of being together. It’s a sweet reminder, amidst Grindr and Manhunt and the breakups we all must go through that sometimes things can work out for us. More Than Ever won the Audience Award for best short film at this year’s NewFest. Osso is currently filming new installments of the series around New York. Enjoy.
In a brand new semi-regular feature on KTLO, we have asked our most brilliant of friends, the photographer and filmmaker James Bidgood (Pink Narcissus), who is not only an outstanding artist, but a wit and raconteur with more wisdom and experience than anyone we know, to respond to reader’s problems. From small questions of etiquette to weighty life-changing queries, Mr. Bidgood will attempt to offer guidance and “Dear Abbey” realness in the way only he can.
Dear Mister Bidgood, I’m 24 and have been having sex with dudes and only dudes since I was 20. I’ve had sex with 17 people, and my longest relationship was 3 weeks. This leads to my question. I have only ejaculated with someone else when jacking myself off. It’s usually the old vanilla in-and-out or sucking around. (I’ve been a top and bottom, but mostly bottom). What should I do so I can “come baby come” like in that Kool-Aid commercial? Sincerely,Jonathan More…