co-presented by The Infernal Grove & The Film-makers' Cooperative
"Dead person, dead person, will you partake in my persimmon feast?
The body inside the body astounds, confesses sins of the funhouse."
-In Aporia, Akilah Oliver
We want to make a program about reproductive justice that looks at the body not as a beginning or an end point, but as an entry to larger conversations around autonomy. The autonomy of choice---in all its own implications. To have an abortion, to safely use drugs, to live a life getting clean (whatever that may mean). To have a body that holds the memory of another body that does not exist in the physical anymore.
We have paired Flaming Creatures by Jack Smith alongside Viva Ruiz's There is a Transolution to create an intergenerational portal of futures for our presents. We look to these images to think towards a collective future, where bodies can exist in the forms they like on the terms they want.
Time doesn't pass, it accumulates.
-Devon Narine-Singh + Liz Roberts, The Infernal Grove.
FLAMING CREATURES by Jack Smith. 1962. 43 minutes.
Sixty years ago, police raided the Bleecker Street Cinema in Greenwich Village to seize Jack Smith’s Flaming Creatures. A glamorous and erotic spectacle, the film challenged gender and sexual norms and was subsequently banned in 22 U.S. states and four countries, becoming an emblem of censorship and the NYC underground scene. It inspired artists like John Waters and Andy Warhol (who was there that fateful night) and was fiercely defended by the likes of Susan Sontag, Allen Ginsberg, and Jonas Mekas—who was later arrested for screening it.
THERE IS A TRANSOLUTION by Viva Ruiz. 2019. 7 minutes.
Viva Ruiz invites transgender AIDS activist, artist, and beloved friend Chloe Dzubilo (1960–2011) to speak via never before seen Hi-8 footage filmed by Chloe's then-partner Kelly McGowan in the 1990s. The process triangulates mother (Chloe), lover (Kelly), and child (Viva) in a deliberate ritual to uplift the spirit and legacy of an ancestral teacher. Through artifacts from the moment when video first became accessible and before mobile phone cameras became ubiquitous, we witness Chloe declare herself and her sisters as leaders in art, advocacy and culture for evermore.
Images copyrighted Jack Smith Archive, Courtesy of Gladstone Gallery.
All funds from ticket donations will go to THANK GOD FOR ABORTION.
Rockaway Film Festival would like to thank VBX™~Vernam Basin Terminal for generously hosting us at the Arverne Cinema in addition to BBX™~Barbadoes Basin Terminal for contributing to such.
RFF also thanks Rockaway Artists Alliance and the National Park Service for hosting us in Fort Tilden.
RFF is proud to be sponsored by Blundstone®, Istic Illic Pictures, and NYC Ferry. The festival is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support provided by FRANC.