Curt McDowell Tribute: SPARKLES TAVERN / TABOO

September 02 only

Curt McDowell_Sparkle's Tavern_film poster1985In an attempt to ride the coattails of EROS/ON [ 2nd floor projects ] San Francisco’s exhibition featuring four Bay-Area artists in Bay Area Now 7 at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Roxie is honored to present two incredibly rare features by beloved avant-garde filmmaker, Curt McDowell.

One of McDowell’s most ambitious (and most ambiguous) films, TABOO is mixture of documentary and psychodrama featuring a series of sexually charged vignettes inspired by a piece of graffiti found inside a toilet stall at the Maritime Museum. Though none of the film’s action ever reaches a level of genuinely explicit sexuality, the anticipation of its doing so haunts the film’s tense 22-minute running time. With George Kuchar, Marion Eaton, Fahed Martha, and Melinda McDowell. 1981. Digital. 22 mins.

Shot in 1976, but not released until 1985, this underground queer feature takes place at the titular bordello run by a brother and sister with a defiantly conservative mother. Then moms gets a visit from a fairy (a literal fairy) and gets some sex-positive schooling. A film by Curt McDowell. Starring Melinda McDowell, Marion Eaton and George Kuchar. 1985. Digital. 120 mins.

EROS/ON unites the work of four Bay Area artists (Daniel Case, Nicolaus Chaffin, Johnny Ray Huston, the late Curt McDowell) in a provocative dialogue concerning the erasure of queer lineage. Through photography, sculpture, film, and writings, these artists engage “heritage” to illuminate the emotional-political perspectives on the complex longing for an unfractured history. AIDS, institutional erasure, censorship, and fear have dictated in/visibility, coupled with the current economic climate stressing the Bay Area’s queer/artist communities shrinking stable ground to maintain roots.

Visit EROS/ON on YBCA’s 2nd floor to view the work of artists Nicolaus Chaffin and Daniel Case.


Curt McDowell Tribute: SPARKLES TAVERN / TABOO: Upcoming Showtimes