Razor Love: Minnie and Moskowitz Revisited

In the brash, hyper emotional cinema of John Cassavetes, men and women grapple mainly with love, life, friendship, and mental illness, or what the man and his cohorts likely would have referred to at the time as “craziness.” A Woman Under the Influence witnesses a husband and wife’s tumultuously fragile, but deeply tender relationship, and how they maneuver her erratic mental state. Husbands, a portrait of three friends, roars and burps with a brutish and violating machismo. The people who populate his films constantly rhapsodize in grand monologues, spout drunken philosophies, sing drunken songs.

In this plague year, where nothing is as it once was, our relationship to nearly every facet of life has been forced into reconsideration. Perspectives once thought to be constant have now shifted toward some surreal angle. This Thanksgiving, however, things seemed to proceed for my family with some semblance of normalcy. Keeping in line with the state’s limitations on just how many people could gather to celebrate the holiday, my mother and sister and I drove up to Albany to see my uncle and three cousins. It was a modestly sized group, sure, but my family is frustratingly skilled…

Who killed Laura Palmer? The iconic tagline of David Lynch and Mark Frost’s cult-hit television series, Twin Peaks, lands a blow in the gut of viewers to this day. The show’s 1990 premiere on ABC gave the world the image of a fallen angel — Laura Palmer, a pale blue specter. The high school saint found floating in the waters of Twin Peaks, Washington. “She’s dead,” remarked Pete Martell in his warm drawl. “Wrapped in plastic.” Who could have done such a thing? This would be the mystery that would appear to drive the plot of the series going forward.

In the opening sequence of the 1919 German film Different from the Others, a famed violinist named Paul Körner (Conrad Veidt) sits at a table with a newspaper, reading of three suicides of young men. This headline brings to him an equally grim mental response — the image of the procession of queer history, in the flesh — down the damp corridors of time. Men and women marching together in their period-piece garb. What looks at first like a slit of light, a gleam of hope from the glory of a forgiving God, is in fact the blade of homophobia…

The Cinema of Apichatpong Weerasethakul and Bob Mizer

Watching Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s short film Mobile Men (2008), we aren’t given much in the way of narrative information. We know immediately from the anarchic blustering of wind, that dull nature that suffocates our audial landscape for the five minutes of the film’s run time, we are traveling. But the destination isn’t clear. A man stares down the camera with a direct coolness. Behind him, a constantly amorphous wallpaper of fields and sky. Trees blaze past, muddled with digital artifacts. The man juts his finger to his face, as if to say, this is what you should be looking at…

Looking at Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story

“Have you seen Superstar?” I asked my friend one day, sitting in front of their television. They gave me an incredulous look. “Is that the one with the dolls?”

Those who’ve heard of Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story only through its legend may regard the film, one of the very first by founding father of New Queer Cinema, Todd Haynes, as an almost prankish bit of mischief. Haynes completed the film in ten days as a graduate student at Bard College. Its soundtrack consisted of hits from the Carpenters’ catalogue used without permission, a decision which so enraged Richard Carpenter…

How lucky we are to have a queer cinema. To view and learn from a cinema made outside the lines of heteronormative systems and ways of seeing. A cinema with its own politics, its own ideas of desirable subjects. A cinema that takes light, all color (Gilbert Baker gave us the rainbow, after all) and turns it into something, a glow, that a marginalized people can touch.

Queer cinema is a historical object made through seeing an image and recognizing something in it, and naming that image as queer. In 1894, William KL Dickson created the first known film with…

Conor Williams

Conor Williams is a 25 year-old writer and filmmaker living in Long Beach, NY. He has written for Reverse Shot, Interview, Screen Slate, BOMB, and more.

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