NewFest’s Platinum Showcase explodes with experimentation – from the video riffs of Charles Atlas to the theoretical artifice of Milli Vanilli and Technicolor drag dream worlds of Xina Xurner’s Mutant Salon. Innovation unfurls to further plumb Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, RuPaul and M Lamar. Dynamism! Shopaholics! Leather hoods! Glitter! Welcome to the other side…
Color NeutralDir: Jennifer Reeves, USA, 2015, 3 min
A colorful wash of glitter and deep hues, as “control triumphs over disorder.” Reeves assembles various hand-to-film techniques and various sound samples, illustrating a passage through aural technologies.
Untitled (am I Pretty Mommy?)Dir: Veli-Matti Hoikka, Young Joon Kwak, USA, 2014, 5 min
Recorded at Outfest’s 2014 Platinum Mutant Salon, this meditative New Age drag middle-earth collects dialogue samples and Eno-esque soundscapes to explode beauty from within: “Our project is to turn the monster.”
Adventures of Peppré Ann And Froends Episode 1: An Averaj’e DayDir: Josef Kraska, 2015, 8 min
A day in the life of Peppré Ann – digital age diva, part future/mostly past. With aesthetics deeply rooted in London’s PC Music craze, Peppré prepares for a day of shopping and all the perils that carries with it.
Berlin Mix live [excerpt]Dir: Christian Fennesz, Charles Atlas, 2007, 12 min
Taken from a live video-mixing performance in collaboration with musician Christian Fennesz, recorded September, 2007, at the Berlin Volksbuhne Theater. Mariah Carey collides with army choppers and no plane is safe from their wrath.
Dear Lou SullivanDir: Rhys Ernst, USA, 2014, 6 min
Commissioned by Visual AIDS, Ernst’s newest video tells the story of Lou Sullivan, a transgender man and AIDS activist. Cutting VHS footage of Sullivan’s trailblazing appearances on talk shows with contemporary screenshots of Grindr users’ bewildered responses to the filmmaker’s own trans status, DEAR LOU SULLIVAN is a provocative text exploring trans visibility, then and now.
Former ModelsDir: Benjamin Pearson, USA, 2013, 20 min
In his mind-blowing biopic of Milli Vanilli’s Robert Pilatus, Pearson combines music-video footage and robotic, theoretical voiceovers detailing cultural production and simulacra to weave a tapestry of anxiety and the capriciousness of the pop music landscape..
The LampsDir: Shelly Silver, USA, 2015, 4 min
An experimental portrait of the Dadaist artist and poet Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven (1874–1927), also known in art circles as “The Baroness.” No toads were harmed in the making of this film.
The Fall of CommunismDir: Hannah Black, 2014, 5 min
Disembodied text falls down the rabbit hole of Whitney Houston’s extra-linguistic utterances.
Surveillance Punishment And The Black Psyche Part Two OverseerDir: M Lamar, USA, 2014, 10 min
A searing opera performance from the perspective of a black man reflecting on his life on the eve of his execution for killing his white master – his lover.
Sashay AwaySashay Away, Dir: Chris Vargas, USA, 2015, 4 min
Dignified. Dejected. Head held high. Chris E. Vargas’s newest video collects the moments of rejection when competition queens know their time has come. What looks wash across those painted faces before they must make their final sashay, away?