Poet Eileen Myles joined forces with Ballroom’s Laura Copelin to present Dirty Gay Movie Night at the 2017 season of Marfa Myths music festival. The evening’s double-feature included two hot and heavy classics of LGBTQIA cinema: Bijou (1972) and Community Action Center (2010). The night began with a poem from Eileen and intermission offered a stretch by local yoga teacher Rae Anne Hample and acapella singing from Marfa-based artists Natalie Melendez and Tim Johnson.
Community Action Center is “a small archive of an intergenerational community built on collaboration, friendship, sex and art.” A.K. Burns and A.L. Steiner’s 69-minute “womyn-centric” video work offers new perspectives on sexual aesthetics, gendered bodies, the meaning of porn and of sex itself.
Wakefield Poole’s Bijou is a trippy classic of American avant-garde cinema and one of the most psychedelic examples of ‘70s gay erotica. Shot on 16mm film, the story follows a construction worker as he explores sexual desire and erotic fantasy at an underground club. “It swerves from a near-documentary, realist mode suddenly into a kind of Russian constructivist passage, to an action car chase, a little grainy Warhol and falling we find ourselves in a Frank Wedekind play,” Myles writes of the film. “Sex is a such a rabbit hole in this film and we get treated to such a phantasmagoria of groping and grouping and kaleidoscopic rendering of sex.”
Both films feature graphic sexual content, and the screenings were strictly adults-only. Age restrictions aside, this was an inclusive evening of boundary-pushing film, poetry and community.
Eileen Myles is the author of 19 books, including I Must Be Living Twice: New & Selected Poems, and a 2015 reissue of Chelsea Girls. Eileen is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in non-fiction. Find more of their work at eileenmyles.com.