Classic Interview: Cassandra Stark Interviews Richard Kern
(NOTE: Unfortunately, this video is no longer available on YouTube.)
From the bowels of 1986 comes this regurgitated interview with two titans of the Cinema of Transgression, Cassandra Stark and Richard Kern. While the two are clearly posing trying to act as transgressive as possible — only Stark smiling for a brief second breaks the performance — this is actually an interesting interview as Kern details the production of one of the seminal films of the Transgression movement, Fingered, starring Lydia Lunch and Marty Nations. Plus, there are extremely brief clips of some of Kern’s films opening the interview. And things Kern discussing are absolutely NSFW if the sound is up.
This interview is apparently from something called Sublapse Video Magazine, which, according to this bootleg video site ran for about 100 minutes and featured music and short films by Morbid Opera, Redd Kross, Richard Kern, Psycho Daisies, Nick Zedd, Half Japanese, Sonic Youth, White Flag and Casandra Stark. I’ve never heard of Sublapse, so I don’t know if an actual Transgression person put it out or what. And it doesn’t seem like there was ever an issue #2. Sounds like a nice video to have, though!
Jack Sargeant‘s book Deathtripping: The Extreme Underground calls Fingered Richard Kern’s “most extreme narrative statement to date.” The film is little more than an exercise to show Lydia Lunch engaging in deviant sex with Marty Nations. The pair also go for a ride and pick up a hitchhiker, Transgression superstar Lung Leg, just to sadistically brutalize her. The film is in B&W and was shot in Super 8, although according to the interview above, it could have been shot in 16mm for the same amount of money. You can watch the film on a DVD box set of Kern’s films.
The above interview was brought to my attention via Bryan Wendorf, the artistic director of the Chicago Underground Film Festival, which is fitting because the first ever CUFF in 1994 held a retrospective of Kern’s films.
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I showed an old VHS tape of this to Michael Chaiken in my living room last year while he was helping inventory my archives for a library. He implored me to make him a copy to put up on You Tube. I burned him a disc along with my interview with Sublapse which he put up the next day.
24 years later and I still seem to be promoting fellow filmmakers…Why not? Information should be shared…