Underground Film Journal

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REDCAT: Barbara Hammer: Making Movies Out of Sex and Life

By Mike Everleth ⋅ January 21, 2011

Exterior sign at the entrance to the REDCAT Theater

Jan. 24
8:30 p.m.
REDCAT Theater
631 W. 2nd St.
Los Angeles, CA

Hosted by: REDCAT

Barbara Hammer will be in attendance to present two of her recent movies: Generations (2010) and A Horse Is Not a Metaphor (2009). Both films run about a half-hour each.

With a filmmaking career that spans over 40 years, Hammer is a true pioneer of queer cinema and is still going strong making films and recently writing her autobiography HAMMER! Making Movies Out of Sex and Life.

As an ovarian cancer survivor — or a cancer “thriver” as she likes to call herself — Hammer made A Horse Is Not a Metaphor about her intense chemotherapy treatments. The film is a return to her experimental filmmaking roots and features bold images of herself aligning with the freedom and power of the animal spirit. Her official website describes the film as such:

‘Survivor’ has never seemed to me to be the right word for a person who lives with cancer. I would choose a word that signifies flourishing, a sense of well being, exaltation and love of life. The horse is not a metaphor, but a living, breathing creature of power and pride that I join with in moment-by-moment living. Let me share it with others who face the same life challenges I face. Let me show this film.

Generations is a collaborative film made with Gina Carducci, in which the two use a 16mm Bolex camera to document the last days of Coney Island’s Astroland amusement park, which closed on Sept. 7, 2008. Carducci wrote a nice essay about the genesis and production of the film for the journal Films for the Feminist Classroom. The film was also inspired by Shirley Clarke‘s classic 1958 experimental film Bridges-Go-Round.

Tonight’s event was curated by Steve Anker and Bérénice Reynaud.

Read more about the filmmakers on their official websites: Barbara Hammer and Gina Carducci.

Watch Hammer on stage at the British Film Institute  back in March 2010: