With LOADS by Curt McDowell
Thursday, September 14 at 8 PM, $7-10
THE DESTROYING ANGEL (Peter de Rome, 1976)
62 minutes, Digital File
The second and final feature by BFI-recognized experimental/erotic filmmaker and recent documentary subject Peter de Rome, THE DESTROYING ANGEL is a film truly unlike any other. A complete hybrid of horror movie and hardcore, its very loosely Poe-inspired story focuses on priest Caswell Campbell who is on sabbatical from seminary and, feeling torn between the pleasures of the flesh and his call to the cloth, indulges in an escalatingly bizarre series of psychotropic mushroom-feuled sexual experiences, all while being plagued by haunting visions of his doppelganger. Though more of its screen time is spent on sexual acts than in much of de Rome’s other work, THE DESTROYING ANGEL’s sex scenes are anything but traditional, growing increasingly surreal and deconstructed throughout the course of the film, advancing the plot and themes, and functioning as creepy hallucinatory episodes for the viewer. Accurately critically called “a mess but a masterpiece,” THE DESTROYING ANGEL’s weird blend of elements (including over-the-top acting, beautifully-edited psychedelic imagery, and a few jaw-dropping sexual feats) makes for a thoroughly watchable film that manages to be simultaneously campy and artful; erotic, frightening, and fun. (Screening thanks to Bijou Video.)
LOADS (Curt McDowell, 1976, released 1985)
19 minutes, 16mm on DVD
With LOADS, Curt McDowell–the preeminent satyr of underground lust–puts his hand, mouth, and camera where the money is: in and out of the underpants of tough, sometimes tender, alluring straight men. Shameless, touching, resplendent in body heat, LOADS remains a rhapsody to fluidity and flexibility, a seminal masterpiece in every way.
Special thanks to his sister Melinda McDowell Milks, who’s generously allowing us to screen it.
Programmed by Julia Zinn and Edward E. Crouse
Filed under: 16mm, experimental, film, history, queer, Uncategorized