Episode 14: Dirty Looks On Location – Bradford Nordeen, Bret Berg and Joe Rubin

 

I have spent almost all of July so far traveling around Los Angeles cradled in the bosom of a magical series of film screenings, happenings and events called Dirty Looks On Location.

Avant garde cinema and dancing at a Latinx drag bar near my house that I have passed by for 20+ years and always meant to go to but never did…until this month- oh hai, Plaza!  I finally made it to the adult theater that used to be The Pussycat on Santa Monica blvd, became the Tomkat and is now Studs (or Pussycat/Studs, TBH). I made friends at Silver Lake leather bar, The Eagle LA, as we watched an incredible Fred Halsted retrospective.

The day this is released, I think I’m going to Queer Karaoke in the valley at what used to be Moonshadows. GIRL, I’VE BEEN BUSY. The calendar might start to open up again in August…after I get some rest from July!!

I took a chance to talk with Dirty Looks founder Bradford Nordeen and two of the curators, Bret Berg and Joe Rubin. We had a great time (even if it was terribly hot in my living room). If you listen closely, my cat Wallach came in a few times expressing his severe disappointment that he couldn’t go to the Pussycat.

Links, pix & bios for these mindblowing guests below the podcast link as usual!

 

Bradford Nordeen is a curator and writer based in Los Angeles. The founder of Dirty Looks, Nordeen served as the Platinum Programmer for Outfest Los Angeles from 2013 – 2017 and guest curator for The Broad Museum’s inaugural public programs (2015 – 2017). He has organized exhibitions for Participant Inc, ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, Rhode Island School of Design, Atelie397 (São Paulo), House of Vans, and the ICA Los Angeles, in addition to curating series and screenings for The Museum of Modern Art, The Kitchen, SFMOMA, The Hammer Museum, ICA Boston, the Film Society at Lincoln Center, Kurimanzutto, Judson Memorial Church and New York Live Arts. His publications include Check Your Vernacular (2014), Dirty Looks at MoMA (2013), Fever Pitch (2008), as well as editing the annual Dirty Looks Volume series.

As theatrical sales director for the Austin, TX-based American Genre Film Archive, Bret Berg works with movie theaters across the globe to bring forgotten / restored genre and arthouse classics back onto the big screen. And, as education director of The Voyager Institute, Bret collaborates with a wide variety of artists / thinkers on Voyager’s monthly free-admission lecture series about movies and music. Previous curatorial residencies include KXLU 88.9fm Los Angeles, Alamo Drafthouse, Cinefile Video and The Cinefamily.

If you are in the LA area, I highly recommend making a trip to check out Bret’s Voyager Institute work. For more on that, go here: https://www.facebook.com/voyagerla/

Joe Rubin is a film archivist, historian, and co-founder of the film distribution company, Vinegar Syndrome. His work has primarily focused on the restoration and preservation of US produced exploitation and hardcore feature films made between the 1960s and 1980s. He most recently contributed a chapter on preservation methods in ‘pornographic’ films to the collection Porno Chic & the Sex Wars, published by University of Massachusetts Press.

As many of you may be aware, Vinegar Syndrome is one of the best boutique DVD/Blu labels around and Joe is amazingly talented. Check their stuff out too.

Episode 7: Millie De Chirico- Comin’ Up With That Weird Stuff! Exhibition as access, women in programming spaces, & the joy of TCMFF

This week is TCMFF, which in laymen’s terms means Turner Classic Movie Film Fest.

IT’S THE HAPPIEST TIME OF THE YEAR. LIKE FOR REELZ.

Well, at least it’s my happiest time. It’s what I affectionately call “Classic Film Summer Camp.” Even if it doesn’t happen during the summer time.

So in order to celebrate this wonderful and exciting event, I got one of the women that I love and admire in a massive way to be on this week’s episode.

Her name is Millie De Chirico and she continues to be one of the most amazing and dynamic forces at TCM.

This is her bio:

Millie De Chirico is 14-year member of the programming department at Turner Classic Movies. She co-created TCM Underground, the channel’s late night cult movie franchise and now lends her programming expertise to FilmStruck, the new streaming service created by TCM and the Criterion Collection. In her spare time she co-hosts a podcast with comedian April Richardson called Sordid Details (sordidpodcast.com).

TCM Underground, if you are not aware, is a masterpiece and an accomplishment unto itself, let alone the gazillions of other things that Millie does daily.

One of the big myths in the film world is that “the ladies” can’t stomach grindhouse films or that we just don’t like that sexploitation/exploitation morally messy media. It goes without saying that there is a certain unspoken idea that most fans of the genre would not be queer or POC either. But we exist. Millie’s dedication to TCM Underground and her passion for this landscape is important on many levels. If you listen to our conversation we discuss this.  This has led to her programming the midnight movies at the TCMFF which is nothing but brilliant.

I CANNOT WAIT FOR THIS YEAR’S FESTIVAL!

We talk about a lot of things in this episode. One of the things that we get super Real Deal about is the state of film exhibition and the theater scene. The last few years has seen some upheaval but it’s gotten a little quiet.  Like everyone thinks what happened at Cinefamily, Fantastic Fest, etc, was a one-off and that we can all go forward as things were, la la la la.
But we (being marginalized folx) weren’t happy before the Dude-programmer-pocalpyse and we certainly aren’t pleased now. And the situation is pretty easy to fix. Really. It is. We talk about that here too.

I’m not gonna lie: this is a GREAT EPISODE. But it was great because Millie is a damn ROCKSTAR. 

So here’s the million dollar answer, of course. You want to know what Millie’s top pics for TCMFF are and (maybe) mine. So, look below! They do not disappoint. And if you’re going to TCMFF, hope to see you there. Say hello!

Millie De Chirico’s 2018 TCMFF Recommendations

WORLD’S GREATEST SINNER (1962, d. Timothy Carey, 82m, Digital) (duh!)
A STAR IS BORN (1937, d. William A. Wellman, 35mm) on nitrate
FINISHING SCHOOL (1934, d. George Nichols, Jr. and Wanda Tuchock, 35 mm)**Preserved by the Library of Congress.
OUTRAGE (1950, d. Ida Lupino, 35mm) Ida!
WILL SUCCESS SPOIL ROCK HUNTER (1957, d. Frank Tashlin, Digital) Jayne!

My list is a little different. These are some of the films that I will probably end up going to. But these are also ones that I am VERY EXCITED ABOUT!!

In no particular order….

FINISHING SCHOOL (1934, d. George Nichols, Jr. and Wanda Tuchock, 35 mm) **Preserved by the Library of Congress.
WORLD’S GREATEST SINNER (1962, d. Timothy Carey, 82m, Digital)
STAGE DOOR (1937, d. Gregory La Cava, 35mm) nitrate & has a Bill Morrison short called The Letter playing before it!!!! YES!!
HATFUL OF RAIN (1957, d. Fred Zinnemann, Digital)
A LETTER TO THREE WIVES (1949, d. Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Digital)
WHEN YOU READ THIS LETTER (1953, d. Jean-Pierre Melville, Digital)
Panel Discussion- Through a Lens of Color: Black Representation in Film featuring: Gil Robertson IV, of the African American Film Critics Association, Professor Jacqueline Stewart, filmmaker Mario Van Peebles and moderated by Donald Bogle.
GIRLS ABOUT TOWN (1931, d. George Cukor, 35mm)
Hollywood Home Movies: Treasures from the Academy Archive
The Academy Film Archive shares gems from its collection with specially-selected home movies from Hollywood’s Golden Age, Presented by Randy Haberkamp, Managing Director of Preservation and Foundation Programs for AMPAS, and Lynne Kirste, Special Collections Curator at the Archive.
WOMAN OF THE YEAR (1942, d. George Stevens, Digital)