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.