We are doing something a bit different for our July film event. Instead of showing an erotic feature film or a piece of classic pornography, we are showing a documentary film; a documentary film about sex!
Our mission as a sex-positive organization, is to bring to topic of sexuality out of the shadows and into a dark theater for all to see and discuss, with the hope that we are helping to make the subject a little less taboo. So when we stumbled upon a film about an Indian physician, Dr. Mahinder Watsa, who was doing the same thing in a place where people are even more misinformed about human sexuality due to cultural taboos, we had to include the film in our monthly series.
“Ask the Sexpert is a feature length documentary about Dr. Mahinder Watsa, a highly popular 93-year-old sex advice columnist for a daily newspaper in Mumbai. Despite sex being a taboo topic in India, the column’s brand of non-moralistic advice and humor has emboldened many to write in with their questions. The columnist gains popularity even while a ban on comprehensive sex education in schools is adopted by approximately a third of India’s states.”
As there is only 4 months until SECS FEST 2018 (Sept 7-9), SECS staff are busy watching submissions and making plans for September. However, we are also still holding special screenings each month of features that won’t be at the festival and for May, we are joining forces with Something Weird and the American Genre Film Archive (AGFA) to bring the new 2K restoration of TAKE IT OUT IN TRADE (1970).
TAKE IT OUT IN TRADE was thought to be among Edward Wood Jr.’s lost films. Made in 1970 after a 10 year hiatus, Wood wrote, directed, and appears as Alecia, in this comedic sexploitation romp.
Edward D. Wood, Jr. was the filmmaker behind PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE and the author of hundreds of novels, including KILLER IN DRAG. He was a pall-bearer at Bela Lugosi’s funeral. Wood fought in the Pacific Ocean theater during World War II while wearing a bra and panties under his uniform. Basically, there will never be another hero like Ed Wood. And there will never be another movie like TAKE IT OUT IN TRADE. Unseen for almost fifty years, this is a surreal sexploitation detective comedy that would feel right at home on a triple-bill with John Waters’s MULTIPLE MANIACS and Russ Meyer’s THE IMMORAL MR. TEAS. With delirious narration by Wood himself, positive depictions of LGBTQ relationships, and a miraculous role by Ed Wood in drag as “Alecia,” TAKE IT OUT IN TRADE is a joyous swan song from one of the most seminal exploitation filmmakers of all time.
After being unavailable for decades, AGFA and Something Weird are behind the brand new 2K Restoration that we will be exhibiting. And AGFA’s Joe Ziemba and Sebastian del Castillo will be present to introduce the film and delve into the work’s history and importance among Ed Wood’s filmography.
We are still accepting submissions for SECS FEST 2018, but the final deadline is rapidly approaching. So make sure that you finish and submit your erotic film by June 1 and we’ll see you at the festival!
Tomorrow we will be showing two beautifully made erotic films from Venezuelan filmmaker Maria Beatty. Founder of Bleu Productions, her work explores lesbian sexuality and fetishism and we will be showing two film exploring BDSM and bondage, The Black Glove and Silken Sleeves.
In preparing for tomorrow’s event, SECS has stumbled upon a couple of very relevant videos. Before Maria Beatty invented the new genre “erotic noir”, she was photographing New York City musicians and performance artists. And in the early 1990s, she worked with Annie Sprinkle to create The Sluts & Goddesses Video Workshop, or How to be a Sex Goddess in 101 Easy Steps.
So we’re hold a SECS FEST 2018 Fundraiser. We are still short funds for renting the festival venue, acquiring the rights to the films in our archival program, advertising the festival, etc.
So these fantastic videos will be raffled on Saturday. Raffle tickets start at only $2.
You might also consider purchasing a SECS FEST lapel pin or stickers.
And memberships are only $50 and get you exclusive access to festival full series passes..
We are excited to announce that SECS will be able to screen two erotic works from the Venezuela born experimental filmmaker Maria Beatty.
Maria Beatty foray into filmmaking evolved from her desire to document the performance artists, musicians, the eccentric women living in the Lower East Side NYC. Her first film, Gang of Souls (1989) explored the influence of the Beat poets on the art rock and poetry scene and featured William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, Jim Carroll, Marianne Faithfull, Richard Hell, Lydia Lunch, and Henry Rollins. Beatty’s erotic works begins with a collaboration with Annie Sprinkle, Sluts and Goddesses (1992).
In 1995, Beatty wrote, directed, and produced her first erotic film. Her first film, The Elegant Spanking, was shot in black and white with no dialog. In 1997, she founded Bleu Productions and since has produced, directed, and edited over thirty lesbian and queer transgressive erotic films.
SECS will be presenting two of her works; the 1997 black and white cult film, The Black Glove, and Silken Sleeves (2004) featuring the beautiful Japanese rope bondage (shibari) of Midori.
A man. A Woman. And an attraction that became an obsession. Mickey Rourke and Kim Basinger go on an erotic odyssey in this steamy story of a love affair where secret fantasies and desires come vividly to life on screen. Set against the high-tech backdrop of Manhattan, 9 1/2 weeks is the length of the affair between Elizabeth (a beautiful art dealer) and John (the man who becomes her lover) as they explore their sexual desires with one another. Sizzling and sexy, 9 ½ WEEKS is sure to rev up your Valentine’s eve.
DISCLOSURE: This film depicts non-negotiated D/s and non-consensual sexual situations.
Originally, 9 ½ Weeks was scheduled for November and then the shocking allegations against Harvey Weinstein were dominating headlines and it seemed like an inordinately bad moment to promote a film that was surrounded by controversy at the time of it’s release due to the abuse that Kim Basinger endured on set during filming.
But we knew with our goal to examine the good, the bad, and the sometimes downright exploitative cinema that constitutes of history of sex on the silver screen that we cannot avoid problematic works. So instead of avoiding controversial cinema, we exhibit it while giving space to discuss why a work is problematic and hopefully, why we believe it is an important contribution to our monthly film series.
In 9 ½ Weeks, Elizabeth (Kim Basinger), a recently divorced art gallery assistant, keeps encountering a wealthy wall street broker, John (Mickey Rourke) until they begin a 9 ½ week long affair of erotic games of sexual domination and submission. Finally, Elizabeth must decide what she is willing to endure to be with John. And this is what makes 9 1/2 Weeks an important contribution to the genre of mainstream erotic film: In Elizabeth’s sexual awakening, the affair with John did happen to her, but overtime, she finds her own voice in the relationship and ultimately decides it’s fate. So while it is far from a perfect film, this is an erotic romance with a heroine with sexual agency.
We are still soliciting submissions for SECS FEST 2018. We are interested in seeing your erotic shorts & feature length films at our 2018 festival.
The regular submission deadline ends on February 28, so submit before the fees increase.
Thank you for a fantastic year. After our launch in July 2017, with a screening of Sex World at the Grand Illusion Cinema, we have hosted 13 film screenings and held our very first erotic film festival, SECS Fest. And without so much community support, it couldn’t have happened.
And now, we are back at work putting together film programs for 2018.
So we begin 2018 with a sexual voyage into the NYC underground art salons in Shortbus (2006), John Cameron Mitchell’s follow up to Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Sex-therapist Sophia Lin (Sook-Yin Lee) reveals in a session that she has never actually had an orgasm. And so we are brought into the sex lives of some unique characters who are also seeking connection and finally, they converge at an erotic salon hosted by Mx Justin Vivian Bond.
Shortbus is, according to Variety, “unquestionably the most sexually graphic American narrative feature ever made outside the porn industry.” And John Cameron Mitchell achieved this by making a comic romance with unsimulated sex, that appreciates the humanity of the act.