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24th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Baby Doll
Baby Doll
Baby Doll

Baby Doll

director: Tessa Hughes-Freeland
original title: Baby Doll
country: United Kingdom
year: 1982
running time: 5 min.

synopsis

New York go-go dancers Ferne and Irene are preparing to perform and talk about their work. In a witty and empathetic observation, they reflect on their experience, their own dignity and the transformation of the perception of public behavior, which was more of an art form than a utilitarian service.

biography

British experimental filmmaker, curator and writer Tessa Hughes-Freeland moved to New York in the 1970s and soon became part of the legendary No Wave Cinema group. Her work is confrontational, provocative and at the same time poetic. From a stylistic point of view, she places emphasis on colors and montage, and her images are often accompanied by dynamic music.

more about film

director: Tessa Hughes-Freeland

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This classic example of experimental and queer cinema weaves together a sadomasochistic fantasy of a violent conflict between the main protagonist and a group of well-built sailors. The film’s director, appearing in the role of the young man, explores desire and the imagination, supplementing sexual motifs with references to the conservative American dream shortly after the Second World War.
personal program

Fireworks

Kenneth Anger
United States / 1947 / 14 min.
section: Fascinations: Eroticism
Czech Premiere
Erotique
This poetic found-footage collage explores how little is needed in order to recognize desire. Through the use of rapid-cut close-ups of the female face and body, sometimes nearly unrecognizable flashes of arms, eyes, and lips, and accompanied by a similarly fragmentary composition of sounds, the film creates a set of pulsating allusions to physical and fantasy delight.
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Erotique

Peter Tscherkassky
Austria / 1982 / 2 min.
section: Fascinations: Eroticism
Czech Premiere
Sexual Meditation: #1 Motel
This material experiment and a film avant-garde classic uses both physical and chemical interferences with the film stock, creating a parallel between the shown (human) body and the (celluloid) body of the 8-mm film in the situation of a single-occupied hotel room.
personal program

Sexual Meditation: #1 Motel

Stan Brakhage
United States / 1970 / 7 min.
section: Fascinations: Eroticism
Czech Premiere
Of Special Merit
A radical political gesture criticizing the new law on film funding in Germany, which included a clause on "immorality" that shook the film community into a sharp debate about whether or not to adopt the film at the Oberhausen festival. The initiator of the law is represented by a talking penis and manifestations of political propagation or servility towards power are made ironic through masturbation between the projected images.
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Of Special Merit

Hellmuth Costard
German Democratic Republic / 1968 / 11 min.
section: Fascinations: Eroticism
Czech Premiere
The Mechanics of Love
A controversial film for its time that transforms the act of sex into a fragile composition of shots of objects from the lovers' bedroom and the everyday artifacts that resemble it in form, movement and appearance. The playfully symbolic, rhythmic collage is complemented by a poetic commentary by photographer, composer and art critic John Gruen.
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The Mechanics of Love

Willard Maas, Ben Moore
United States / 1955 / 7 min.
section: Fascinations: Eroticism
East European Premiere
Fuses
A classic work of avant-garde cinema, in which the intimacy of a sensual experience meets the materiality of the medium in a spontaneously poetic celebration of physical existence. The filmmaker utilizes burning, painting, and drawing on the film stock, modifying the speed of shots, and layering multiple exposures in a non-narrative structure of scenes from nature and sexual scenes in which the filmmaker performs with her partner.
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Fuses

Carolee Schneemann
United States / 1967 / 30 min.
section: Fascinations: Eroticism
Czech Premiere
Return to Reason
The magnum opus of Dadaist film celebrates the photogenics of discreet objects, where among the captured objects, their mobile rayograms, and engaging asymmetrical shadows, we see a shot of the naked body of Kiki from Montparnassus, muse of the entire interwar artistic generation in Paris, who becomes a graceful projection surface for the penetration of light through the window in a perfect geometry of desire.
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Return to Reason

Man Ray
France / 1923 / 3 min.
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Amalgam - Textur
A female nude descending the stairs and multiplied by optical copying by multiple exposures of her three repetitions. Textur is the third part of the four-part Amalgam film, an experiment with time exposure and image layering experiment that examines film time and the tense motion between a particular image and abstract traces of moving objects on a film material.
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Amalgam - Textur

Werner Nekes
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section: Fascinations: Eroticism
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Geography of the body
The wrinkles and curves of a naked female and male body, shot from unexpected angles through a magnifying glass, provoke an associative stream of commentary by British poet George Barker, whose ornamental tongue wrapped with a raw gaze of the skin is concluded by Aristophanes's exclamation: "The desire and pursuit of the whole is called love."
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Geography of the body

Willard Maas
United States / 1943 / 7 min.
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Hold Me While I'm Naked
The sharply ironic allusion to both Hollywood and avant-garde cinematography thematizes sexual frustration in a fictitious situation of a depressive freelance director asking an actress to be naked in the shower. Thanks to the combination of humour and a low-quality aesthetic, this is the most famous underground short film by Kuchar.
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Hold Me While I'm Naked

George Kuchar
United States / 1966 / 15 min.
section: Fascinations: Eroticism
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Oblivion
A passionate observation of a lover, whose body is imbued with grainy texture and the explosive flares of the film material. Using rapid cuts, the director fuses contrasting black and white negatives and color positives of the same images, so that the diary-like captured moments or evasive allusions can disappear in the fluidity of consciousness and the unsettled volatility of excited passion.
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Oblivion

Tom Chomont
Canada / 1969 / 4 min.
section: Fascinations: Eroticism
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Flaming creatures
This legendary film on the free poetics of the body works with the DIY aesthetic, sprightly staging, performances, and humor. It transgressively refers to the approaches of melodrama and burlesque which Smith uses to create an unconventional and - for the period - radical depiction of sex. For its erotic scenes, it was banned in many countries, and in the United States it ignited a debate on censorship.
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Flaming creatures

Jack Smith
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