Jean Genet: Un Chant d'Amour / Barbara Rubin: Christmas on Earth

This film screening contained two works that evince both formal and sexual transgressions in avant-garde film. Un Chant d’Amour (A Song of Love, 1950) is a 26 minute black and white film made by the French writer and activist Jean Genet depicting the fantasies of a gay male prisoner and his prison officer. The film courted considerable controversy when it was first released due to its subject matter and explicit content but it has since come to be recognized as a milestone in portraying gay sexuality and passion on film and has influenced a wide breadth of filmmakers. Although the film was originally intended for exclusive audiences and private collectors it received a public screening at The Kitchen as part of this double bill alongside Christmas on Earth (1964), the first film by the avant-garde filmmaker and performance artist Barbara Rubin. Christmas on Earth (1964) contains 29 minutes of similarly sexually explicit footage - various performers painted or in masks engaged in sexual acts - which Rubin sliced and reconfigured considerably before separating the footage onto two reels and superimposing one projection over another. 

Supplemental Information

Press Release [PDF]

Similar Events

Hearing Aid
Michael Snow
See More: Exhibitions, Film/Video, Music, Performance, 1970s
Tour Without End
Laura Parnes
See More: Film/Video, Music, Performance, 2010s
Arts and Leisure
Group Material
See More: Exhibitions, 1980s
Secrets in the Heart of the Beast
Judy Nylon
See More: Film/Video, 1990s