Melinda McDowell in person!
LA premieres of 16mm restorations from the Academy Film Archive!
McDowell’s first short feature Peed Into The Wind is a hilarious satire on stardom and desire, steeped in comic intrigue and DIY melodrama. Starring a whole cavalcade of his regular company of performers, Peed anchors a program that also features the metatextual Truth for Ruth, his beloved musical short Boggy Depot, and the wonderfully charming and nearly-never-seen absurdity The Mean Brothers “Get Stood Up”.
“Peed Into The Wind smears across the screen like one of those dirty underground comic books. It’s loaded with a lot of big scenes and unusual looking people that make this epic resemble a clogged toilet. Unfortunately, since several of the performers were not as loyal as Ainslie Pryor and John Thomas, the plot is difficult to follow but in no way hinders the sewer-like sequences. It’s quite enjoyable and possesses the releasing power of an enema.” - George Kuchar
- Truth for Ruth (1972) 4m
- The Mean Brothers “Get Stood Up” (w/ Mark Ellinger) (1973) 3.5m
- Boggy Depot (w/ Mark Ellinger) (1973) 16.5m
- Peed Into The Wind (1972) 54m
total = 78m
Note: This program contains explicit content.
A third program of Curt McDowell restorations -- featuring many of his iconic classics -- will be presented at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on Friday, December 9 at 10pm!
Dirty, playful, bawdy, freaky, raunchy, sexy, brilliant, campy, punky, puerile, gross, glamorous…there are not enough evocative adjectives to accurately encompass the innumerable pleasures of Curt McDowell’s resolutely queer and radically multi-sexual body of film work in all its florid fecundity.
A contemporary of John Waters and the Kuchar brothers, San Francisco-based McDowell produced a stimulating body of films between the late 1960s and his death in 1987 from HIV/AIDS, drawing vividly on his obsessions with sex, pop music, performance, comedy, melodrama, and the delicious dichotomy of the gorgeous and the grotesque. Most notorious for his nearly three-hour horror/comedy/porno/melodrama/cult classic Thundercrack! (1975), McDowell also created numerous hilarious, intimate, audacious, and unexpectedly profound short films over his tragically short career.
The Academy Film Archive has been home to Curt McDowell’s films since 2014, and since then has been actively working to restore his entire body of work. Along with a third accompanying showcase of restorations at the Academy Museum on December 9 at 10pm, these programs of restored McDowell films will offer an extensive introduction to an artist his dear friend and frequent collaborator George Kuchar once described as “cute, controversial, and not celibate. He was a barrel of laughs and a roller coaster ride to hell and back. Life for him was a fast track to fast times that included devilish detours into forbidden erogenous zones.”
All films restored by and courtesy of the Academy Film Archive, with thanks to Melinda McDowell. Programs and notes by Mark Toscano.