Sun 21 Jan 13:00 ICA
Dir. William E Jones, 1962/2007, US, 56 mins
18 recommendation – contains scenes of real sexual activity
In 2007, the video artist William E Jones presented Tearoom. Originally filmed in 1962 by the Ohio police, Tearoom is surveillance footage, a blunt tool of oppression that documented men cruising in a public restroom. This footage was eventually used as evidence to prosecute the men of sodomy and public deviancy.
In exhuming this footage 40 years later, Jones revealed hidden dimensions through recontexualisation, offering up an open democratic space where age, class and racial boundaries break down, whilst remaining a poignant reminder of the anxiety and persecution these men were forced to endure.
London Short Film Festival welcomes Dr Fiona Anderson of University of Newcastle & CRUSEV (Cruising the Seventies: Unearthing pre-HIV/AIDS Queer Sexual Cultures), to talk with filmmaker and Little Joe editor Sam Ashby (The Colour of His Hair), Tearoom video game developer Robert Yang and sculptural artist Prem Sahib for a post-screening discussion.
Prior to the screening we will also be showcasing Robert Yang’s game The Tearoom, a cruising simulation made in direct response to the film. On release, the game ran afoul of the censors and so in a bold piece of satirical provocation Yang replaced all the penises with guns. The game was then successfully passed uncut.
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