Jackie Curtis and Dennis Dyke in *Doris and Inez Speak the Truth*.  1984. USA. Directed by Jimmy Murray

Like his photographs from the Downtown scene in New York, the films of one-time Mudd Club doorman George Haas explore the disorienting pleasures, obsessions, and conflicts of sexual difference. The American Shooting Series, inspired by the avant-garde sexual politics of filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder, riffs on the culture of gun violence and homophobia in the US. Screened in installments over four weeks at Club 57 in January 1980, the Haas shorts are playfully staged, ironically chic, mildly erotic two-character set pieces, shot against the abstract backdrops of a photographic studio with accumulating impact. His queer performance melodrama Doris and Inez Speak the Truth, adapted from a Squat Theatre production, centers on two weary transgender characters struggling to find a version of heterosexual normality. The film features the final role for Warhol superstar Jackie Curtis and one of the first for rising off-Broadway actor-director Tom Noonan. In Romance, an airline steward caught up in the extremes of a gay lifestyle he can no longer control falls in love, as best he can, with a lonely, overweight woman. Haas’s most ambitious production, it was conceived with downtown poet Peter Smith and boasts a sizable cameo appearance by writer Edmund White, co-author of The Joy of Gay Sex.

Program 71 min.

American Shooting Series. 1979. USA. Directed by George Haas. With Haoui Montaug, Sean Cassette, Roz Zanego. Digital video from 16mm. 7 min.

Preserved by The Museum of Modern Art.

Doris and Inez Speak the Truth. 1984. USA. Directed by Jimmy Murray. Screenplay by George Haas. With Jackie Curtis, Dennis Dyke, Michael Santoro, Tom Noonan. Digital video from 16mm. 20 min.

Preserved by The Museum of Modern Art.

Romance. 1980–85. USA. Directed by George Haas. Screenplay by Haas, James McCourt, based on a story by Peter Nolan Smith. With Lars Kampmann, Ruby Rochetto, Alexa Hunter, Alvin Cameron, Michael David Lally. Digital video from 16mm. 44 min.

Preserved by The Museum of Modern Art.

  1. Monday, March 12,
    4:30 p.m.

    The Museum of Modern Art, Floor T1, Theater 1
  2. Friday, March 9,
    7:00 p.m.

    Introduced by Haas
    The Museum of Modern Art, Floor T2, Theater 2