Swoon. 1992. Directed by Tom Kalin

Killer Films and its triumvirate of partners, Christine Vachon, Pamela Koffler, and Katie Roumel, have created some of the most singular and daring work of the past decade. The New York––based production company is one of the few left in the United States that is truly independent——never compromising, never shrinking from controversy. It is interesting to recall that the landmarks of so-called New Queer Cinema produced by Killer Films—Todd Haynes’s Poison (1991), Tom Kalin’s Swoon (1992), Steve McLean’s Postcards from America (1994), and Rose Troche’s Go Fish (1994)—were pilloried at the time of their release for purportedly endorsing negative or reductive gay images. Moreover, the sexual politics of Kimberly Peirce’s Boys Don’t Cry (1999) and Larry Clark’s Kids (1995) managed at once to unsettle traditional family values and “alternative lifestyles,” which was no less true of Todd Solondz’s Happiness (1998), Haynes’s Safe (1995) and Far from Heaven (2002), and John Waters’s A Dirty Shame (2004). Although the films in this tribute defy easy labels, they share a commitment to surprising, intimate, honest, and exquisitely crafted storytelling. On September 22, Mary Harron introduces the New York premiere of her new film, The Notorious Bettie Page (2005); Todd Haynes, Tom Kalin, John Cameron Mitchell, Cindy Sherman, and John Waters will also introduce their screenings.

Organized by Joshua Siegel, Assistant Curator, Department of Film and Media. Special thanks to Charles Pugliese.

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