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The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Lionel Soukaz Day

lionelsoukaz

‘Born in 1953, Lionel Soukaz was a confederate of those active in France’s gay-liberation movements, such as Guy Hocquenghem, who founded FHAR (Front Homosexuel d’Action Révolutionnaire) in 1971 and whose writings served as the foundational texts for queer theory. Soukaz and Hocquenghem teamed up to make Race d’Ep (1979), an experimental documentary charting a century’s worth of the representation of gay desire. The film’s title is French street-slang for “homosexual”; the term was bellowed at the offscreen narrator (presumably Soukaz) as he was “looking for a notorious urinal,” an anecdote recounted in Race d’Ep’s prologue. “The shout was less an insult than about my belonging to another history,” the chronicler declares. “This film wants to visualize that lost history.”

Race d’Ep searingly does just that in four densely collaged chapters, beginning with the first decade of the twentieth century, “the period of the pose.” For Soukaz and Hocquenghem, the era’s signal figure is the German photographer Wilhelm von Gloeden, best known for his studies of Sicilian ephebes. In this segment, actual von Gloeden photos are interspersed among fanciful re-creations of the artist’s studio and his models, the beautiful young men indulging in some XXX alfresco fun when not standing motionless in front of a camera. The ludic historical re-enactments continue in the chapter centered on Magnus Hirschfeld, the valiant Weimar-era physician and sexologist, before the film shifts to more autobiographical reflections. Of the 1960s, our narrator says, “The modern world was made for orgasms….For a young fag, those years were close to paradise,” his Arcadia illustrated by scenes of deep-throating and group love and scored to a symphony of California pop.

‘The utopian promise of those years, however, is thoroughly interrogated in the concluding episode, “1980,” structured around an encounter between a hard-left gay separatist played by Hocquenghem and a closeted American portrayed by Piotr Stanislas (a porn star in France). As the two men stroll along the banks of the Seine and walk through the Tuileries Garden and other Paris cruising grounds, we hear various offscreen voices, some excoriating homo-bourgeois complacency and assimilation (a formal strategy also deployed in German auteur Rosa von Praunheim’s It Is Not the Homosexual Who Is Perverse but the Society in Which He Lives, his incendiary Brechtian soap opera from 1971).

‘Like Soukaz’s earlier Le Sexe des Anges (1976), a salute to same-sex teenage desire replete with sixty-nining couples and jizz-covered bellies, Race d’Ep outraged French authorities, who censored it — a decision protested by Roland Barthes and Marguerite Duras, among many other intellectual grandees. Soukaz’s own response to the ban was the dizzying, inflamed IXE (1980), a double-screen eruption of even more provocative sights and sounds. There’s plenty of man-on-man action here, but also scenes of extreme despair: Comely, vacant-eyed guys tie off, shoot up, and nod out, their self-destruction augmented by footage of mushroom clouds and other apocalyptic scenarios. As aurally dense as its predecessors, IXE intermittently features the sound of maniacal laughter, a diabolical guffawing that may be the film’s most despondent element.

‘And yet throughout this angry, anguished project, the word “vivre” — to live — appears, an apt infinitive for a film that, however death-obsessed, also teems with a seething vitality. A similar kind of fervor is wonderfully captured in the short doc La Marche Gaie (1980), a fifteen-minute chronicle of the first National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights in 1979. English subtitles for La Marche Gaie weren’t available by press time, and my French is so pitiful that I could make out only fragments of the narration. The images, though, are indelible: Among the footage of the throngs of demonstrators proudly hoisting banners, Soukaz shows a beaming Hocquenghem (who would die of AIDS complications in 1988) meeting Kate Millett, author of the landmark 1971 feminist text Sexual Politics. Watching these revolutionaries shake hands, I thought only of the alliances that must be forged in the grim days ahead.’  Melissa Anderson

 

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Stills

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Further

Lionel Soukaz @ IMDb
Lionel Soukaz works @ Dailymotion
Lionel Soukaz, le capteur amoureux.
Eros militant : le cinéma de Lionel Soukaz
Lionel Soukaz | Experimental Cinema Wiki
Lionel Soukaz page @ Facebook
Lionel Soukaz — Cinéma du Réel
Une lecture queer d’un film de Soukaz
Lionel Soukaz, une vitalité désespérée
Lionel Soukaz 100 polaroids
La personnification de tout ce qui m’attirait dans la vie: Luinel Soukaz on Pierre Clementi
«L’EXPÉRIMENTAL, C’EST UNE PRÉFÉRENCE, COMME LE SEXE»

 

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Extras


Autoportrait – Lionel Soukaz


Eros Militant: le cinema de Lionel Soukaz


Lionel Soukaz


Interview de Lionel Soukaz – 2002 – Zaléa TV

 

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Interview
from VICE (France)

guy_and_co-5

Vice: Where did you start? Cinema or homosexuality?
Lionel Soukaz: The Movie! Homosexuality was not mentioned at the time. I was born in 1953 and homosexuality was considered a social scourge. In the schoolyards, everyone said “fucked, fucked” but it was a terrible unspoken. We never talked about it, even the parents. In short, we are in 1953, the year when Stalin died and the cinema … The cinema I always liked, because my mother took pictures and she organized slideshows on Sundays. It was annoying, but it was good. And I really started attending the cinematheque around 1967. Then 1968 falls on me, I am 15 years old and it is the great upheaval. Before, I was like my father, rather a Gaullist, but with all these events, I wanted to meet other boys.

It was the right time?
Not really. 1968, it’s very macho. The women cook while the men play Che Guevara, and the fags are very badly seen. Hocquenghem says in an interview with the Nouvel Observateur in 1971 he was forced to deny three times as Saint Peter, because if you were homosexual, you were shit. I remember communist lovers I had at the time; They spoke of it as a “bourgeois deviance” which had no future.

I heard that, too. I have the impression that everything blended naturally for you, cinema and sexuality.
Yes, because cinema is very related to sexuality. We go there with her friends, we masturbate watching movies not necessarily sexy, but hey. With the appearance of the erotic cinema, we have its first experiences, we are dragged by old gentlemen … There was an embarrassment because I knew that I was homosexual, but I later learned that my Hetero mates fucked together. But as for me it was important and much harder to admit, I fucked much less than them and I spent my time refusing everything.

You knew there was a homosexual cinema?
Of course, but there were not many movies at the time. In the Hollywood cinema, the homosexual was always the alcoholic, the impotent or both at the same time. In Suddenly Last Summer for example.

Is it to show the truth that you have gone to the realization?
Not at the beginning anyway. In my very first films in Super 8, I was playing straight. In Ballad for a single man, I film my boyfriend at the time and I try to be stripped, but in fact it is a film about ecology. When I do Chausey Paris in 1973, this is the great era of 8mm film, it stings the camera’s uncle, it facilitates all, and no one can censure. It was a feature film and I was still playing the hetero who asks questions. In the script I tried to imply the homosexuality of the character but I quickly gave up because when the actors learned that I was homo, they mocked me by playing the tarlouze on the phone. It was very difficult to manage.

What allowed you to tell people, then?
It was with the Homosexual Front of Revolutionary Action in 1971 that we were able to reveal a little. Before, there was a group called Arcadie, where we could dance on a Sunday afternoon if we had a tie and we did not kiss. But the FHAR has exploded everything. Intellectuals such as Daniel Guérin, Françoise d’Eaubonne and Hocquenghem who wrote at the time in all! Had drawn up the manifesto. As a result, young people came from all over France to kiss and finally live their homosexuality. In fact the Fine Arts, it was a big orgy.

You were at the Beaux-Arts?
No, I was 18, I was forbidden to stay in this world, the majority was at 21 years. I hid in the toilet. There were RGs everywhere and always had to hide.

Was the toilet a good plan?
Yes. The French policemen could have put cameras in the toilet to watch us. At the time, it cracked everywhere. Thanks to the feminist movement, because they were the first to claim sexuality, in relation to abortion, contraception, and so on. Besides, the FHAR was mixed at the start. Then it broke up. Like everything else. The women reproached the guys for thinking about the ass. It is true that it was the brothel. It is a movement that disappeared as quickly as it appeared.

Hocquenghem you met him how? It is thanks to him that you start the Race of Ep?
The first few years was just an acquaintance. He was at the FHAR, I was madly in love with him, I was reading his books without understanding everything, but I understood that the problem was not homosexuality but homophobia. His speech was very much influenced by Deleuze, who was his teacher and friend. In 1969 there was the creation of the university of Vincennes and I went there, but rather to smoke joints. There was too much going on at Deleuze but I was able to meet him later, with Michel Cressole, Gilles Chatelet, François Chatelet, Foucault and all that band. I was a kid at the time. I was going because everybody was talking about it.

And your first films start from that?
Yes, I resumed extracts Co-ry, text Hocquenghem, Scherer, and Tony Duvert Matzneff. All those writers who talked about things we can no longer talk about now. It was also an opportunity to do stuff that I could show to Guy – you have to know that everyone was in love with him. He was sublime beautiful and he spoke well. I had several missed opportunities and it took me to wait 1976 a lover invite me to a producer in France Culture after airing Sex Angels to a festival in a house near Avignon. And what happens? Guy Hocquenghem.

Pretty cool.
We talked all night, I showed him the beginning of my film. I think that intrigued him. I told him I wanted to adapt bird of the night he had written with Bory – it later became the last part of Race Ep. And he decided to tell me the beginning of history, the invention of the word homosexual in 1860, and so on. With a little help from the CNC and all of Guy’s buddies, we could make the first three parts. It was a fabulous chance to meet them and an unfortunate losing them so fast.

The Race of Ep is the first film essay like that back on the history of homosexuality?
It is possible, yes. It is at the same time as Foucault has released The History of Sexuality, the first volume of his History of Sexuality.

You were involved in the FHAR?
I was too young. I saw that from a distance, I read, and it excited me as much as it scared me. I was at the May 1, 1971 demonstration and it was great to see Hélène Hazera, Genet as well. Not Jean Genet, eh, Philippe Genet! At last Jean Genet I had read, he was a little our great mentor. Hocquenghem had already met him, but not me. I had the opportunity but I was too intimidated. But I was reading Genet, Hocquenghem, Bory who was Goncourt Prize and one of the first to make his coming out on a TV set. It was unbelievable, especially at a time when there were only two channels. I saw him at that moment, I turned to one of my friends with whom I looked and said, “I’m also a fag. ” He left. I never saw him again. At the time to be a fagot, you had to give up all your friends, all your life before – and that’s what happened to me.

About TV, Jean-Edern Hallier had taken up the cause for homosexuality on a tray Antenna 2 on the occasion of the release of The Race of Ep.
Ah, ah, yes, it was funny. It was the first of a show by Lionel Chouchan that was after a film by James Dean. Very little pub, and the show begins with Les Charlots in the background, and we at the first: Jean-Edern, Hocquenghem and me. Jean-Edern then share in a poetic frenzy around homosexuality, Guy chains and I’m going against the censorship of Race Ep was hit. Chouchan was summoned the next day and there was no sequel, it was the one and only show. The Charlots were surprised but after the show, there was one who came to me and said, “Ah but you know I have nothing against it, quite the contrary …”

Ah ah. Besides Kenneth Anger and Jean Genet, who inspired you for your films?
Gérard Blain, the director who turned the Friends. A beautiful movie. Molinier, too, with his heels, troubled me very much. But there was nothing at the time to share Anger, who had Fireworks. Cocteau had shown it to everybody in France. But what I did not know, and I learned by Hocquenghem (this is also the subject of Race Ep) is that in the thirties there was a very important movement in Germany, like New York and Paris – the famous Magic City of the Roaring twenties. But the cinema, for me, was the films that had a white square on television, and the cinematheque where we paid 1 franc to see all the films. Then I took care of the cine-club in my high school where I was passing Dziga Vertov, Eisenstein. But there was nothing about homosexuality, though Eisenstein was gay, had to decipher Que Viva Mexico.

Hence the desire to make a festival?
Frédéric Mitterrand had already organized a festival in 1977 at the Olympic in Paris, but he spent only Hollywood movies and a Soviet film. Following this, in La Rochelle, were grouped with Jean-François Garsi Cinémarges and Super 8 films of Michel Nedjar. Bank of sperm, the film of Gazolines FHAR those of Isabel Mendelson … Suddenly the Films flocked from everywhere. And The Love Song of Jean Genet was always prohibited.

Compared to the legislation of the time, it was not an incredible bag of knots to program something like that?
Oh yes ! When we did La Rochelle, we wanted to call the festival “Ciné pédé, gouine and the others”, but the municipality of La Rochelle fell on us – and yet they were left. We were told, “Call it” Images of deviance “because you understand, your title will not pass …” It was part of Cinémarges and it was the start of everything. Finally it really is all! , The newspaper of 1971, which was the departure of everything, but then very quickly, groups of liberation homosexual have developed almost everywhere.

You were part of it, indirectly.
I went around the villages with my 8 mm films. Obviously, we were not always very well received. And short, The Song of Love was always prohibited. What is funny is that at the base it was banned following a complaint from prison guards who did not like to see themselves on the screen mistreating a prisoner. And as Genet had been freed from prison by Cocteau, he had to be held in check. We had a copy at the Collectif Jeune Cinéma and I passed it on the right, on the left. Going back to the first question, sexuality went through the cinema, the cinema through sexuality and all that was very related. It was together in festivals and La Pagode was violently repressed in the second edition, by the way.

The Pagoda? The cinema of rombières of the 7th arrondissement?
Yes. At the time it was a cinema that belonged to the Malle. This is where Salo Pasolini was out. As we were presenting homosexual candidates in the 1978 parliamentary elections, for us it had become a prop platform and the government did not appreciate it. The police invested the festival, there were RGs every day, they recorded the debates. Prohibition of the festival, seizure of films … but I had stashed most so they took only those of Cocteau, who had visas. But more serious, it is the attack of about thirty masked fascists, Jeune Nation. They pummeled people … There were very serious injuries, including filmmaker Guy Gilles.

A little Stonewall in Paris.
In Stonewall, the transvestites succeeded in repelling the cops, but the opposite happened. We were beaten in the dark by the extreme right while the cops were in the projection booth. This resulted in a demonstration on rue Sainte-Anne where a police van was overturned and then repaid. After this story, people were afraid and the festival flipped while the first week there were very long lines – if I may say so – in the street of the ministries. It was packed.

The arrival of the left in power has relaxed the ranks, right?
Let us say that it made it possible not to be considered a scourge any more, but it also brought new laws, the double penalty for people who had dealings with teenagers and this ambiguity about the sexual majority. New censors too. It was above all a disappointed hope with the affair of the Rainbow Warrior, the Coral affair, the eradication of the extreme left by the PS. Everyone had waited so long for this moment that once the Left was in power, there was no longer any resistance.

As long as we talk about it, I wanted to know if the FHAR was close to the situationist movements and annexes.
Yes, in the use of slogans and all that. But situationism was there before, and lettrism and surrealism. The FHAR was centered on the homosexual revolt, it was neither a school nor an artistic movement, although it produced a lot, and it gathered anarchists like Daniel Guerin. And Situationism was very straightforward. At the time the fagot was really the least that nothing, it was the friend of the gypsies, the Arabs, outlaws. The FHAR allowed us to claim to be fagots, dykes, transsexuals, mad, perverse, as the blacks were called “negroes” with the Black Panthers. Turn insult into pride, return the weapon of exclusion to claim it. But total transparency has its perverse sides.

That is to say ?
There is a very beautiful sentence by Pasolini who says: “Sex shops are not a proof of liberalization but of the state’s control over the sexuality of people. I remember in Actuel, Hocquenghem and Cressole had issued a questionnaire to know the sexuality of this or that personality. They were attacking Deleuze and Deleuze had raised himself by pointing out that it was a fascism to force people to be transparent about their sexuality. Guy (Hocquenghem) came back a lot later on about the double life he led, the importance of having different friends, and especially not having a monolithic existence. Out of oneself.

The excitement around the gay and lesbian festivals rejoices you?
It is very well yes, and I support them all but the side “ghetto” bores me a little. At the Strange Festival, I like to see a varied audience. Sexual films are political, political films are sexual, we can not differentiate them as we can not differentiate thought from the body. Above all, I think that every sexuality is an eternal possibility of change.

Today, it seems that the work of the FHAR and the GLH has borne fruit. Is there still need to fight?
Right now, I’m very close to collectives like Existrans. What is happening today with transsexuals is a bit like what was going on with us at the time. We were witnessing the relationship with the Arabs, of homosexuality, of another way of living. When we see the female to male and male to female today, they have other claims, other reasons to revolt. We are far from Herculine Barbin, who saw no other solution than suicide.

 

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19 of Lionel Soukaz’s 58 films

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Paris Chausey (1975)


the entire film

 

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w/ Guy Hocquenghem Race d’Ep (1979)
Race d’Ep – Paris street slang for homosexual, is a four-part French film that argues that ”gay liberation was not born in the 60’s” but, instead, had its roots in the mid-19th century. The film, which opens today at the Agee Room in the Bleecker Street Cinema, is modestly scaled but not amateurish, acted by what appear to be nonprofessionals who never overreach themselves. It seems to have been shot silent, with soundtrack narration added later.

‘It is the point of Lionel Soukaz and Guy Hocquenghem, who conceived and made the film, that the more or less concurrent development of photography and the birth of an unashamed homosexual consciousness in the 19th century were not a coincidence. Photography, says the narrator, ”created a new definition of ‘mankind’ ” and gave the homosexual the means by which he could express his ”forbidden” desires.

‘The film begins with ”The Pose Period,” a consideration of the life and work of Baron von Gloeden who, we are told, gained a reputation in the second half of the 19th century by his photographs of nude Sicilian boys. The film rather amusingly recreates the baron’s fussily fancy visions of naked goatherds and streetboys idealized in classical poses. Intercut into the film’s new footage are what I take to be some examples of the baron’s actual work.’ — nytimes





the entire film

 

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La marche gaie (1980)
‘The gay march on Washington in October 1979 with Guy Hocquenghem, Kate Millet, Allen Ginsberg and thousands of lesbians and gays.’ — Telerama


the entire film

 

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Ixe (1980)
Ixe (written X and pronounced EEKS – as it is pronounced in French –, like a scream, a wound) is an imploded, crucified film. Made to be projected on four screens at once, X is drawn and quartered. At the four points of the compass, at the four ends of the cross, War, Sex, Religion and Drugs, the double exposures, the colliding glimpses the eye barely recognizes, the skillful repetitions of themes, remind us that Sex is also the war of bodies, and the pope, the Drug of the people. And the story of this young man, shooting up in order to experience all the horror of the world in front of his TV set, reminds us that the heroin orgy is indeed the subjective locus of the monsters of the modern unconscious.’ — Guy Hocquenghem

Ixe is a film dedicated to the law of the same name. Ixe may make you tremble or shudder, these images of escape, crisis, or decadence, of transvestites, bodies in erection, of fits and starts, of repression, war, political violence, shooting up heroin, bodies lost in space, of boxing matches, jungle life, survival, tennis, political or religious personalities that make you vomit in shame and anguish; Ixe may be all that – an analysis, working on oneself (a mirror), a snapshot of the ’80s, anything you like, it doesn’t matter – but let Ixe be the shiver of life, that thing that gives you goosepimples.’ — Lionel Soukaz


the entire film

 

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Maman que man (1982)
‘A mother who was afraid that he would make movies, a sick mother. The film that we are going to see is the narrative, which is strongly autobiographical, of the end of an adolescence in the Paris of the early 1980s. The young main character (who will be called L. That he is not named in the film) lives a difficult daily between a mother with cancer and an alcoholic father. In the family apartment, you suffocate. L. watches at the bedside of his mother, growing weaker. The father is in a room next door, drinks, refuses to see the announcement of an imminent death. This father next to the plate, fleeing his responsibilities out of desperation is the subject of a voice-over comment. The director apologizes to his mother by showing the drinking dressing gown: “That you do not forgive me. Dad was not that. OK mom, but, you know, this is cinema. ” He also mentioned a doctor who said that the patient had an ulcer. The first minutes are rough, sad, it smells like catharsis. The simple opening credits suggests an ultra sensitive film and personal, also dark. The bond with the mother is very beautiful, very strong, and offers to this medium-length intense some very striking scenes. A true cry of love to a missing mother. One could say that the film works in two stages, with on one side life at the bedside of the dying and on the other the thirst for life of L., who wants to live and love. Unfortunately, both end in misfortune and suffering. What gives rise to a lively work, which upsets and terrace, which revives the most intimate wounds, which recalls difficult things like the loss of a loved one or his innocence.’ — Pop + Films






the entire film

 

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La manif contre le Sénat et ses militants (1991)
‘A rare and secret author, Lionel Soukaz will certainly remain on the side of this art which does not need consensus and rather offends himself. Not that he is seeking difficulty or hermeticism, but because he refuses any censorship and above all. Self-censorship which already, already before the realization, is a hindrance to the momentum, the flight.’ — René Schérer


Excerpt

 

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La cuisine de Cunéo (1991)


Excerpt

 

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Balade dans le Treizième (1996)


Excerpt

 

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Vivre halluciné (2000)
‘An extraordinary abstract meditation.’ — René Scherer


the entire film

 

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Vers l’Inde (2000)


the entire film

 

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L’année des treize lunes (2000)


the entire film

 

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Amor (2000)
Amor is built from unreleased footage of Ixe, found after 20 years and offers a kaleidoscopic vision of the past, almost subsided vision that leaves much room for tenderness, gambling, Unfettered pleasure.’ — 360degrees


Excerpt

 

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Ex-voto (2000)
‘An ex- voto is a votive offering to a saint or to a divinity.’


the entire film

 

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L’année du serpent (2001)



the entire film

 

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La vérité danse (2002)
‘Today we are witnessing the emergence of a new explicit protest film, which prolongs the great French tradition of visual pamphlet opened by Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and Jean Vigo. Soukaz represents a perfect example of an artistic reflex, simple, radical, critical, human, facing the immediacy of an oppressive history.’ — Nicole Brenez


the entire film

 

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w/ Tom de Pekin Fist Power (2002)
‘Lionel Soukaz followed Tom de Pekin in Paris, filming on a cheerful rhythm a succession of rapid portraits of the entourage of the graphic designer.’ — nova


Excerpt

 

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Non à la guerre (2004)
‘les annees 2000 la guerre en Irak et les consequences actuelles ;;;;; la reponse du peuple francais a l epoque contre la guerre et sa suite de malheurs de morts innocents de tragedies ;;;;pensons y ;;;;;;’ — ls


the entire film

 

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Le Problème de Chirac (2004)


the entire film

 

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Notre trou du cul est révolutionnaire (2006)
‘”Gettare il proprio corpo nella lotta”, Throw his body into the fight; This formula borrowed by Pasolini in the song of resistance of the black Americans, took yesterday all its meaning. “For the body must be understood, either of the individual of flesh, or as a component of the expression.” I quote René Schérer here. And my body became a spirit crossed with chills and love for those who resist.’ — Lionel Soukaz



the entire film

 

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L’état tire dans le tas (2009)
‘Participation of Lionel Soukaz in the collective film Outrage and Rebellion constituted following the violence and the police repression during the expulsion of the squatt The clinic in Montreuil, in 2009.’ — Eros activist


the entire film

 

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p.s. Hey. ** Julian, Hi, Julian! I’m good, thanks. Yeah, college will do that. Have you found anything of surprising interest in what you’ve been assigned? Cool that you like Youth Code! I’m kind of dying to see them and hoping that they somehow tour way over here. I’ll check out Wreck and Reference. I don’t know them. Yeah, the Arca mix was great. Cool, thanks a lot, and I hope your weekend paid off. ** Liquoredgoat, Hey, D. Yeah, see the Weerasethakul for sure. And, of course, ‘Knight of Cups’. I finally got back to you re: your mail this weekend. Thanks a lot, man! ** Oscar B., Bene! Thank you for briefly exiting bliss land. Well, of course it was on my list. I mean duh! Really excited for you to get back here to buche-out and to meet the new one! ** Dóra Grőber, Hi! Zac gets back today, so I’ll find out if things look good re: the possible boy actor. When you go to Amsterdam, pop down to Paris if you can. It’s not too, too far. The dance rehearsal went well. There’s a ton of work to do, but the dancers are all excellent to a one, and the piece doesn’t have to be finished for almost a year. I’m going back to rehearsals tomorrow. What are your mother’s ceramics like? That’s really interesting. I hope people snapped them up. And I hope the rest of your weekend and your Monday were sweet. Were they? ** David Ehrenstein, Hi. Ah, you have ‘KE Visited’! That really needs to be made available on iTunes and those sorts of places. Do alert us to your Keyframe review. ** Steevee, Hi. Oh, yeah, back when I was doing journalism a fair amount, I got to vote in some ‘best of’ film lists for, like, The LA Weekly and Artforum and Spin and like, and I remember that rule that a film had to play for a week in NYC to qualify. ** Marilyn Roxie, Hi, Marilyn! Excellent music list, gracias! I need/want to hear that VAPERROR, for instance. ** B.R.Y., Hi, man! Totally agree with you about The Body, and, no, I haven’t heard their collab. with Full of Hell. I’ll get that straight away. Yeah, the Jenny Hval was really good. That’s one I just spaced on when I was compiling my picks. I’m good, and I hope you’re good too, at the very least. ** Tosh Berman, Hi, Tosh. How was Lynne’s reading? Yeah, the Toop book is wonderful. He’s always so wise. Excited to read your list! Everyone, Go see what the eminent Tosh Berman picked as his fave sounds of 2016 by clicking this ** Damien Ark, Hi to you, man. Yep, fellow big up on Toop. Aw, thanks about ‘Cattle’. I’m chuffed. I don’t know those three 2015 records you mention. Scribble. I’ll go catch up. ** Bill, Bill-ster. Your lists are always treasure maps for me, thank you, thank you! Copy and pasted. The things on your lists I do already know find me very in agreement. Thanks, buddy. ** X, Hi. Thank you for the link to your playlist. I’m not on Spotify sadly, so I can’t get in, but this seems like the moment to join. I’ll look into that. ** Grant Maierhofer, Howdy! Love back to both you and yours. You mention a batch of stuff I don’t know, which is my cue to get knowledged-up quick. Thanks about ‘The Marbled Swarm’. Yes, obviously, as you said about Diarmiud’s piece and his writings across the board. Best of the best, sir! ** TomK, Thanks, Tom. Maggie Nelson, yes, yes. Do I know that John Keene? Hm, I’ll find out. All’s good here and hoping for at least the same there. ** Sypha, You’re a true fan when some band’s imminent release stops the list-making clock. Naturally I don’t know 95% of the books you read this year. I always like the titles of the books you read if that matters. ** Mark Gluth, Always a serene and severe pleasure to have you here, Mark! Oh, that’s so, so nice to hear about ‘LCTG’. Thank you! I’ll tell Zac. He’s a big fan of your writing, and he’ll be thrilled to hear that. Super exciting projects in your world. I for years wanted to write some kind of Hardy Boys-like thing, but I could never make it work. I can’t wait to see you ace that. Lovely lists. I’ve noted what I don’t know, and I’ll use the links to the sites once I finish this off. Have a lovely, lovely day! ** Alistair, Hi! Cool that you’re getting into Rhys Chatham. A lot of great things of his to get into. He lives in Paris like me, but I’ve never met him. Of course I think that your book not fitting into any existing current broad category means that waiting for it is like waiting for the sunrise. Love, me. ** Julio, Thank you very, very much, Julio! How are you? What’s going on? ** Matthew Simmons, Hey! Man, such a great book. My fave of yours so far, I’m pretty sure, which, is, you know, saying a lot. Take good care, maestro! ** MANCY, Hey, S! Thank you so much about ‘ZFE’. That means a lot. And for your lists, so much of whose contents I agree with you about. And I’m so sorry about your dad. Hugs and love. ** New Juche, Hi, Joe! The Walzer is really nice. Very interesting to read his short ‘non-fiction’ pieces. Very, very interesting. Awesome list. I want to read that Hans Henny Jahn. For example. Me too about the apartment. The weight (and wait) are no fun. ** Thomas, Hey! Really good to see you back here, man! Thank you for your list. Are you doing well? ** Thomas Moronic, T! I figured your work was probably especially work-filled right now. So good to see you! I’m good, buddy, the usual, all good. Do give an alert when your mega-review is reviewable. In the meantime, your list is rich. I’m going to note down everything I don’t know as soon as I’m not flying through the p.s. Big love! How are your holidays looking? ** Kyler, Ho ho ho, Kyler. I don’t know that Sondheim doc. Curious. How’s everything hanging? ** _Black_Acrylic, For a man wth a fractured spine, you definitely made the very best of it. Thank so very much about ‘LCTG’. That’s very heart-warming, thank you! ** Toniok, Hi, man! Thanks for thanking me although the lists are only me thanking culture. Or something, ha ha. You discovered ‘GP’ this year? Is that sublime record or what? ‘1000 Dollar Wedding!’ Really good to see you, pal. ** Jamie, Have I tried Jamieaica yet? If not, my trying it will explain why I haven’t, ha ha. Back to Newcastle, eh? Yeah, the TV people know they have us and everyone who wants them to produce/show their projects over a fucking barrel, so … yeah. Just hoping the ‘this week’ thing is real. I’ll find out from Zac today if the light looks green or at least greenish re: the young actor. Today? Work catch up, basically. Tomorrow I have to spend the day at the rehearsals for Gisele’s new dance piece, so I need to try to progress on own stuff while I’m on my rehearsals recess. Work your Bjorn/Bennyness, man! ** Love back, me. ** MyNeighbourJohnTurturro, Hey there, Mr. Turturro. What a year indeed, jeez. What an excellent music list you havr there. Various and sundry things I don’t know or haven’t yet heard. Noted to a one. And, aw, thanks for listing/liking ‘LCTG’! I hope your Xmas build up is being very onramp-like. ** Chris dankland, Happy Holidays, Chris! Well, yes, of course about the inclusion of yours. I mean, for sure. Yours is a fine list. I’m on board with much of it. Gonna track down these: Hera Lindsay Bird, Barnet, Islam, ‘Pony Castle’. Yes, see ‘Wanda’. It’s very, very interesting film. The ‘Barbara Loden’ book was published in France by my publisher here, Editions POL. I actually asked Paul, the publisher, about how that book was received here. He said it was well liked by critics but only did okay saleswise. So, I guess that’s the answer? Thanks, man! ** Jeff J, Hi, Jeff. Yeah, the McCormack book technically was 2015. I had to check that myself. The Steve McQueen was a gallery installation film. Double-sided. Very, very good if you get the opportunity. I saw the ‘theater release’ version of ‘Voyage of Time’ at the Sitges Film Festival when Zac and I were there showing ‘LCTG’. People I’ve read/talked to who’ve seen both it and the shorter IMAX version generally prefer the latter. I’d had it in my head for some reason that it was going to be a major culmination of Malick’s work. It’s not, it’s him trying his genius hand at a nature documentary. I mean, it’s amazing. My only real problem with it is that, for the first time ever, I didn’t like the internal monologue/narration. Partly I thought it wasn’t doing what it was supposed to do, and partly I thought that Cate Blanchett, who performs it, did a terrible job. Apparently in the IMAX version Brad Pitt does the voice. I’m curious to hear what he does. It’s extremely beautiful, strange, mesmerizing. The best parts are the cgi/dinosaur stuff, which are just sublime, and I wish there was a lot more of that. Definitely see it when you have the chance. It’s very singular and very him. It would be hard to pick a favorite recent Ashbery. He’s relentlessly great. That’s too hard. If you want to try one, just pick up any of them: ‘Breezeway, ‘Quick Question’, ‘Commotion … ‘. I’m always going to say if there’s a choice between old work and new work, buy the new work. The Carl Stone is very good and useful, especially if you don’t know his work at all. The Puce Mary is one of my very favorites of last year. I love the Youth Code, but it’s so utterly different than the others that I can’t really compare them. It’s rock. ** B, Hi, Bear. Thanks for saying that. I envy you on the Vito Acconci show. Oh, man, all the fingers you need are crossed that it goes really well tonight. Let me know. And thanks for sending the poster. I haven’t checked my mail yet this morning, but I’ll do that shortly. ** Right. Today I’m focusing the blog on the not so well known, I don’t think, outside of France experimental queer film director Lionel Soukaz. I hope you enjoy the background and the show. See you tomorrow.

15 Comments

  1. So happy to s this Lionel Soukaz Dy. He’s a very important figure but next to unknown now as you would have had to have been around at tat time and far too many of the people who were are dead.

    BTW, I appear briefly at the end of Rosa’s “It is Not the Homosexual Who is Perverse” in a scene shot at the GAA Firehouse.

  2. Hi!

    First of all, thank you so much for today’s post and especially for including not only excerpts but entire films! I’ve never heard of Lionel Soukaz before and now that I just finished ‘Ixe’, I’m fascinated. Very exciting. I’ll definitely explore his works!

    How did it go with the young actor? Is there a possibility?
    That’s quite an excellent idea! I’d love to do that! If I can, I’ll write to you, definitely!
    That’s nice about the rehearsal and the quality dancers! I’m glad!
    Here’s my mother’s site where you can look her works up when you have the time and feel like it! She’s mostly into ‘gastro ceramics’ now.
    http://www.lantosjudit.hu/fotogaleria
    The Christmas fair was a bit shitty because there weren’t too many visitors and it was really cold – even though we were indoors – but I was with a close friend so we passed the time and all in all it wasn’t a total catastrophe. We got home quite late so I’m just resting today – reading and writing and now getting to know Lionel Soukaz’s work.
    How was your day?

  3. My film top 10 lists are limited by the “week-long run in New York” requirement, but Gay City News allows me to supplement that with a list of the year’s best undistributed films, so I was able to get LIKE CATTLE TOWARDS GLOW in there. One of my favorite undistributed films of 2016, the Chinese documentary BEHEMOTH, just got picked up for a run at the Metrograph in late January, so I had to take it off that list; presumably, it’ll make my 2017 top 10 list.

  4. Solar Luxuriance have the Jahn as a free download now. I have to say though, he did a great job on the hard copy, very nice paper and layout. It’s only a short excerpt really, like zine-length, but hypnotising like he always is and definitely worth it, considering how much there is of his untranslated. I had no idea myself until I got back here to my institution’s library this time round. They have everything by him in the original, and it’s a lot more than I expected in terms of volume – nearly a whole shelf. Of German words.

    I’ll definitely get the Walser, as a Christmas present to myself. Thanks again for the list!

    MANCY – From yesterday, thanks!

  5. MyNeighbourJohnTurturro

    December 19, 2016 at 10:15 pm

    Hey there, Mr Cooper. I have never heard of Lional Soukaz before but I am going to acquaint myself, post-haste. Yeah, 2016 will go down in history/infamy. Wow. Hope all goes well in the French presidential election in 2017. How likely is a Le Pen presidency? As likely as Brexit and Trump?
    And thanks about the list, it was another vintage year for music and the arts in general, like every other year before it. I listened to the Thomas Brinkmann album today, it was very impressive. It made me think of Pivixki, you heard them? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQIi6gPiFiE And I really, really loved LCTG. I think it would be great to see it in Scotland, perhaps the The Centre for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow would screen it?

  6. Haha, yes, I’ve discovered his music (Gram Parsons) this year. When I was a teenager music was too expensive and I only bought 4 or 5 albums a year. Besides those albums were released before I was born and when I was a rebel young punk rocker I didn’t listen to anything from the past haha.
    Thank you for today’s post, I didn’t know this artist at all.
    Greetings!

  7. Dennis, Oh that’s so nice to hear about Zac, give him a high five or something for me! My Hardy’s boy thing is complicated. I really had this idea to cover this Hardy Boys book I found, using the chapter titles as the map, but that’s evolved as I do the writing, with 2 characters staying mostly static, and the mystery discovering/solving them. I’m not sure if it will work, I currently have a million problems with it, mainly trying to get some sense of coherence in play when evoking the mystery, when I’ve also decided the mystery is best shown as a kind of lack of coherence. Plus I’m also letting the music of Morton Feldman be an inspiration, I’m trying to understand what I love about his stuff and apply it to language and/ structure. Having said all that my appetite got totally whetted with you bringing up doing a Hardy Boys type thing. Did you give it a serious go or was it more something that just simmered in the background? Yeah, hope you have a lovey day(s) too.

  8. Hey Dennis,

    How are you?

    Sorry for disappearing all of a sudden. Things got pretty intense with school, meetings and whatnot. My stationary computer also decided it’s time to face the other side, but luckily I do back up so I shouldn’t complain too much…

    Today I met Eli! <3

    We had a totally cosy day and went to a meeting together. I decided to go to Stockholm much earlier this year than I normally do pre-xmas. To meet friends/family and hang out with the twins of course. Which btw are super cute and tiny – both of them loved sleeping on my stomach. Both of them are really in their own world still tho, since they're only a month.

    The last escort post was genius btw, I think it's one of my all-time favs. But of course it's a bit hard to remember the older ones. Still, pretty sure. It just kept delivering all way through… Madness!

    Great post btw, I have to send it to Louka and see if he's familiar with Soukaz.

    <3,
    Joakim

  9. MyNeighbourJohnTurturro makes a great point, the Glasgow CCA could be an ideal venue for Like Cattle Towards Glow. It’s kind of a one stop shop for all your art, nightclub and cinema needs, so is well worth a look.

    Tomorrow’s my last shift at work before my dad arrives in Dundee. We drive down to Leeds on Wednesday for a Xmas that I’m really looking forward to.

  10. Hey Big D, “hanging” is definitely the appropriate word. Lots of calls for readings since Wash Sq Park has taken its winter vacation, but agents – they leave me hanging! Got a new request from a great junior agent at a big agency (and she’s already seen the first chapter, so that’s a plus) – but 3 have had it over a year with no response yet! One of them was at the Publishing Triangle party, and we were all polite and smiles, such phony bullshit, I’ll tell you. I believe in this book and will continue fighting for it, but it’s short, and some of them say they can’t sell something that’s novella length. I think I still have the offer from my publisher…we’ll see what happens in 2017 if the world is still around then. Trump was officially elected today by the Electoral College. Very bummed.

  11. Ahoy Dennis! Am afraid am out of amusing ways to play with your name today. I like Jamieaica a lot tho.
    Thanks for today’s post. I will try to watch some of these films over the next few days.
    How was your day of rehearsals? I’ve had a funny day, feeling like I’m being paid for not doing much. We move into an office in January tho & think things will busy up nicely then. More & more I’m realizing that our animation is basically dictated by budget. Or budget & educational content, to make it sound even less fun. But, I figure these constraints are hopefully going to make it more interesting for us to attempt to make it fun. I’d imagine that your movie endeavours must be quite budget affected too?
    Fingers crossed both about your movie star & those pesky tv people. May all these things go your way.
    Tonight we went to see the new Star Wars, which was pretty good except for being in 3D. I kept thinking that it was a really visually dark movie until I raised my glasses amd realised that they were heavily tinted and the colours in the movie were pretty nice. I teared up twice.
    And that’s me. You got Tuesday plans? How’s the weather in Paris? My Abba-esque winter jacket is proving too warm for this non-winter we’re having.
    Hope everything is good as possible with you & then a little better.
    Lots of love to you,
    Jamie

    P.s. I’d third the CCA as a good venue for a possible LCTG showing.

  12. Dennis, I’m back! Got back yesterday, then the Cowboys game was on until 11:30 p.m., so I figured one more day without the interwebs wouldn’t kill me.

    We had a pretty good time. Did all the things we wanted to do. Walked 8 miles Friday and 5 miles Saturday. The latter almost killed my mom, so she spent Saturday back at the hotel sleeping her ass off.

    Which is what I learned on this trip: my mother is a very old woman. I never realized it before. She’s 74, looks much younger, but is physically older. She just can’t do it anymore, you know? It’s kind of sad.

    And really, it’s all my fault. I guess I felt pressured to get everyone everywhere quickly and totally fucked up the trains that first night and we ended up walking all over the fucking place because we couldn’t find an empty cab anywhere.

    This is kind of funny. So we’re walking down 5th Avenue (with no intention earlier of wanting to go up that way) and the street’s blocked off. A cop steps in front of this little makeshift tent/tunnel thing. “Where you going?” “Just up to 74th street.” “You gotta cross the avenue and go up on the other side.” “Okay, cool. Thanks.” As we’re walking across the avenue, I look back: Trump Tower. Fucking duh.

    I did think to myself that it would be funny to look up and see a silhouette of Trump fucking Melania in one of the windows. Which leads to this question: does he wear a suit when he has sex? I’ve never seen the man in anything but a suit. Does he wear one 24/7? Like, could you imagine him in jeans and a T-shirt? I’ll have to Google that shit.

    But yeah, otherwise, a good time. It snowed Friday night but warmed up a bit on Saturday and didn’t rain, so me and the kids had fun. They got their Christmas presents and all, and we headed back home Sunday.

    You know the best thing about this place here is learning something new all the time, right? 😀

  13. RE: college, not really a whole lot that’s been that surprising, lot of the Bell Jar, Death of A Salesman, etc. only just started recently so i have to get the basics out of the way, plus i’m at a community college for now so there’s not much in the way of more challenging and/or specialized classes, i guess.

  14. Wow, Soukaz looks great. I’m embarrassed not to have come across his work before. (Umm, he’s got good taste too…) Will definitely be checking out the films. Looks like not much is available on DVD?

    Scrambling to wrap up before I go out of town… still need to organize reading for the long flight, argh. Snagged a copy of the new Gary Indiana; was hoping for more new material, but good to see the old favorites too.

    Bill

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