An Individual Desires Solution
16mm, color, 16 min
A structural cinepoem concerning the mystery of death through the struggle for answers and survival of my boyfriend Kevin, who passed away on my birthday in Sussex, England. Before Kevin died, he asked me to redefine the acronym AIDS as An Individual Desires Solution -- hence the title. The titles of text in the first section are transcriptions from the frantic phone calls with Kevin as he describes his life with the disease. The sound in the second section is of Kevin's voice, recorded over long-distance telephone lines then, re-recorded on multiple tracks. This distortion transcends language by focusing on the sound of the struggling voice while also creating rhythmic and atmospheric counterpoint to the images. The second section consists of images of Kevin in his apartment and images taken from a train window. The images function metaphorically for the absolute terror and pain being experienced by both Kevin and myself. All I could do was to hold onto him and the camera; as he suffered far away from me, all I had were the images to edit through the helplessness. "The film is excruciatingly painful to watch because its form forces us to experience the discomfort of not knowing rational solutions to the irrationality of the disease. People who enjoy the sentimental AIDS death narratives of the Teleculture would not enjoy Brose's film. And I think that is exactly why they need to see it." -- Jerry Tartaglia, Out Week The film was originally shot in super-8.
16mm Rental: $50.00
DVD NTSC, color, 65 min
Keywords: literary, personal diary
De Profundis is a three part, hand/alternative-processed experimental film based on Oscar Wilde's prison letter De Profundis. Incorporating home movies from the 1920's and early gay male erotica along with images from Radical Faerie gatherings, queer pagan rituals, drag performances and images of confinement, this 65 minute film sets up a haunting investigation of queerness, masculinity, history and sexuality. These images are buttressed against a soundtrack composed of Wilde's aphorisms, a voice and piano setting of Wilde's prison letter, and multi-tracked interviews with a diverse group of contemporary gay men. "The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it." - Oscar Wilde If film no longer existed, De Profundis gives the impression that Lawrence Brose is certainly capable of reinventing it. Oddly enough, Brose would do so by stripping film down to visual components that are reassembled only as they are knitted to each other at their breaking points. Redacted. But one must resist the impulse to talk only of how Brose - with controlled image manipulation and extremely experimental hand-processing techniques - has produced in De Profundis a film united by stress and diaphanous. De Profundis is more than an unconventional approach to filmmaking, though it would be a visual tour-de-force if it were only that. Taking its cue from Oscar Wilde, De Profundis holds up a mirror to gay sexuality and plumbs the tensions reflected there. Meshing images culled from home movies, drag performances, Radical Faerie gatherings, and vintage gay erotica with a piano soundtrack scored from Wilde's prison letter and a voice composition fashioned from the poet's aphorisms, Brose makes film itself into the protagonist of his exploration. With images and sounds constantly decaying and shifting and contaminating each other, film becomes a metaphor of the transforming self that Wilde prized for corrupting a sense of sexual normalcy. De Profundis embraces Wildesque deviance and cautions that the desire for normalization prevalent among contemporary gays threatens to contain it. Serenity in sophistication is a triumph - like the deviance of De Profundis, which, achieved in an age too terrified to be deviant, lies in the film's unflinching honesty and terrifying beauty. - John Palattella Music by Frederic Rzewski with additional sound compositions by Douglas Cohen.
DVD NTSC Rental: $90.00
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