Sunday, 24 June 2012

girl gang season at the star and shadow cinema, newcastle

Girl gang season at the Star and Shadow cinema, Newcastle, September 2012


Ladies & Gentlemen The Fabulous Stains & Desperate Lovedolls (double bill)

Girl Gang Season

7:30 p.m. Sunday September 2 2012

Director:Lou Adler / David Markey

This double bill marks the launch of the girl gang season! Look out for gangs of girls making their mark on the city during September. The evening will be introduced by Dr. Julia Downes (Durham University/ even clean hands cause damage) who programmed the season and will share her obsession with the mythological curosity of the girl gang.

Ladies & Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains (1981) was made for the major studio Paramount. However the executives refused to release it which left the Stains as a footnote in film history and ended Lou Adler’s movie career (he never directed again). However the film began to make obscure appearances on cable television and became an inspiration for various girls and women who created riot grrrl in the 1990s, including Tobi Vail who decribed the film as 'the most realistic and profound film I have ever seen’. The film which features an all-girl band The Stains struggle for fame and success has since become a recuperated by generations of radical girls and women.

In contrast Desperate Teenage Lovedolls (1984) is a low budget underground film shot on super-8 film by David Markey. The film is about an all-girl rock band of teenage runaways and their misadventures.


An Evening With Gb Jones (triple bill: the yo-yo gang, the troublemakers & the lollipop generation)

7:30 p.m. Thursday September 6 2012

Director: gb jones

gb jones is a well-known Canadian queer underground film maker and artist. She is a figure of the queercore movement as a fanzine writer, film maker and member of all-girl band Fifth Column. She has had retrospectives of her work at Tanz Gallery in Los Angeles. This evening will feature three of gb jones’ DIY films shot on super-8 film that focus on queer community and the girl gang.

The Yo-Yo Gang is an ‘exploitation film’ about girl gangs that documents the actions of two rival girl gangs the Yo Yo Gang and the Skateboard Bitches. The film features many prominent queer musicians including Leslie Mah (Tribe 8), Donna Dresch (Team Dresch) and members of Fifth Column. The tag line for the film reads: "Gang girls frequently out-curse, out-fight and out-sex every boys' gang around"

The Lollipop Generation tells the story of 'Georgie', a runaway teenager played by Jena von Brücker, and the people she meets. At the same time, the film serves a diaristic function, documenting the people the director has met and the cities she travelled to, capturing an entire generation of underground performers including Vaginal Davis, Calvin Johnson and Jen Smith. The film took 13 years to make, whenever gb could afford a cartridge of film, the band Kids on TV organised a benefit so that gb could finish the film.

gb has agreed to do a q&a by telephone after the films.

(N.B from Melanie: I ♥ gb and interviewed her for Colouring Outside The Lines and Art XX magazine (before it became Aorta magazine),​aorta_magazine/docs/artxx2 See pg 24 onwards for the gb interview, which talks, in part, about The Lollipop Generation, which will be shown as part of this Girl Gang season that Julia has curated for the Star & Shadow)


Times Square (introduced by Dr. Katherine Farrimond)

7:30 p.m. Sunday September 9 2012

Director: Allan Moyle

Times Square is a film about two teenage runaways Nicky Marotta and Pamela Pearl who form an underground punk rock band The Sleez Sisters who gain a cult following after broadcasting their volatile songs and speeches on LaGuardia radio station. The climax of the film features a rooftop concert in Times Square. The story was based on a diary that director Allan Moyle bought that had been found in a sofa which detailed the life of a girl on the streets. The film is controversial in that the studio cut out much of the lesbian content giving it a disjointed feel that Moyle admitted undermined the integrity of the film. Nonetheless the film has been an inspiration for those involved in riot grrrl (Kathleen Hanna, Bikini Kill) and staple of lesbian and gay film festivals.

This film will be introduced by Dr. Katherine Farrimond who knows her stuff about lesbian representation in film and culture.


From The Back Of The Room (with Q&A with Amy Oden)

7:30 p.m. Thursday September 13 2012

Director: Amy Oden

Many people have the impression that the Riot Grrrl movement in the mid-90s was the end-all, be-all of female involvement in DIY punk. This is definitely not the case! Plenty of amazing ladies prior to this era paved the way for it, and plenty of amazing ladies continue to help keep DIY together today. This documentary (released in 2011) chronicles the past 30 years of female involvement in DIY punk, and has interviews with over 30 women from across the country, ages 17 to 40. Race, gender, sexuality, motherhood, class, and activism are all addressed in this film, giving a more complete picture of how these women participate in the DIY community, and how it affects their daily lives.

Features: Slade Bellum, Cynthia Connolly, Kathleen Hanna, Kirsten Patches, Laura Pleasants, Cristy Road & Allison Wolfe.

After the film stay for a Q&A by Skype with director Amy Oden.

all together now kickstarter

A Kickstarter campaign for All Together Now, a book of photographs and first person narratives/interviews with a diverse range of notable women making music today. It’s a bit of a hybrid - equal parts pop cultural anthropology document and fine art book.

For the last two years, photographer Audra Marie Dewitt traveled to select cities across America, photographing and talking to women in music, some of whom are pretty well known (Corin Tucker, Exene Cervenka, Amanda Palmer, Peaches, Miho Hatori) and some of whom are simply unsung heroes of their genres (Toody Cole, Jean Knight, Pamela Z). What emerged from these photographs and conversations was truly remarkable and many musicians opened up in ways that were poignant, surprising, and enlightening. The result is a collection of photos and text that is inspiring, and deeply infused with a certain ‘can-do’ spirit of perseverance and practicality.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

s&s at holmfirth arts festival

Shape & Situate: Posters of Inspirational European Women #3 zine will feature as part of the Art Zines display at Holmfirth Arts Festival, Holmfirth, Yorkshire, UK.

The zine display/library will be open on the Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays of the festival run (14th-24th June 2012).

More info here:

More about the festival: Holmfirth Arts Festival is eleven days of music, art, comedy, theatre, literature and inspiring things to do in Holmfirth and the Holme Valley. We celebrate the landscape of this beautiful part of Yorkshire, inviting audiences to enjoy events in picturesque village halls and churches, cafes and teashops, Holmfirth's atmospheric Picturedrome, up on the hills overlooking the town and in surrounding woodland as well as some of the more unusual places the town has to offer, like Th'Owd Towser, the old church jail. We have events in homes, in the street, and by the river. If you already know Holmfirth and the Valley, the festival is an opportunity to see it a little differently. If you've not yet discovered this lovely part of Yorkshire then June is the perfect time to visit!

fattylympics 2012

Behold! It's the Fattylympics 2012!

The Fattylympics is a non-commercial community event satirising the You Know Whats in East London, 2012.

It takes place on Saturday 7 July 2012, at Grassroots, Memorial Park, West Ham. It is free to attend and children are welcome.

The Fattylympics is organised by two fat activists living in East London, it has been paid for by a series of community fundraising events, and is supported by a handful of volunteers.

Charlotte Cooper, one of the organisers says: "We will be publishing the programme closer to the day but for now we can say that the Fattylympics will be an afternoon larking around in the park. We will have Opening and Closing Ceremonies, a Fattylympics torch and specially-written anthem. There will be four participatory events, plus performances and stalls. Egg'n'Spoon are the official Fattylympics mascots, and they will be making an appearance too. The Fattylympics is non-competitive and everyone will get a medal. We are hoping for an afternoon that is silly, relaxed and low-key."

Charlotte, on her blog ( also notes the important political backdrop, and protest element, to her organising: "I've been co-organising an event called the Fattylympics. This is a non-commercial, community-based afternoon of messing around in the park. It's fat activism and, because I'm always interested in mixing it up, it's about other stuff too, namely the 2012 Olympics, which is happening in, and destroying significant chunks of, my neighbourhood in East London."

More information is available at:

Saturday 7 July 2012


Grassroots Resource Centre
Memorial Park
Memorial Avenue
West Ham
E15 3DB

Nearest tube: West Ham.

They have stalls available. Want one or know anyone else who does?

Also, they are looking for volunteers:

Do help spread the word about this event by word of mouth, through networks of bloggers, Facebook friends, Twitter followers and the like.

Friday, 1 June 2012

film: kate bornstein is a queer & pleasant danger

There's a Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds to finish making & release a film about Kate Bornstein, 'Kate Bornstein is a Queer & Pleasant Danger':

The Kickstarter goal has almost been reached, which is such great news.

I interviewed Kate once, and she blew my mind both with the terrific things she had to say and the way she said them, and also in how open she was to me: she was completely wonderful and kind to me in a way that made such an important lasting impression. See the Kickstarter video to see how wonderful she is. I can't say enough good things about Kate. I am itching to see this film.

Synopsis of the film: Kate Bornstein is a Queer & Pleasant Danger is an intimate portrait of an artist that illuminates one of gender theory’s most influential minds. This film is not a biographical report on someone’s life, nor is it a linear story. Rather, it is an evocative study of a human being and an exploration of form and content that reflects the complexities of Kate and her world. Engaging with Kate’s personal and public persona, the film captures her multifaceted, sometimes contradictory, and always charming personality, which has won the hearts of people worldwide, while also alienating others. Kate Bornstein is a Queer & Pleasant Danger explores Kate’s artistic practice, her influences and the way she has created language, space, and permission for generations of people to live their lives outside traditional frameworks of gender, politics, and art. Kate’s life journey as a shape shifter, gender theorist, and survivor of great depression offers provocative new ideas on the nature of art, community, and what it means to be queer and transgender.

melissa febos's interview with kathleen hanna

Sometimes I needed to read something without even knowing I needed to read it. Like Melissa Febos and Kathleen Hanna talking about (creative/feminist) process/responsibility/integrity. Damn, did I ever need to read that. It's sent cogs a-whirring!

For example...
KH: I think as women who consider ourselves feminists, there’s a legacy of responsibility, of feeling like there’s not enough of us and so we have to do things right.

I'm thriving from interviews and sense-speakers at the mo.

That whole thing about caring less about certain things, like getting it right, or what certain people think. YES.