The Cinema of Transgression “movement” was the result of a loose collective of New York art school drop-outs and musicians reacting against the times. Reagan was in government and punk rock had been co-opted into the mainstream, so it was time for a new kind of kick. Something to push the boundaries to breaking point.
Taking their inspiration from such varied sources as pornography, exploitation films, Dada / Surrealism, and the films of Jack Smith, John Waters and the Kuchar brothers, directors like Richard Kern and Nick Zedd created no-budget (often) B&W shorts shot on super 8 that took mindless sex and violence to a whole ’nother level.
Angélique Bosio’s documentary covers the time period from the early ‘80s – early ‘90s during which these filmmakers were the most active. During the course of the films hour & fifteen minute runtime Ms Bosio interviews some of the main movers and shakers of the scene and shows clips from their various films in an effort to provide a much needed visual document of this little recognized group of artists.
The film is divided up into sections on the various artists, the longer ones being on Richard Kern, Lydia Lunch, Joe Coleman, and the No Wave music scene, during which we are treated to some fairly rare live footage of DNA, The Lounge Lizards and Bush Tetras. Some of the other interviewees include: Nick Zedd, Thurston Moore, Bruce LaBruce, Richard Hell, Jarboe, and author Jack Sargeant.
From the outset it’s obvious that Llik Your Idols is a labour of love, and as Ms Bosio states in her bonus feature interview, her fascination with the Cinema of Transgression first began in her teen years as a Sonic Youth fan seeing the album cover of Evol (which is a still from You Killed Me First by Richard Kern). From there she was lent a video tape by a friend that had some of Kern and Zedd’s shorts on it and was so transfixed, yet at the same time sickened, by the absolute nihilism and graphic perversion on display that as the years went by and she became more acquainted with the “movement” she felt the compulsion to produce a testament to their genius.
And that is precisely what this is – a meticulously put together tribute to the unorthodox and original films produced by a group of 20-somethings disillusioned by their environment and venting their hate onto celluloid.
- Interview with Angelique Bosio
- 2 Nick Zedd Short films: Police State and War is Menstrual Envy
DIRECTOR(S): Angélique Bosio | COUNTRY: France | YEAR 2007 | DISTRIBUTOR(S): MVD | RUNNING TIME: 75 minutes | ASPECT RATIO: 1.33 : 1 | REGION: 0 | DISCS: 1