Tate Modern Film

Hats off To Hollywood: Strand, Langdon and Spheeris

Penelope Spheeris, I Don’t Know, 1970, film still

Chris Langdon, Bondage Girl (aka Immaculate Gate), 1973, film still

Chris Langdon, Trailer for Bondage Boy, 1973, film still

Chick Strand, Cartoon Le Mousse 1979, film still

This selection of rare and unclassifiable works explores film making in Los Angeles in the 1970s. Chick Strand made her key works from her home in Tujunga, a remote canyon in the foothills San Gabriel Mountains and similar to contemporaries Chris Langdon and Penelope Spheeris created a singular style of filmmaking blending elements of fiction, documentary and performance. These works many rediscovered in recent years provocatively look at questions of sexuality, gender and identity.

Chris Langdon (now known as Inga Uwais) whom Thom Andersen called 'the most important unknown filmmaker in the history of the Los Angeles avant-garde,' created an outstanding body of work between 1972-76 following studies at CalArts. The diptych Bondage Boy 1973 and Bondage Girl 1973 are irreverent deconstructions of B-movies that explore gender roles at the same time as operating as a critique of structuralism. Penelope Spheeris remarkable portraits of the life and relationships of the transgender Jimmy / Jennifer in I Don’t Know 1970 and Hats Off to Hollywood 1972 balance documentary and fiction providing insight into the sexual relationships in the city in the early 1970s. Strand’s Cartoon Le Mousse 1979 is one of her richest films, a playful and subversive montage of found footage while her sensual film Fever Dream 1979 is a hypnotic sexual fantasy.

With introduction from Mark Toscano, film preservationist Academy Film Archive.

Cartoon Le Mousse 
Chick Strand, USA 1979, 16mm, black & white, sound, 15 min 
Preserved by the Academy Film Archive and the Pacific Film Archive

Bondage Boy 
Chris Langdon, USA 1973, 16mm, colour, sound, 5 min 
Preserved by the Academy Film Archive 

Bondage Girl (aka Immaculate Gate) 
Chris Langdon, USA 1973, 16mm, colour, sound, 5 min  
Preserved by the Academy Film Archive

Fever Dream 
Chick Strand, 1979, 16mm, black & white, sound, 7 min 
Preserved by the Academy Film Archive and the Pacific Film Archive 

I Don’t Know 
Penelope Spheeris, USA 1970, 16mm, black & white, sound, 20 min 
Preserved by the Academy Film Archive 

Hats Off to Hollywood 
Penelope Spheeris, USA 1972, 16mm, colour, sound, 22 min
Preserved by the Academy Film Archive 

Prints courtesy of the Academy Film Archive

Programme duration: 74 min

With introduction from Mark Toscano, film preservationist Academy Film Archive.

Tate Modern

Starr Cinema

Bankside
London SE1 9TG
Plan your visit

Date & Time

14 November 2015 at 16.00–18.00