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Halsted Plays Himself (Semiotext(e) / Native Agents)

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Halsted Plays Himself (Semiotext(e) / Native Agents) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

andlt;Pandgt;Fred Halsted's L.A. Plays Itself (1972) was gay porn's first masterpiece: a sexually explicit, autobiographical, experimental film whose New York screening left even Salvador Dalí repeatedly muttering andquot;new information for me.andquot; Halsted, a self-taught filmmaker, shot the film over a period of three years in a now-vanished Los Angeles, a city at once rural and sleazy. Although his cultural notoriety at one point equaled that of Kenneth Anger or Jack Smith, Halsted's star waned in the 1980s with the emergence of a more commercial gay-porn industry. After the death from AIDS of his long-time partner, lover, spouse (and tormentor) Joey Yale in 1986, Halsted committed suicide in 1989.In Halsted Plays Himself, acclaimed artist and filmmaker William E. Jones documents his quest to capture the elusive public and private personas of Halsted--to zero in on an identity riddled with contradictions. Jones assembles a narrative of a long-gone gay lifestyle and an extinct Hollywood underground, when independent films were still possible, and the boundary between experimental and pornographic was not yet established. The book also depicts what sexual liberation looked like at a volatile point in time--and what it looked like when it collapsed.andlt;/Pandgt;

Synopsis:

Fred Halsted's L.A. Plays Itself (1972) was gay porn's first masterpiece: a sexually explicit, autobiographical, experimental film whose New York screening left even Salvador Dalí repeatedly muttering "new information for me." Halsted, a self-taught filmmaker, shot the film over a period of three years in a now-vanished Los Angeles, a city at once rural and sleazy. Although his cultural notoriety at one point equaled that of Kenneth Anger or Jack Smith, Halsted's star waned in the 1980s with the emergence of a more commercial gay-porn industry. After the death from AIDS of his long-time partner, lover, spouse (and tormentor) Joey Yale in 1986, Halsted committed suicide in 1989.In Halsted Plays Himself, acclaimed artist and filmmaker William E. Jones documents his quest to capture the elusive public and private personas of Halsted--to zero in on an identity riddled with contradictions. Jones assembles a narrative of a long-gone gay lifestyle and an extinct Hollywood underground, when independent films were still possible, and the boundary between experimental and pornographic was not yet established. The book also depicts what sexual liberation looked like at a volatile point in time--and what it looked like when it collapsed.

About the Author

William E. Jones is an artist and filmmaker who teaches film history at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. He has made two feature length experimental films, Massillon (1991) and Finished (1997), several short videos, including The Fall of Communism as Seen in Gay Pornography (1998), the feature length documentary Is It Really So Strange? (2004), and many video installations. His films and videos were the subject of retrospectives at Tate Modern, London, in 2005, and at Anthology Film Archives, New York, in 2010. He has worked in the adult video industry under the name Hudson Wilcox.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781584351078
Author:
Jones, William E.
Publisher:
Semiotext(e)
Location:
Cambridge
Subject:
Gay and Lesbian-General
Copyright:
Series:
Semiotext(e) / Native Agents Halsted Plays Himself
Publication Date:
20111028
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
from 17
Language:
English
Illustrations:
25 color illus., 55 b, &, w illus.
Pages:
200
Dimensions:
10 x 7 in

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Art » Film and Video
Arts and Entertainment » Film and Television » History and Criticism
Gay and Lesbian » Fiction and Poetry » General
Gay and Lesbian » History and Social Science » History and Biographies
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » Pornography

Halsted Plays Himself (Semiotext(e) / Native Agents) New Hardcover
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Product details 200 pages Semiotext(e) - English 9781584351078 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Fred Halsted's L.A. Plays Itself (1972) was gay porn's first masterpiece: a sexually explicit, autobiographical, experimental film whose New York screening left even Salvador Dalí repeatedly muttering "new information for me." Halsted, a self-taught filmmaker, shot the film over a period of three years in a now-vanished Los Angeles, a city at once rural and sleazy. Although his cultural notoriety at one point equaled that of Kenneth Anger or Jack Smith, Halsted's star waned in the 1980s with the emergence of a more commercial gay-porn industry. After the death from AIDS of his long-time partner, lover, spouse (and tormentor) Joey Yale in 1986, Halsted committed suicide in 1989.In Halsted Plays Himself, acclaimed artist and filmmaker William E. Jones documents his quest to capture the elusive public and private personas of Halsted--to zero in on an identity riddled with contradictions. Jones assembles a narrative of a long-gone gay lifestyle and an extinct Hollywood underground, when independent films were still possible, and the boundary between experimental and pornographic was not yet established. The book also depicts what sexual liberation looked like at a volatile point in time--and what it looked like when it collapsed.
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