Anthology Film Archives


March 23 – March 31

Over the course of the next several months, Anthology will present a series of related programs exploring the varied and diverse ways in which the cinema has depicted, reflected, or embodied gender fluidity. The inaugural chapter – guest-curated by actor/writer/musician John Epperson, whose alter-ego Lypsinka was let loose on the world 35 years ago – showcases the history of cross-dressing on screen.

A feature of the cinema from the very beginning, cross-dressing in the cinema has taken a dizzying array of forms: from documentaries portraying particular drag artists or festivals (WIGSTOCK: THE MOVIE, THE QUEEN, PARIS IS BURNING), fictional films depicting this rich counter-culture (OUTRAGEOUS!, WHATEVER HAPPENED TO SUSAN JANE?), mainstream comedies that mine the transgression of traditional dress-codes for (more-or-less sophisticated) laughs (SOME LIKE IT HOT, I WAS A MALE WAR BRIDE), and Hollywood films that take a more multi-faceted approach to cross-dressing (SYLVIA SCARLETT, YENTL), to films whose performers themselves cross-dress in order to play characters of the opposite gender (FEMALE TROUBLE, WOMEN IN REVOLT, BLACK LIZARD, and many more).

To launch the series – which will encompass all these iterations of cross-dressing on screen – we present a weekend of screenings featuring Barry Shils’s documentary WIGSTOCK: THE MOVIE, paired with Tom Rubnitz’s earlier short video of the same name; the original German version of VIKTOR UND VIKTORIA alongside two subsequent remakes (the British FIRST A GIRL and Blake Edwards’s VICTOR/VICTORIA); a very special event for which John “Lypsinka” Epperson will present a selection of excerpts from films past and present; and more!

Stay tuned for our Spring calendar, which will delve even more deeply into the history of cross-dressing on film, and will also feature a transgender film series.

Guest curated by John “Lypsinka” Epperson.

“Cross-Dressing on Screen” is presented in conjunction with the International Center of Photography’s exhibition, “Perpetual Revolution: The Image and Social Change,” one section of which – curated by Carol Squiers in collaboration with Quito Ziegler – will be entitled, “The Fluidity of Gender”; the exhibition will be on display January 27-May 7, 2017.

Special thanks to Barry Shils; Chris Chouinard (Park Circus); Patricia Heckert (Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung); Matt Jones (University of North Carolina School of the Arts); Kristie Nakamura & Nicki Woods (WB); Lynanne Schweighofer (Library of Congress); Ron Magliozzi (MoMA); and Todd Wiener & Steven Hill (UCLA).

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