Marlon Riggs's
20th anniversary screening
accompanied by Nikolai Ursin's
Behind Every Good Man

Friday, April 18, 2008
at Eyedrum
8:00 PM

Curated by Kiki Carr and Andy Ditzler

Marlon Riggs in action (courtesy Frameline)

Broadcast on PBS in July 1991, at the height of the nation’s fractious “culture wars,” Tongues Untied caused a firestorm. Addressing the black gay male experience in America with a mixture of humor, poetry, frankness, and unapologetically homoerotic imagery, Marlon Riggs’s video polarized viewers and critics.

But Tongues Untied is far more than the sum of its controversy. Filmmaker Marlon Riggs brilliantly juggles elements of documentary, anthropology, essay, and autobiography, and creates a cumulative emotional effect through his extraordinary sound and image editing. Today Tongues Untied is recognized as a landmark of documentary and personal cinema. If, as Tongues Untied tells us, “black men loving black men is the revolutionary act,” then Marlon Riggs proved that black men filming black men loving black men was equally powerful.

Tongues Untied is preceded by a screening of the extremely rare film
Behind Every Good Man. This remarkable 1965 student film from Los Angeles is very possibly the first ever made with an openly gay black man as the subject.

The screening is introduced by Andy Ditzler and followed by a panel discussion, including Reginald Jackson (who appears in Tongues Untied), and other Atlantans who knew and worked with Marlon Riggs.

Film Love is proud to screen these landmark works in collaboration with the Pink Eye queer film series. The evening is curated by Kiki Carr and Andy Ditzler.

Nikolai Ursin, Behind Every Good Man (1965), 12 minutes, 16mm
Marlon Riggs, Tongues Untied (1989), 55 minutes, video

Tongues Untied 20th Anniversary is a Film Love event. The Film Love series provides access to rare but important films, and seeks to increase awareness of the rich history of experimental and avant-garde film. The series is curated and hosted by Andy Ditzler for Frequent Small Meals. Film Love was voted Best Film Series in Atlanta by the critics of Creative Loafing in 2006. 

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