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The Deadman

USA, 1989 (MIFF 1991, New York Experimental)

Director: Peggy Ahwesh, Keith Sanborn

A dead man lies naked, sprawled across a bed. From somewhere there's the oppressive drone of a buzzing fly. A nearly naked woman flees the scene. Peggy Ahwesh's and Keith Sanborn's take on Georges Bataille's story The Deadman begins like an art-house pulp, an adults only Kiss Me Deadly, but it quickly becomes something less comfortable. This is not warmed over noir, it's sex - raw, erotic, pornographic, maybe even feminist. So strong you can smell it..." We wanted to make a film about sex that had sex in it," says Ahwesh - but theory circles around in it, much like the dead man's buzzing fiy..

...Feminist pornography no longer seems a contradiction in terms, or, yet worse, a betrayal. Rather, in the light of attacks on safe-sex comics and artists like Robert Mapplethorpe, Andres Serrano, and Femme founding member Annie Sprinkle, never before has the alliance between feminism and pornography seemed more necessary. - Manohla Dargis, Artforum

See also...

Nocturne

The final installment of Peggy Ahwesh's loose trilogy on sexuality and violence (The Deadman [1990], The Colour of Love [1994]). Pilfering plot elements from Mario Bava's What! (1963), and ... More »

Let's Play Prisoners

The tape examines the relation between power and love. Power is a substitute for love, or love is feigned when a subject feels that she has lost power. Conversely, powerlessness is a strategy for ... More »

The Bus Stops Here

The Bus Stops Here is an experimental narrative about two women who struggle to represent their lives. The authority structures of Narrative, the Family and The Medical Profession intercede to wrest ... More »

Belladonna

A number of sombre talking heads frankly describe their most personal and perverse attitudes on sex, violence, and other family matters. This is fiction, based on documentary material, that looks ... More »

The A Ha! Experience

A young woman, on the brink of sexual awakening, is shocked by the presence of her mother in her bed. This image haunts her, and the imagined presence of the mother's body provides the backdrop for ... More »

American Lunch

A cunning storyteller presents a curious tale of blackmail to two friends invited to lunch. As the story unwinds we realise that the blackmail plot is merely a cover-up for a far more sinister plot ... More »

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