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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

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