(Mary, Mary) Are these the hands that cut?

Saturday / Apr 8 / 06
8:00 pm

Benefit for Glad Day Bookshop @MoCCA
952 Queen Street Weset

Co-presented by A Space, CFMDC, Charles Street Video, FADO Performance Art Centre, Images Festival, LIFT, MoCCA, Pages Bookstore, Pleasure Dome, Prefix, Trintiy Square Video and Vtape.


On April 8th, please join us for a benefit program of media art works for the oft-persecuted Glad Day Booksop (598A Yonge Street) though of course actually patronizing this fine establishment would do the msot towards easing the pain of their $100,000 legal fees. By presenting a program of work that congfronts the issues of cnesorship and government control of moving images we want to promote continied awareness to the acts of the current regime.

We want to cut back at them. The title of the evening’s screening comes from Snip Snip (1981), a hilarious, bitingly satirical video by Colin Campbell and Rodney Werden. The work colourfully imagines a ”cutting party” held by Mary Brown, then head of the Ontario Censor Board, along with some of her concerned friends. Considering that queer work is most often the subject of criminalization, Campbell and Werden’s delightfully campy jab at the eagerly snipping censor’s hands is the perfect centrepiece to our evening of sharp cinematic protest against the OFRB.

The Ontario Film Review Board is addicted to power, and no institution knows this better than Glad Day Bookshop. After an Ontario court ordered the Board to cease their activities when the pioneering gay bookstore successfully appealed their conviction of selling an unclassified porn video, the new Film Classification Act of 2005 not only allowed the Board to continue unabated but effectively broadened their powers of prior restraint. While they pretend that mandatory fees paid by distributors and retailers for the classification of their films is not a form of censorship — which they claim to have abandoned — what else can you call a practice that discriminates against those who can’t afford the Board’s precious stamp of approval?

Many artist-run centres have a policy of refusing to submit the film and video works by artists for prior approval. This is not because of the prohibitive fees — film festivals have been and continue to be exempt from having to submit work for rating on the condition that they make all of their screenings eighteen and over — but because we firmly believe in artistic freedom and feel that people of all ages should be able to see independent and avant-garde film and video works. All arts organizations should be vigilant watchdogs of the OFRB.

Video Programme:

Faces, Geoff Pugen, 2004, Interactive Installation, Canada

My Tango with Porn, Siobhan Devine, 2003, 11 min. excerpt, Canada

1000 Cumshots, Wayne Yung, 2003, 1 min. Canada
Glennda and Camille Do Downtown, Glenn Belverio, 1993, 29 min. USA

True Inversions, Lorna Boschman, 1992, 24 min. Canada

Snip Snip, Colin Campbell & Rodney Werden, 1981, 30 min. Canada

Dj Will Munroe and The Robotic Kid to follow

Descriptions of the works in the screening:

Faces, Geoffrey Pugen (2004): An interactive DVD of interviews with various artists, academics, and activists on the subject of censorship in the 21st century. Faces is a vital document of the ongoing fight for free expression in Ontario.

My Tango with Porn, Siobhan Devine (2003): Lesbian filmmaker Siobhan Devine joins the Ontario Film Review Board and brings a camera with her, providing an insider's look at how films are classified and who makes decisions behind the scenes. (Excerpt)

1000 Cumshots, Wayne Yung (2003): A rapid-fire montage of shots culled from mainstream gay porn that illustrates the similarities of the bodies used to promote a certain type of desire. With his version of a "White Party," Yung ironically eschews the politics of circuit culture.

Glennda and Camille do Downtown, Glenn Belverio (1993): Anti-feminist establishment Feminist scholar Camille Paglia and drag queen provocateur Glennda Orgasm hit the streets of Manhattan on a mission to, in Paglia's words, "trash the feminist establishment" and its "anti-porn, anti-sex agenda." After all, as Glennda puts it: "A day without porn is like a day without sunshine!"

True Inversions, Lorna Boschman (1992): This complex, self-reflexive work by the Kiss & Tell collective analyses the politics of pleasure and its representation while suggesting that the conflicts within censorship debates are not limited to opposing community standards of representation but also exist as internal conflicts that can divide intimate relationships and personal identity within "homogenous" communities.

Snip Snip, Colin Campbell with Rodney Werden (1981): In this bitingly satirical piece, Colin Campbell stars as former head of the Ontario Censor Board Mary Brown as she holds a "cutting party" with some concerned friends to purge risqué material. As Ms. "M" instructs, if you find something offensive, "just say cut."

[ Co-Presentations ]