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July 12, 2023 9:00 pm


Dirty Looks Inc presents Hothouse, a program of erotic film and video art focusing on ‘realcore’ non-genital sex and symbolic eroticism. Originally curated as part of the exhibition Fulgora, organized by EO Gill for Sydney World Pride 2023, Houthouse works with the understanding that notions of reality and authenticity are the mainstay of conventional pornographic production and reception. In the works curated here, staged depictions of bodily authenticity open onto broader slippages in reality. Lingering on the real disrupts conventional acts of looking and forces us to ask where our pleasure begins.

O. Wow, Private Pleasures, video, 25min., 1985

Nan Kinney founded Fatale Media in 1984 with the intention of providing erotic hardcore adult movies for a lesbian audience. Thirty-five years later, Fatale Media is still going with Nan Kinney still at the helm. One of the first short films released by Fatale Media, Private Pleasures is directed by the clearly pseudonymous O. Wow and written by an anonymous writer. The videotape is a dialog free short film that presents the seduction of a woman. The plot is that Mariko comes home and puts on the short adult movie “The Penthouse.” “The Penthouse” features Teri seducing her dinner guest, Caerage. While “The Penthouse” plays, Mariko pleasures herself watching the short movie.

C. Michael McCullough (Michael Zen), Tattoo, 16mm, 15min., 1975

None of the men in this documentary short are explicitly gay, but it somehow still feels both more homoerotic and kinkier than most actual sex films. Falconhead director Michael Zen directly equates something as simple as a tattoo to that of the s/m ritual — an act of domination and submission between two men that’s both painful and pleasurable in equal amounts. Even without sex or nudity, there’s a sense that we’re witnessing a forbidden act — one man repeatedly fucking another with a needle in a smoke-filled room that feels less like a tattoo shop than it does a sweaty, tool-filled dungeon. Remarkable stuff – Liz Purchell

Tom Chomont, Razorhead, 16mm, 8min., 1981

The film was made on the request of the participants as a record of a two-day erotic ritual. 400 feet of film were shot and later permission was obtained to treat the material as an aesthetic composition, approximately 250 feet long. Originally the film was intended as part of a series dealing with non-genital sex and symbolic eroticism. Restored by UCLA Film and Television Archive.

Author unknown, My Master’s Table, 16mm, 42min., 1971

A deliriously-saturated sadist epic. Little is known about the title, save for its December, 1971 release date. But the filmmaker is clearly a fan of Kenneth Anger’s Scorpio Rising, where that film’s brilliant color-play ebbs out onto two S/M couples who make creative use of the eponymous table. A stunning, medium-length oddity, the gorgeous 2k scan comes courtesy of Vinegar Syndrome’s Joe Rubin.

This event is presented as part of the Wednesday Night Summer Screening Series