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The Cockettes and Kiss of the Spider Woman

A still from <i>The Cockettes</i>
A still from The Cockettes

Currently boasting over 34,000 works, The Outfest UCLALegacy Project’s vast archive of LGBT moving images (AKA The Legacy Collection) is always growing. With a collection that size, we can obviously only share a small portion in the form of public screenings—although anyone can watch films from the collection on campus at UCLA’s Archive Research & Study Center—so we want to highlight some exciting recent additions here to keep you in the loop on all things Legacy.

Filmmaker David Weissman has deposited over 60 hours of tapes from the making of The Cockettes, the 2002 documentary he co-directed with Bill Weber. The film tells the story of the legendary psychedelic San Francisco performance troupe of the same name, and it won Best Documentary Film from the LA Film Critics Association. If the exuberant, outrageous, incredibly entertaining footage that made it into the film is any indication, these 60 additional hours will surely be a treasure trove for researchers and fabulousness enthusiasts alike!

The Legacy Collection also now holds a 35mm print of Kiss of the Spider Woman (dir. Hector Babenco, 1985)! Kiss is an intimate, enthralling character study of Luis Molina (William Hurt, in an Academy Award-winning performance), a gay man imprisoned for immoral behavior, and Valentin Arregui (Raul Julia), an activist and political prisoner, who share a prison cell in a junta-ruled Brazil. It is a landmark in LGBT representation on film and we are thrilled to have it in the collection.

Other recent acquisitions include:

  • Scream Teen Scream (dir. Josh Rosenzweig, 1996)
  • Ernest & Bertam (dir. Peter Spears, 2002)
  • Divine’s Home Movies
  • Transgender Peepshow footage
  • A collection of VHS tapes from the UCLA LGBT Student Center

Please join us on June 22 for the next installment of the Legacy Project Screening Series—a double feature of Brother to Brother (dir. Rodney Evans, 2004) and Tongues Untied (dir. Marlon Riggs, 1989)—and stay tuned to for monthly Legacy Project updates!

Outside the Hollywood Canon: Preserving Lesbian Moving Images

by Kristin (KP) Pepe

By examining restoration projects completed by the Outfest Legacy Project for LGBT Film Preservation—a collaboration between Outfest and the UCLA Film & Television Archive—this essay articulates the unique challenges that the preservation and conservation of lesbian moving images have historically posed for traditional archives.



See the original article on Project MUSE.