THE OUTFEST LEGACY PROJECT FILM GALLERY
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Charles Ludlam (1943-1987)
MUSEUM OF WAX (1987)
"Charles Ludlam is one of those people who, had he survived the AIDS epidemic, would be at the forefront of those shaping our collective NYC consciousness today with his art and commentary. Our loss. As a student I always wanted to see the unscreened 16mm films of Charles Ludlam, stowed away in some glittering watercloset, paralyzed in some penultimate state. Twenty years later they are discovered sitting on Everett Quinton’s shelf, patiently awaiting inquiry."
- Antony Hegarty (Antony & the Johnsons)
At the time of Ludlam's death in 1987, his films had not been completed. Queer/Art/Film, a monthly art and film series held in New York City, contacted Ludlam's partner, Everett Quinton, and original composer, Peter Golub, to aid in preserving the films; with their help, the films were transferred to video with new soundtracks by Golub. With Everett's kind permission, we have uploaded Ludlam's rarely seen short film, THE MUSEUM OF WAX, to the Film Gallery along with resources about Ludlam's career. The original 16mm film prints and new digital masters are now archived with the Legacy Project at the UCLA Film & Television Archive and will be preserved for generations to come!
Please note: We will be screening Ludlam’s feature film, SORROWS OF DOLORES at Outfest 2010 on July 11th at 5pm at the Redcat Theater as a special Platinum/Legacy Project presentation.
Tickets will be available beginning June 7th for Outfest members. Click here for details.
Most gay theater either apologizes or pleads for mercy. What I do is not gay theater -- it's something much worse. I don't ask to be tolerated. I don't mind being intolerable.
- Charles Ludlam
Charles Ludlam grew up in Queens, New York, just a few subway stops from Greenwich Village, and the heart of Gay America. At twenty-four, he founded the Ridiculous Theatrical Company, where he wrote, directed and performed in almost every production for the next two decades, often with Everett Quinton, his life partner and muse, by his side. Renowned for drag, high comedy, melodrama, satire, precise literary references, gender politics, sexual frolic, and a multitude of acting styles, the Ridiculous Theater guaranteed a kind of biting humor that could both sting and tickle. His many plays included Turds in Hell, Der Ring Gott Farblonjet, a riff on Wagner's Ring Cycle, Bluebeard, and The Mystery of Irma Vep, his most popular play, and a performer's tour-de-force. Ludlam continued working until almost the day he died of PCP pneumonia, just three months after his AIDS diagnosis. He was 44.
WRITINGS ABOUT CHARLES LUDLAM
Archive Research & Study Center at UCLA – for more information on how to access the Outfest Legacy Project Collection and the UCLA Film & Television Archive
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