Apr 1, 2010

catchin up

been wanting to address this "ticked off trannies with knives" (TOTWK) movie that is being shown at Tribecca this year. i'm actually trying to work right now with some folks to organize a public discussion here in LA - seeing as we're like the movie-making capital of the world or something - this directly concerns both the moviemaking and trans communites here.

for those of you who haven't been following any of the DRZAMA, basically the movie, directed by Dallas-based gay poc director Isreal Luna, was billed as a comedy/thriller/‘transploitation’ and programmed in a midnight cult section of big ballz Tribecca Film Festival. when news of it broke, the online trans community instantaneously reacted, infuraiated by the movie's blantant exploitation of violence against trans women. GLAAD released a statement officially demanding Tribecca pull it from the festival. all over facebook people are calling for a boycott. several fierce individuals including the amazing Ashley Love, are spearheading the campaign.

you can read about why the trans community on a whole has been grievously offended by this movie by following the above links, but also just watching the TRAILER on youtube will probably give you enough fodder to form your own opinion...

regardless of whether the movie SHOULD have been programmed, it's in the festival now. so what to do about it? because negative publicity is still publicity - and moreorless no different from any other publicity a self-proclaimed exploitation movie like this might get...


i totally disagree that we should boycott this movie. it seems like REALLY a problem to argue that things that have fucked up politics that we don't agree with should be turned off, censored. if we don't agree with it, we should use it as an opportunity to hash out why, and enable more people to encounter this process. within such a mainstream context as Tribecca, i actually don't think transphobia needs to be a tragedy - it's like an opportunity to push consciousness. generally it seems that while rage is necessary and natural, that energy shouldn't be spent trying to limit other stuff.

i've also seen this movie classified as a "cinematic hate crime" - which troubles me on 2 fronts. 1, it collapses the difference between representations of violence and violent acts (obvz a dangerous road) and 2, it aligns our cause with crimininalization. again, the thing worth fighting for, to me, should not be the right to turn something into a crime. the criminal/prison industrial complex is not a friend to the trans community, particularly the for trans communities of color, or people of color and poor people in general. so it seems weird to wanna fight for that or use that as our battle cry or whatever.

now that it's out there TOTWK possibly raises some interesting issues. like SO MANY. the issue of movies made about trans stuff by non-trans directors- there is a lot of that going on now everywhere. particularly gay men depicting trans women, and the history of that old bone. trans directors making movies about non-trans stuff! trans actors playing trans and non-trans characters... trans folks inhabiting slasher genre or performing slasher characters... etc. exploitation. REPRESENTATION. of who by whom. positive vs. negative etc.

so at this point why not watch it and discuss? let people air their grievances. let more people develop personal transphobia critiques. let's obligate the broader moviemaking community in this discussion. at least that's what we're thinking over here in LA - can anyone get a hold of a screener?? i hear it's kinda hard to reach the director right now...

on a personal note, i'm also deeply inspired by all the powerful solidarity springing up. would love to harness it towards more creativity and away from reactionism...

ps. love that i PRETEND i have time to blog right now. secretly i'm editing damelo todo 24hrs around the clock (NEWZZZ SOOOON)


photo by the amazing japanese lezzie fashion photog yuri manabe!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this post--I just posted this, too. I like your idea of the discussion, which is a super solution and alternative to censorship.