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G5A Cinema House | QUEER REEL: Now + Then

G5A Cinema House | QUEER REEL: Now + Then

Queer theorist David M Halperin argues that queerness is “whatever is at odds with the normal, the legitimate, the dominant”. It is more than an orientation of desire. It is an orientation of being.Queer cinema, then, is about giving voice to that friction. For Pride Month’s Cinema House curation, we present “Queer Reel: Now + Then”, a collection of films from the archives alongside films from the contemporary moment, in contrast, if not in conversation with one another.The late Riyad Wadia’s palette-obliterating anthology “BomGay” (1996) and the late Nishit Sarin’s uninhibited, cross-country documentary “Summer In My Veins” (1999) — both rarely exhibited, with few prints available — will be shown shoulder to shoulder with exciting contemporary voices. There is Rohin Raveendran’s “The Booth” (2019) and Ambiecka Pandit’s “Under The Waters” (2022) both short films that express desire as complicated, sensual, hurtful, and indispensable.Anmol Sidhu’s “Jaggi” (2021) and Praful Tyagi’s “Kanwar” (2023) speak to the brutalization of queer bodies in Punjab and Haryana with a cinematic stylization that sharpens the violence while softening its grip. With Priya Sen’s playful documentary in Ambedkar Nagar, Delhi, “Yeh Freedom Life” (2018), and Leena Manimekalai’s “Is It Too Much To Ask?” (2017) following two transgender women in Chennai in pursuit of a rental apartment, there is a reminder that queerness isn’t always pensive. It can also be playful and charming and glittering and offensive.

Together, these films produce an argument that queer voices in Indian cinema need not toe the line of righteous, agreeable visibility. They can be reckless and responsible, thoughtful and flippant, all at the same time.



Jun 16 - 18 2023


12:00 pm - 8:00 pm

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G5A is a not-for-profit organization that encourages contemporary art and culture that is experimental and courageous, good governance that is inclusive and participatory, and ecosystems that are equitable and resilient.