My memory could be better.
On the plane to New York I attempted to make a list of the times I've been to the Big Apple and realized that this was my sixth time visiting NYC. Movies really helped secure the past trips in my head. I could recall trips to the Angelica to Safe, the Film Forum to see Foxy Brown, the Sony Lincoln Center to see The Wild Bunch, the Pioneer to see Night Mother, the Lincoln Center to see The Woman Chaser... it was only the last trip, a whirlwind tour of the city with Andrea, where I didn't go to a movie.
My first trip to New York will always remain the one I remember most; going there in 1995 for the New York Underground Film Festival where Who Do You Think You're Fooling? screened at the Anthology Film Archives. Coincidentally, the CineKink Film Festival also screened its selections at the AFA.
Recalling the bluster of NYUFF '95, I was surprised that CineKink screenings weren't standing room only. Here is a festival showcasing films that are could be considered subversive and potentially controversial. I suppose the differences between the films and CineKink and those at most "Underground" festivals was the lack of a sophomoric attitude towards sex and a dearth of violence. Too many "Underground" films that I've suffered through enjoy a bevy of boobies often drenched in fake blood. There were boobs galore at CineKink but no blood and no schoolboy attitude of "aren't I dirty?"
That's not to say that the CineKink films were without humor. From the toe-tapping The Pinky Song to the wonderfully quirky Hungry for Love, several films mixed comedy and sexual themes. I also had a lot of laughs during Yoni Marten's Flaming of the Shrew--a film where it didn't take much for one of the actors to take one another over their knees for a good old-fashioned spanking.
When I got into town for the second full night of CineKink, starting with the "Kinda Kinky?" program, I immediately thought I was in trouble. The program opened with Nathan Strausse's "Tied"--a self-indulgent, slow-moving series of shots of a comely woman tied up on a bed. If this defined what CineKink, I knew I was in trouble. Luckily, Strausse's work proved the exception to a strong program and intriguing slate of films.
As part of the jury for CineKink 2010, my biggest challenge had to be trying to figure out my criteria for rating one film higher than another. Was I looking for quality of production? The merits of the film's narrative? Or did films that gave me an erection automatically get extra points?
Different strokes for different folks, of course. The subject matter of CineKink ran the gamut from informative documentaries (Wes Hurley's Waxie Moon) to goofy gay porn (Dominic Ford's Whorrey Potter and the Sorcerer's Balls). Most of the fare ranged from fun to downright "bonerific" with only a scant few duds in the mix. I wasn't a big fan of Carlos Batts's Behind the Red Door -- the use of two music tracks that repeated throughout made this long-winded lesbian scene even more interminable. Nor did I care for Tinto Brass's Kick the Cock.
It follows that I enjoyed the films that won awards at the festival since I helped vote for them. The one entry that didn't win an award that I thoroughly enjoyed, Madison Young's Perversions of Lesbian Lust 2, is one I'll be looking for on DVD soon.
I'll definitely remember the fun I had at CineKink.