Tonight, Thursday, Readings and film!

June 30, 2011

Cinders hosts a night of readings and film. Erick Lyle, Savannah Knoop, and Kat Case will all debut new fictional works. After an intermission, there will be a screening of Cary Cronenwett’s Bay Area classic, Maggots and Men (2009). Featuring an all-star cast that includes Thustra himself, and lovingly shot in beautiful Super 8, Maggots (54 minutes) reimagines the Kronstadt Uprising of the Russian Revolution as a transgendered U…topia.

ERICK LYLE is the editor of the long-running underground punk/criminal zine, SCAM, and the author of On The Lower Frequencies: A Secret History of The City. His work has appeared on This American Life, in The Brooklyn Rail, Raritan, and he is a frequent contributor to the San Francisco Bay Guardian. His next book will be published by Soft Skull Press May 2012 in conjunction with an exhibition at San Francisco’s Luggage Store Gallery.

SAVANNAH KNOOP is an interdisciplinary storyteller. Through writing, clothing- making, and performance, she explores the notions of perceived image and the prismatic quality of identity. Her memoir, Girl Boy Girl: How I Became JT Leroy was published by 7 Stories Press in 2008. She will be reading from a new fictional work in progress, loosely titled “School of Fish”, in which a young woman named Gerald, self-injects those places “wanting” in her body with her mother’s beauty home-kit, a product called Radiance. When Gerald moves to a new city her co-dependance with the School of Fish quickly becomes difficult and Gerald struggles to negotiate a new life for herself. Knoop now lives in Brooklyn.

KAT CASE is a formerly columnist for the underground punk bible, Maximum Rock and Roll, and the editor of her own zine, 36 Snaphots. Case is now a public high school teacher in East New York.

Film-watchers of the world unite! Seeing Cary Cronenwett’s Maggots and Men, you have nothing to lose but your preconceptions of gender. This utopian re-visioning of the Kronstadt Uprising of 1921, featuring film history’s first cast of over 100 transgender actors, paints an idyllic portrait of formerly pro-Soviet sailors at the Kronstadt naval garrison who rebelled against the perceived failures of the new Bolshevik state. A degree in Russian history and a familiarity with the work of Soviet cinema master Sergei Eisenstein will certainly deepen your understanding of this ambitious experimental film — you need neither, however, to appreciate Flo McGarrell’s stunning art direction, Jascha Ephraim’s lyrical score or the physical beauty of the trans-masculine actors. In drawing a parallel between the history of revolution and the free expression of gender, Maggots and Men evokes the poignant sense that our present world is haunted by radical potentials that have yet to be fulfilled. This pioneering Frameline Film and Video Completion Fund winner positions the struggle for gender equality within a larger struggle for peace and justice, bringing together trans and queer communities as well as audience members drawn to the film’s political content. Ahoy Sailor! — SUSAN STRYKER