Because of its themes, in the late eighties and early nineties, Tongues Untied sparked a national controversy about the spread of video on public television. Technically, this film-essay opened up new artistic terrain by mixing music, poetry, performance and autobiographical revelations by the director himself. A drama about homosexual love between two young girls in contemporary Taiwan, Spider Lilies explores through dreamlike and cybernetic characters the world of camming, originally a small niche of erotic entertainment and today the hub of the porn industry.

TONGUES UNTIED
1989, 55’
Original English version with English subtitles
PG18

Director: Marlon T. Riggs
Country: France
Distribution: Frameline

A documentary on Black gay life, uses poetry, personal testimony, rap and performance to describe the homophobia and racism that confront Black gay men. The personal stories are fierce examples of homophobia and racism: the man refused entry to a gay bar because of his colour; the college student left bleeding on the sidewalk after a gay-bashing; the loneliness and isolation of the drag queen. Yet they also affirm the collective black gay male experience: protest marches, smoky bars, “snap diva,” humorous “musicology” and Vogue dancers.


SPIDER LILLIES
2007, 94’
Original Chinese version with English subtitles
PG18

Director: Zero Chou
Cast: Rainie Yang, Isabella Leong
Country: Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, U.S.A.
Distribution: HARVEST PRODUCTION FILMS CO

Jade is a young camgirl who wants to get a tattoo to enhance her performance skills. Upon venturing out to the tattoo parlour of the ink-slinger Takeko, Jade recalls a crush she harboured ten years ago. Attraction grows between the two girls; subsequently entering into a surreal cyberspace seduction that emerges through computer images, flashbacks, and lavish costumes and wigs; the lines between reality and fantasy blur as the girls’ fragilities surface.