Canyon Cinema: Stinky Wieners and Dreamy Beavers

at Minnesota Street Project

Thur, Dec 13 


Canyon Cinema: Stinky Wieners and Dreamy Beavers, a screening of the work of Curt McDowell

Minnesota Street Project 

1275 Minnesota St, San Francisco, CA  

This event is free and open to the public.  


For our final program this fall, Canyon Cinema will present Stinky Wieners and Dreamy Beavers, a film program of short works by trailblazing queer filmmaker and artist Curt McDowell. All films are recently restored by the Academy Film Archive, shown on newly created 16mm prints screening for the first time in the Bay Area -- Curt McDowell's adopted home and the site of much of his raunchy, autobiographical, comic, playful and unabashed work. Standing as essential portraits of Curt's milieu and one of San Francisco's many vanishing cultures, these films possess a life and vibrance that continues to endure. The program is introduced by Jon Davies, PhD student in Art History at Stanford focusing on queer and cinematic scenes, and is followed by a conversation between Davies and Melinda McDowell, Curt's sister and longtime collaborator and star.

"Curt McDowell worked in San Francisco from the late 1960s until his death in 1987- a period that witnessed the Summer of Love, gay liberation, and the onset of AIDS, to which he succumbed at the age of forty-two. The author of numerous films that recast the American dream of plenty in pansexual terms, McDowell, like so many artists of his generation, indulged in the era's carnal abundance, and his appetites and experiences are reflected in the work, which alternates between the revealing and the puerile. His short films, such as Wieners and Buns Musical (1972) and Loads (1980), celebrate sex as well as genre riffing and autobiographical narratives (McDowell's insatiable desire for seducing straight men is explicitly documented in his 16-mm works), and bear the influences of Jack Smith's lush, DIY camp aesthetic, Rainer Werner Fassbinder's explosive melodrama, and Nan Goldin's glimpses of countercultural bohemia." - Glen Helfand, ArtForum

“…Life for [McDowell] was a fast track to fast times that included devilish detours into forbidden erogenous zones. He explored all those zones with a zealous zeal: painter, pornographer, poet of the plebeian and the perverse…” - George Kuchar

Canyon Cinema incorporated as a filmmaker-run distribution cooperative in 1967. Since 2013, Canyon Cinema Foundation has operated as a nonprofit dedicated to educating the public about independent, non-commercial, experimental, avant-garde and artist-made moving images. Along with The Film Makers Cooperative in New York, Canyon Cinema is one of the only major sources for prints of avant-garde and experimental film in America.

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