Artists’ Film Club

Cinema of Transgression 3 – 4 November at the ICA

3 November 2012 – 4 November 2012

£5 / Free to ICA Members

Cinema of Transgression – a term coined by Nick Zedd in his 1985 manifesto to describe a particular New York underground filmmaking scene that pushed the boundaries of taste, politics and society. The loosely affiliated group included Zedd, Richard Kern, Beth B, Tessa Hughes-Freeland, David Wojnarowicz and others. This two-screening celebration features a cross-section of key works, significant both then and now.

Saturday 3 November

Nick Zedd, They Eat Scum, 1979, 70 min
They Eat Scum is Zedd’ s early DIY punk foray into feature length filmmaking. Originally shown in underground screenings in late-1970s and early-80s New York, the film continues to polarise audiences with its twisted humour and challenging structure and composition.

Richard Kern, You Killed Me First, 1985, 11 min
Kern’s short film You Killed Me First features Lung Leg in an early appearance, who would go on to feature in numerous Cinema of Transgression films. A still from You Killed Me Firstfeaturing Lung Leg was also used for Sonic Youth’s EVOL album cover in 1986.

Tessa Hughes-Freeland, Nymphomania, 1994, 9 min
Hughes-Freeland’s black and white short Nymphomania recalls the early fairy-tale and myth filmmaking with a twist. Featuring a beautiful Nymph and an aroused Pan, the film reaches a shocking climax.

Sunday 4 November

Richard Kern, Submit to Me Now, 1987, 19 min
Kern’s Submit to Me Now features Lung Leg and Lydia Lunch in a music video-cum-horror film that quickly descends into a debauched affair with lizards. Blood and guts.

Beth B, Stigmata, 1991, 38 min
Through a series of emotional and confessional “talking head” portraits, B chronicles the lives of six individuals, retracing their histories from childhood to recovery from drug addiction. B reenters these often abusive and painful pasts, guiding the viewer through a struggle that reemerges in newly found hope and optimism.

David Wornarowicz, A Fire in My Belly, 1986-87, 20 min
A Fire in My Belly was never completed. What currently circulates and is preserved in the Fales Library Collection of NYU is a 13-minute version entitled A Fire in my BellyA Work in Progress, and a 7-minute excerpt that possibly represents a chapter planned for the finished version which will be shown together for this screening.

Please note: These screenings contain adult material that some viewers may find offensive.


Date Time Venue Book
Saturday 03/11/2012 3:00 pm Cinema 2 Book
Sunday 04/11/2012 3:00 pm Cinema 2 Book


Our cinema programme is frequently updated with new screenings, so please check our listings regularly.

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