“Other Arrangements” is a film program organized by Frédéric Moffet. This selection of short films and videos offers historical and philosophical perspectives on queer folks’ struggles with traditional concepts of marriage and family, while exploring alternative avenues based on friendship, community, and contacts with strangers.
Prologue: The Faithful by Frédéric Moffet (2012)
Originally shot on 16mm at Touché, Chicago’s oldest leather bar, The Faithful is a two-channel film that explores cruising and bars as the historical locus of queer community.
Chapter 1: The Continuing Story of Carel and Ferd by Arthur Ginsberg and Video Free America (1970–75)
A first attempt at reality TV shot on a Portapak, the video follows the ups and downs of Carel, a feminist porn actress and experimental filmmaker, and Ferd, a bisexual junkie, as they are planning to get married to each other. Issues of intimacy, dependency, and personal growth clash with the conventional expectations for a young married couple and make everyone’s experience a sheer living hell.
Chapter 2: Danny by Stashu Kybartas (1987)
Kybartas chronicles his friend Danny’s return home in an attempt to reconnect with his homophobic family while facing his imminent death from AIDS-related illnesses. The videomaker can’t help but wonder why Danny didn’t remain in the care of his friends instead, in an environment freed from secrets and shame.
Chapter 3: works by Oli Rodriguez
Oli Rodriguez comes from a supportive and loving queer family. His work explores the reinvention of the self through investigations of childhood and family dynamics. In “The Baseball Project,” Rodriguez infiltrates a local baseball-training program for eight-to-twelve-year-olds to re-experience his childhood as a boy. He watches the video of the training with his mother while gossiping about the adventure. Subsequently, he re-enacts the footage with a group of gender-ambiguous queer artists creating a utopian space free of the usual pressure of heteronormativity found in organized childhood sports. In “The Papi Project,” Rodriguez tries to hook up with his late bisexual father’s sexual partners through posting on Craigslist and other chat rooms. His father passed away in 1993 due to AIDS-related complications when Rodriguez was only a child.
Chapter 4: Legacy by Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay (2010)
Cruising in an enchanted forest, a mirror-masked flâneur encounters a series of oracles, each with forgotten wisdom to impart to him through song. Borrowing the words and voices of gay elders—from British essayist Quentin Crisp to pop icon Jimmy Somerville to founding Radical Faerie Harry Hay—Legacy weaves together a spiritual manifesto for queer men, reigniting a battle cry for personal and collective metamorphosis.