Sins of the Fleshapoids & Lupe
Introduced by Karl McCool of Dirty Looks NYC
Actor, director, playwright and founder of New York’s Ridiculous Theatrical Company, Charles Ludlam believed in "virtuosic maximalism." Philadelphia’s Pig Iron Theatre Company draw from Ludlam's creative modus operandi as inspiration their new production, I Promised Myself To Live Faster, a sci-fi space odyssey created from a multi-year workshop process. In conjunction with the play, which opens on May 22nd at FringeArts, Pig Iron has partnered with International House to show a selection of films that stem from Ludlam's era of downtown art making. With the boundary-pushing, genre-defying work of both Pig Iron and the Ridiculous Theatrical Company in mind, IHP and Pig Iron present two works that best embody the maximalist aesthetic and spirit of Ludlam and his peers, including the often overlooked underground classic Lupe, by Jose Rodriguez Soltero.
dir. Jose Rodriguez Soltero, US, 1966, 16mm, 49 min.
Strangely neglected for way too long, Jose Rodriguez Soltero's Lupe is an underground classic of the stature of Flaming Creatures, Scorpio Rising, Hold me While I'm Naked, or The Chelsea Girls. It is ostensibly a biopic of Lupe Velez inspired by Kenneth Anger's sketch of the Mexican spitfire in Hollywood Babylon and, stylistically, by Von Sternberg's Marlene Dietrich vehicles. Rodriguez Soltero takes some liberties with the facts and produces a color-saturated, gorgeous dime-store baroque that tells of Lupe's rise from whoredom to stardom, her fall into fractured romance and suicide, and her ascension into the spirit world. It is consistently inventive and surprising, and wrapped in a dense soundtrack that combines Elvis, Cuban boleros, Spanish flamenco, The Supremes, and Vivaldi. It features some of the main players of the Ridiculous Theatrical Playhouse (Charles Ludlam plays a keen lesbian seducer and Lola Pashalinsky, Lupe's maid). Mario Montez never looked better--no wonder this was his favorite film. Whether they know it or not, Pedro Almodavar, Vivienne Dick, and Bruce LaBruce have a grandfather in Jose Rodriguez Soltero. --Juan Suarez
Sins of the Fleshapoids
dir. Mike Kuchar, US, 1965, 16mm, 42 min.
Love, a million years in the future, in a world that abandons all mechanical knowledge, and plunges itself into the abyss of erotic pleasure and stomach-churning hate! Delightfully and shamelessly over-acted, and filmed in blazing color, Sins of the Fleshapoids reaches a new peak in the cinema of the ridiculous.