Born in Flames

Monday, April 26

Presented by filmmaker Barbara Hammer!

Experimental maverick Barbara Hammer chooses Lizzie Borden’s incendiary early-indie, a futuristic feminist drama, that is as much a document of early ’80s New York as a cry for Patty Hearst-style revolution. It is ten years after the “Second American Revolution,” and the leader of the Women’s Army mysteriously dies… setting off women across the nation to take down The System. The film that heralded the arrival of Queer Cinema is also a who’s who of the New York radical/performance scene, with a cast that includes the late Ron Vawter, and a very young Kathryn Bigelow! Digital projection.

At the event, Barbara will be reading from and signing her first book on queer cinema, HAMMER! Making Movies Out of Sex and Life

Barbara Hammer on BORN IN FLAMES:

“In 1983 when I saw Lizzie Borden’s BORN IN FLAMES, I was seeing a revolutionary movie with mostly female characters living in a self-constructed world surrounded by a hostile environment. Posing as a sci-fi narrative Born In Flames released the pent up frustrations from the seventies that saw not enough change. Women were still second class citizens and glass ceilings were not rising but lowering. Two radical women’s groups do not see eye to eye. One group is led by a white lesbian leader who is loud and contentious. The other group’s leader is soft spoken and African-American. They both operate separate and competing radio stations.

“There are some incredible scenes like a group of women on bicycles coming to the rescue of another; wheat pasting propaganda sheets throughout the streets of lower Manhattan; putting a condom on a penis.

“I am afraid to see the culminating shots of this outrageous film that hit the streets running. It involves our former World Trade Center.

“I won’t say more here except this film deserves to be seen. It is not only a historic early women directed narrative (with, by the way, Kathryn Bigelow (the Hurt Locker) playing an intern; but a film that rocked the women’s film festivals worldwide.

“We were all about ready to join the Women’s Army after seeing BORN IN FLAMES.”

Barbara Hammer was born on May 15, 1939 in Hollywood, California. She is a visual artist working primarily in film and video and has made over 80 works in a career that spans 40 years. She is considered a pioneer of queer cinema. She has received numerous awards, most recently the Teddy for the best LGBT film at the 2009 International Berlin Film Festival. Her first book on queer cinema, HAMMER! Making Movies Out of Sex and Life , will launch at The Elizabeth Sackler Center at The Brooklyn Museum of Art on March 6, 2010 and is published by The Feminist Press of City University of New York. On September 15th, 2010 Hammer will have her first US retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City followed by The Tate Modern in London in January 2011.

  • Country USA
  • Rating NR
  • Year 1983
  • Running Time 80 minutes
  • Director Lizzie Borden