I know this is going get an X rating. But it’s not hard. And it’s my penis. I don’t know how I convinced myself to have done it, but I put my penis in my own first ever short film I made at UCLA Film School. This is probably the very same short film that Dustin Lance Black kept teasing me about every time I bumped into him at some queer cocktail party.
Stop it, Dustin! But what a perfect COCK-tail party icebreaker, right?
My first assignment at film school was to shoot a 2—5 min. 16mm film in 4 hours. It was really a camera exercise for our upcoming 410 project. What a 2—5 minute film can you make but an experimental queer short film, right? I was very much inspired by my late Shakespeare professor Janet Adelman’s lecture on King Lear and so I decided to make a short film about the Renaissance term for male hysteria, “Hysterio Passio,” quoted directly from a King Lear speech. I was living with my ex-boyfriend then during the first year of film school and of course I had to put him in it.
I also needed a shot of a penis so that I could show the fear of castration which was the very theoretical cause of “Hysterio Passio.” But my ex-boyfriend didn’t love me enough to have his penis in my film, so I thought I’d just shoot mine because it would be cheaper than buying stock footage.
How could I have afforded stock footage with a $300 budget in 1993? That was the film processing cost alone!
So I had four hours to make this short film, and my DP was ironically Scott Walker, a black Christian film student. And he was assigned to shoot the queerest film of the class. But he did it with passion and without prejudice and we became best friends the first year because we were always paired together whenever we were crewing. He called me his “gaysian” nephew and he kept telling me that hanging out with me was “Men on Film” everyday. See how dated we were?
My beloved professor thought “Hysterio Passio” was one of the notable experimental films out of UCLA and he kept showing it in his class as an exemplary experimental film. Maybe that was how Dustin saw it.
And here it is, “Hysterio Passio.” Enjoy the folly of a young filmmaker! I certainly owe up to that folly by showing it on Youtube!
I will be posting the third episode of Flow next Friday Feburary 3, 2012.