After hail and rain and a storm and glorious sunshine and somewhere over the rainbow, on Monday in the office let them have some cake...Today is a brand new day.
Coming this Wednesday, March 9 at Tenderloin Museum, a double feature screening of Gay San Francisco (1965-70, 30 mins) by Jonathan Raymond, and underground softcore rarity "Meat Rack" (1970, 70 mins) by Micheal Thomas. Michael Thomas will be in attendance.
Michael Thomas' softcore rarity Meat Rack was originally produced and released by Sherpix, the company that brought underground films like Lonesome Cowboys, Pink Narcissus, and Invocation of My Demon Brother to a nationwide circuit of art house theaters. Shot mostly on the mean streets of San Francisco, this is a gritty, brooding tale of a bisexual hustler who’ll go to bed with any man or woman who offers him enough money and sexual kicks. Using both sexploitation and art film aesthetics, Meat Rack is an essential and compelling artifact of pre-hardcore adult cinema.
Meat Rack’s then-21-year-old director saw the film as an opportunity to portray San Francisco’s increasingly vibrant gay demimonde; after this, his only film, Thomas would later go on to co-found Strand Releasing, one of the most important American independent distributors and a central force behind the New Queer Cinema of the 1990s. The strange tension displayed in Meat Rack—between its tortured protagonist, struggling with the vagaries of his own desires, and the burgeoning sexual freedoms of the city he finds himself in—now reveals itself as the emblematic conflict of a film about a community on the eve of liberation.
Gay San Francisco by Jonathan Raymond, is a previously lost documentary depicting queer life in San Francisco five decades ago. Shot between 1965-1970, Gay San Francisco features a collection of incredible footage of San Francisco’s thriving LGBTQ culture, with a focus on the Tenderloin, San Francisco’s first queer neighborhood. Scenes from gay bars are intercut with fascinating interviews featuring gay men, lesbians, and trans women discussing issues from harassment to sex to job security. The film also includes a not-to-be missed Halloween drag show at On The Levee, one of SF’s many historic gay bars that closed their doors long ago.
Filmmakers Susan Stryker and Victor Silverman unearthed Gay San Francisco while researching their Emmy-winning documentary Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton's Cafeteria, which included footage from Gay San Francisco. The Tenderloin Museum screened this film for the first time in 30 years to a sold out audience.