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MIX Re-Launched

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The experimental film festival, going on two decades, is a spring affair this year

MIX, the New York Queer Experimental Media Festival, has traditionally been held in late November, but with funding for avant garde art always a challenge, the annual event skipped this past fall and is re-launching this coming weekend, in its 18th incarnation, at Anthology Film Archives at 32 Second Avenue at Second Street and other screenings, installation and party locations downtown.

The weekend kicks off Thursday evening at 6 p.m. with a reception at 131 Beekman Street at Fulton Street in the South Street Seaport, in an empty 5,000-square-foot empty retail space in which videomaker Mary Ellen Strom and choreographer Ann Carlson present an installation in progress called “Cake” (or “Collecting Action and Knowledge About Everyday”), which examines the complicity of consumers in globalism. The event is free.

An opening night “Happening” follows at 9 p.m. at Gallery Bar, 7 East 27th Street, which, with $15 admission, includes a one-hour open bar, screen presentations of shorts and a midnight performance. The shorts program includes world premieres of “A Girl Named Kai” by Kai Ling Xue, “Perfect Match” by Miguel Gutierrez, and the U.S. premieres of “Combien” by Gilles Tillet and Laurent Coltelloni and “Pull In” by Eliza Steinbock.

The evening will also include films celebrating the legacy of Andy Warhol’s Factory era. John Cameron Mitchel’s Short Bus crew will provide dance music for the crowd.

Films and videos will be presented at the Archives Friday night, April 8 through Tuesday evening, April 12, in most cases more than once. A full schedule of screening times, along with ticket prices, is available at mixnyc.org.

On Friday Evening, Cras Brack presents a work in progress, “Sakia Gunn Film Projects,” a 12-minute trailer for a documentary film about the murder of a 15-year-old African-American lesbian in Newark in May 2003. Dana McClure and Kirby Conn, also on Friday, present “Odd Ones Out,” a documentary that follows three transgendered teens living in New York through their challenges of family intolerance, homelessness, sex work, harassment and violence.

On Saturday, Alex Juhasz looks at what still exists from 1980s AIDS activism among gay men, in “AIDS Remains” and Charles Lum looks at the difficult question of HIV disclosures on the dating scene. In “Holiday In and Out,” a series of filmmakers look at queers on vacation, in pools, in hot tubs, in strange lands. Guy Madden’s “Sissy Boy Slap Part” is just that, lots of mutual smacking by a crowd of camp men. In “Black, N, Adj.,” Charles Lum examines the definition of blackness as explored in a two-channel interview during the Black Party.

Jennie Livingston, who came to worldwide attention with her 1991 documentary on New York’s ball scene, “Paris Is Burning,” returns with “Who’s The Top,” the story of Alixe, a young poet distracted by her obsession with bad-boy poet CYMON Blank as well as her heated fantasies of scary, but hot, gangs of leather women.

Saturday evening also includes the first screening of two Japanese yaoi animes, animated boy-on-boy porn written by women for the enjoyment of women.

Sunday evening includes a series of live queer/ trans performances on table tops and slide projectors, including San Francisco’s go-go dancing story teller Chelsea Starr, performance artists Ray Aims and Crystal Goldmind and stand up comedian Ronica. Meet all the performances in advance of the show at Le Petit Versailles, a garden at 346 East Houston Street, at 3 p.m.

Sunday evening also features a group of 15 films by 18 gay and lesbian filmmakers, “Fucking Different,” in which the artists present their takes on the sex games of the opposite gender.

MIX comes to a close Tuesday evening with a free party at Starlight, 167 Avenue A, between 10th and 11th Streets.

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Updated 5:17 pm, July 20, 2018
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