Leather Archives & Museum Announces New Film Series “Fetish Film Forum” March-December 2023

The Leather Archives & Museum is thrilled to announce Fetish Film Forum, a new monthly screening series about non-normative sex, relationships, and art. These ten erotic films spanning nine countries and six decades are visceral explorations of fetish, kink, leather, and BDSM, kicking off in March with the whimsical Sundance winner Secretary (2002) and concluding with nunsploitation stunner Cristiana: Devil Nun (1972) in December.

Screenings are March-December, 2023, held the 3rd Saturday of the month at 7pm at the Leather Archives & Museum (6418 N Greenview Ave, Chicago, IL), and post-screening discussions are included with all screenings. Tickets can be purchased in advance through the LA&M’s website and cost $10 per screening, or $8 for LA&M Members with an active membership. A Season Pass to see all ten films costs $80 for General Public, or $70 for LA&M Members. General Admission tickets include a 30-day membership to the LA&M.

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Fear (1996): Retro VHS Collection [Blu-Ray]

In a decade filled to the brim with thrillers, James Foley’s “Fear” is one of my absolute favorites. It’s schlocky in certain instances, but it’s a satisfying twist on the “obsession thriller” by injecting it in to something of a young adult novel framework. “Fear” is one of the debut performances by Mark Wahlberg, who was previously known mainly for being a hip hop star. His take on sociopathic maniac David is much more in keeping with Wahlberg’s sensibilities and he’s able to bring to life a pretty terrifying villain.

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Infinity Pool (2023)

Writer/Director Brandon Cronenberg’s horror film promises to be one of the most polarizing, if not the most polarizing, film of the year. It’s a grotesque, beautiful, nauseating depiction of sickening hedonism and amorality in its seductive and repelling. It’s a kaleidoscopic orgy of sex and violence and pure blood thirst that, as art often does, comfort the disturbed, and disturb the comfortable. “Infinity Pool” is the very definition of body horror, a movie that both celebrates and abhors everything about the body.

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X (2022)

Director Ti West has always been a master of building up his films and then diving in to a massive explosion. It can still be seen with his first film “The Roost,” his bang up cult gem “House of the Devil,” and he continues that tradition with “X.” Much of “X” was shrouded in mystery upon its release, and while it’s definitely wearing its obvious influences on its sleeve, make no mistake: everything you see here, everything that unfolds, all of it is definitely from Ti West.

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The Vampire Lovers (1970): Collector’s Edition [Blu-Ray]

A replacement disc program is currently available for this disc. FOLLOW THIS LINK to request one. The cut of the film featured on the first pressing has an alternate edit of the iconic moment of Ingrid Pitt rising from the bathtub.

Filmmakers, writers, and artists alike have always been enamored with the legend of the vampire Carmilla. She’s a mystifying vampire and seductress who bewitches literally every woman she comes across, and “The Vampire Lovers” sets her front and center. While Ingrid Pitt as Carmillla is arguably the central character, she’s hardly what you would define as a heroine. She exists to feast on men and indulge in other women.

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“I Know What You Did Last Summer” Is a Failure on Every Level [Digital]

After whatever that MTV reboot of “Scream” was, networks and companies seem to be learning all the wrong lessons from it. Rather than breathe new life in to a once solid slasher series, Amazon has botched it from out the gates. Instead of a tense, white knuckle slasher/murder mystery, Lois Duncan’s novel is adapted in to an erotic teen drama thriller. Think less “Slasher” and more “Riverdale.” It’s a glacially paced glorified drama with a horror tint that downplays the horror and slasher aspects of the aforementioned movie series in favor of gratuitous sex, pointless nudity, and droning dialogue.

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Viva (2007)

Will screen on August 27th at the Los Feliz 3 theater in Los Angeles, California as part of the American Cinematheque’s new ETHERIA screening series. More information about the screening can be found on the American Cinematheque’s official website.

Your mileage with “Viva” may vary depending on how much you’re willing to play along with the film’s very subtle satire. About twenty minutes in to the movie is when I finally caught on to the gag, as “Viva” is as much a satire of sixties sexual dynamics as it is a tribute to the aesthetic of the sixties and seventies. “Viva” is a film in the tradition of Andy Warhol, and Russ Meyer, and exploitation gems like “Maid in Sweden” and “Score” where people open up (literally and figuratively) to sex and sexual exploration.

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Skin: A History of Nudity in the Movies (2020)

Danny Wolf’s newest documentary is notable mostly for being a movie that’s produced by Jim McBride. McBride is famous, of course, for being “Mr. Skin,” the founder of one of the biggest, and first, websites about nudity in film. Aptly titled “Skin,” the documentary about the history of nudity in Hollywood and filmmaking and how it shook the landscape of pop culture, wants to desperately be taken as a bold mix of educational and entertainment, but beyond fleeting insight and fascinating looks at pre-code film, it’s mostly just another nudie reel.

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