Querelle (1982) [LA&M Film Fetish Forum]

Director Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s adaptation of “Querelle” is a divisive movie and has been for a long time. It’s a movie that originally split some critics and journalists, as it’s a movie that’s been explained as a film you’d have to be almost exclusively gay to watch. That’s not a criticism or chastising, but the popular opinion I’ve read seems to indicate that it’s mostly clicked with gay audiences. “Querelle” is very much tailored to gay audiences, as it’s a movie about self discovery and main character Querelle searching for a sense of identity.

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Belle de Jour (1967) [LA&M Film Fetish Forum]

Luis Buñuel’s film is not just a celebration of protagonist Severine’s penchant for sadomasochism, but it’s also an examination of her desire for it. When we first meet Severine, she’s riding in a carriage with her husband. After some words are exchanged, he violently tears her off and drags her in to the woods. There she’s tied up, whipped, and savaged by his two coachmen, both of whom delight in taking advantage of her. We then see it’s nothing more than a depraved fantasy from a woman who is absolutely bored. As someone who is a part of the elite, who finds herself in the mountains at a ski lodge every weekend, she desires something so much more that money can buy.

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Bettie Page Reveals All! (2013)

In tribute to what would have been Bettie Page’s 100th birthday on April 22nd, Music Box Films has re-released “Bettie Page Reveals All!” To this day there’s something about Bettie Page that no one can quite pin down. She’s a Conservative woman with immense charm and sexual allure, and there’s never been anyone who could top it. Even today with so many admirers and imitators, Page remains in a league of her own. She was the idea of sexual liberation in a Conservative society, and to this day she remains a symbol for repressed sexuality and liberation.

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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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