Two Artists Take Stock

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Impresario of Castro Street: An Intimate Showbiz Memoir
by Marc Huestis
Outsider Productions
359 pages, $19.99

 

Six Monologues 1990–2007
by Jeff McMahon
NoPassport Press. 186 pages, $12.

 

 

BOTH author-impresario Marc Huestis and dancer Jeff McMahon used Super-8 movie cameras in their work in the 1970s and ’80s. Each has written about his artistic career, and, although they worked in very different fields, both incorporated their burgeoning gay identity into their films and performances.

Landing in San Francisco in 1974, Marc Huestis came into being, performing with the hippie drag troupe Angels of Light and shooting Super-8 gender-fuck melodramas developed at Harvey Milk’s camera store in the Castro. In 1977, he and some friends put up a sheet to showcase their raucous work at the Gay Film Festival of Super-8 Films (which evolved into today’s Frameline Film Festival). Huestis created one of the first AIDS documentaries, Coming of Age (1986), showcasing an exuberant birthday party celebrating one man’s life, not waiting for a memorial service. Another film, Sex Is…, which featured interviews with fifteen gay men, was a box office and critical success, winning the Audience Teddy Award at the 1993 Berlin Film Festival.

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John R. Killacky, a frequent contributor to these pages, is a legislator in the Vermont House of Representatives.

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