The Colors of Love | Movie Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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The Colors of Love


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Chicago Filmmakers invites you to "celebrate Valentine's Day early" with this program of diverse film and video erotica. Addison Cook's Wildgirl's Go-Go Rama is a light, bouncy documentary about go-go dancers. Avant-gardist Peggy Ahwesh's The Color of Love uses a found porn film whose celluloid is decaying into many colors; Ahwesh slows some sections down in printing. The porno is quite creepy--two women cavort with each other and with a man portraying a cadaver--and the decay adds rapidly moving washes of color that romanticize body parts by melding them with sensuous color, creating an unresolved conflict with the footage's sleaziness. Even creepier is Jacob Pander's infrared video The Operation, in which surgery becomes explicit lovemaking, carefully edited and almost balletically choreographed. The infrared camera makes the lovers' skin seem both opaque and translucent, giving it a space-alien feel. Also showing is some historical erotica--porno cartoons, a laughable "psychedelic" lesbian reel, and women doing solo dances with feathery fans moved to stimulate labia. None of these were made as "art," but they often seem eerily connected to Ahwesh's anonymous bodies or Pander's calculated formalism. Eroticism is never presented as anything other than a matter of anonymous physicality, but I liked the unexpected connections the juxtapositions fostered. Though the programmer seems not to have grasped the basic concept of Valentine's Day, if you're thinking of calling one of those services that'll send a bouquet of dead roses to your ex, you might want to take him or her to this show instead. Kino-Eye Cinema at Chicago Filmmakers, 1543 W. Division, Saturday, February 10, 8:00, 384-5533. --Fred Camper

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): film still.

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