Primitive Medicine

The elections are over, thank Jah, but that won’t stop the conniving cabal of religious fundamentalists and right-wing culture warriors obsessed with turning back the clock on social and sexual progress. (How’s that abstinence ‘til marriage program working out?) Their blessedly rosy view of the genteel past is, shall we say, at odds with historical fact. In a perfect world, they’d all catch a dose of "Sex, Space, and Sickness in the Jazz Age," as Other Cinema curator Craig Baldwin alliteratively titled tonight’s program of 1920's health films. Recently rediscovered by ace archivist, collector, and historian Rick Prelinger, the booty includes instructive titles like Social Diseases of Men and General Personal Hygiene. Electronic-acoustic maestro Hans Grüsel, enlisted to supply the soundtrack to these silent-era curios, offsets the obvious camp appeal with a contemporary counterpoint. Laugh and hoot at the earnest wrong-headedness onscreen, and hope like hell the past isn’t prologue.
Sat., Nov. 8, 8:30 p.m., 2008

 
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