Decoding 50 Years of Queer History

In a new short film bound to go viral this Pride, gay filmmaker Leo Herrera (of HomoChic) takes us back through time to revisit our collective queer past lives, both the heart-wrenching and fierce. The Fortune Teller, Herrera writes on his website, “is a documentary and time capsule, paying homage to psychedelic films of the 1960′s and the modern art of the YouTube Montage film. From Mapplethorpe to Lohanthony, Uganda to Burning Man, Vogue to Sissy Bounce, AIDS to The Berlin Patient, meticulously edited clips create a kaleidoscopic five-minute journey through more than 50 years of gay history.” Inspired by Lana del Rey’s “Video Games,” Ryan James Yezak’s “Second Class Citizens” and other archival footage retrospectives, The Fortune Teller goes a step further by fearlessly depicting tragedy in often explicit ways. However, the message that there is always a rainbow after the storm is very much at the heart of the new film. A still photo of the World War II Pink Triangle concentration camp prisoners in the 30s and video of homosexuals undergoing electroshock therapy in the 40s pave way to more triumphantly vivid images like the same-sex African wedding that took place earlier this year. Herrera also includes video footage I had never seen before, like Mapplethorpe getting his nipple pierced in 1971 and RuPaul biting her fist in 1986. By far the most ingenious use of editing comes when the voiceover of Kid Fury explaining the subtly of “shade” is paired with video of Anita Bryan getting a pie tossed in her face by Tom Higgins in 1977.

Oscar Raymundo
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