Gender at the Edge: Three Films by Michele Mahoney

Posted by | Conversations at the Edge | Posted on | April 22, 2004

Thursday, April 22, 2004, 8pm

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Michele Mahoney in person!

Sexuality, in its omnivorous complex glory, has rarely been celebrated as wittily as in the works of Michele Mahoney. Twisty plots, reversals of fortune and identity, and a sharp but generous sense of satire combine seamlessly in these highly entertaining works. Mahoney is an adjunct assistant professor at the School of the Art Institute and appears around town as Joe Chicago of the Chicago Kings drag king troupe. A four-minute pick-up is the subject of Midwestern Hospitality (1995), starring the El train and a pair of glance-exchanging, silent commuters. Things aren’t what they seem, but it all pays off in the end, in the noirish Acrobats and Sword-Swallowers (1997). Finally, a 1967 classic film is invoked hilariously in The Undergrad (2003), whose female/drag king cast recreates the erotic mishaps of Ben and Mrs. Robinson. A hit on the lesbian and gay film festival circuit, The Undergrad takes its characters on a giddy cruise of sexual liberation and discovery (Jim Trainor). 1995—2003, Michele Mahoney, USA, ca. 55 min, various formats.

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