A platform for queer film, video, and performance founded in 2011 by writer/curator Bradford Nordeen, Dirty Looks has dug deep into documents of trans history to assemble a program of archival trans portrait films that spool from experimental cinema of the 1960s, activist video, and nightclub documents. Spanning a decade of production, illuminating (lost?) queer histories and liminal spaces across America, The Girl Can’t Help It screens poignant testimonials and early rhetorics of trans ideation. The centerpiece of the program, Joseph Horning’s short film Valerie, has not been screened publicly since its inclusion in the 24th Ann Arbor Film Festival in 1975.
Program contains discussions of early gender reassignment surgeries, details of police persecution and some brief nudity.