Cinema Soiree: “Celluloid Scopophilia: The Sensual Dimensions of the Human Body” with Kerry Laitala and Live Music by Wobbly

Event has passed (Thu Dec 1, 2016 - Thu Dec 1, 2016)
Oddball Film + Video
8 pm
Movies, Film Screening


Oddball Films welcomes moving image artist Kerry Laitala to our Cinema Soiree Series, a monthly event featuring visiting authors, filmmakers and curators presenting and sharing cinema insights and films. Laitala will be returning to the cinestage to present Celluloid Scopophilia: The Sensual Dimensions of the Human Body, a film program that examines the fetishization of the human body through rare medical and first aid films as well as vintage fetish shorts, Laitala's own handmade films, and live musical accompaniment from Wobbly. Celluloid Scopophilia is a program that treads the line between visual pleasure and pain in the context of Scopophilia, (the pleasure of looking). Through the camera's gaze, the pleasure imparted by the extraction and isolation of body parts is explored and dwelled upon, sucking the viewer into this seductive, unseemly form of compelling cinema sequencing the program to make the resonance between the films vibrate with a very pervy frequency. This program investigates these abnormalities showcasing rare medical films such as Pain and Its Alleviation (1961) and Oral Hygiene films such as the Technicolor Danish, English co-production Es Leight Ans Dir (1951), later dubbed in German, industrial First Aid films such as Shock and Breathing For Others (1955), outtakes from Obsession, an adult film shot in San Francisco in the 1980s starring Jamie Gillis, and underground foot fetish films. The program will conclude with the viscerally compelling counterpoint Secure the Shadow…’Ere the Substance Fade, a hand-made film by Laitala, a filmmaker and long-time collector of obscure and disturbing medical and industrial films. Additionally the program with incorporate live cinema film loops, triple projections and Laitala wielding her infamous “film flogger”, a celluloid “whip” created to scatter multiple images throughout the screening room. Laitala’s frequent musical collaborator Wobbly will be on hand to create some new sonic interminglings. The program is curated by Oddball Films Director Stephen Parr and filmmaker/cinema historian Kerry Laitala and all films will be screened in 16mm film. Celluloid Scopophilia: The Sensual Dimensions of the Human Body promises to be a disturbing, darkly humorous and ultimately fascinating look at our perceptions of the human body in all its fetishistic forms.

Date: Thursday, December 1st, 2016 at 8:00pm
Venue: Oddball Films, 275 Capp Street San Francisco
Admission: $10.00 Limited Seating RSVP to [email protected] or (415) 558-8117


Films Include:

Lipstick and Obsession Outtakes
(Color, with added sound, 1980s, Double screen projection)
Outtakes from the 1980s shot-in-San Francisco porn film, “The Red Shoe Diaries” starring Jamie Gillis are superimposed with an fashion-oriented commercial outtake “Lipstick” creating a duality of erotic intentions.

Introduction to Podiatry
(Color, sound, segment, 1961)
Campy profile of the wonderful world of feet-through the eyes of a Podiatrist!

Baroness Nica’s Foot Slave
(Color, sound, segment,1970s)
Kinky feature part BDSM segment emphasizes the futility and freaky humor a lowly foot slave!

Es Light Ans Dir
(Color, sound, segment, 1951)
Shot in brilliant Technicolor this Danish film highlights oral hygiene in a very, very surreal way!

It Happened in Hollywood
(Color, sound, segment, 1970s)
This segment from the infamous adult film features a girl and a bicycle made for sex.

Interocular Foreign Body Localization and Extraction
(Color, silent, segment, 1950s) A “feast” for the eyes.

(B+W, 1950s) Watch the “cheesecake” “napping” on the sofa. Then watch the camera watch the napper.

Sword Swallower
(Color, sound, segment, 1950s)
Oral fixation. Public demonstration.

Breathing For Others
(Color, with added sound, 1950s)
A haunting, optically-printed found footage short from Kerry Laitala’s collection.

The Penitent
(B+W, sound, 60s) Religious-themed cult trailer-vicious lashings!

Baroness Nica’s Foot Slave Part 2
(Color, sound, segment)
The further adventures of Baroness Nica’s foot slave!

Is There Sex After Death? (Trailer, Color, 1972)
The infamous media-hoaxer Alan Abel directed this adult film spoof. The cult film starred Able, Robert Downey Sr, Buck Henry and Warhol drag queen Hollywood Lawn.

Baroness Nica’s Pain Slave (Color, sound, segment, 1970s)
More pain inflicted by Baroness Nica.

Pain and Its Alleviation (Color, 1961)
“Pain....” is THE classic horror inspired mental hygiene film produced for the UCLA Nursing School. Watch nurses comfort and medicate nut-job neurotics and car crash victims in their hospital beds. Don’t miss the last vignette with its “shocking” and hilarious ending. With a over-the-top jazz score by Sam Weiss.

(Color, sound, 1970s)
Laitala utilizes found-footage in this hallucinatory erotic examination of a First Aid film’s instructions for patients suffering from shock.

Plus! Kali of Technology (Color, Triple projection, expanded cinema performance, 2015, Kerry Laitala). This brief eye-scorcher involves a minimum of three lubricious loops of 16mm unspooling simultaneously. Named for the multi-armed Hindu deity of destruction, power and time, this Kali will have you hypnotized. Live sound by Wobbly!!

Secure the Shadow...'Ere the Substance Fade (1997, Kerry Laitala)
Secure the Shadow is a meditation on disintegration and mortality. The film utilizes antique Medical stereoscopic images from the Victorian era, which are simultaneously disturbing and beautiful. My intention was to attempt to reveal universal truths about the overwhelming quality of disease to render us ultimately mute, immobilized within a corporeal shell that has succumbed to imminent forces beyond our control. I also wanted the film to address the myth that dignity is automatically restored upon when facing death. In analyzing the original function of the stereoscopes, I intended to expose their classificatory nature. These anonymous subjects were reduced to paradigms of pathology, embalmed in time within their exterior presence. By rephotographing them on the optical printer and placing them in a mythical home, I was attempting to reanimate these visages to ensnare them or allow them to roam free on the surface of celluloid. Absence transforms to presence as the latent image reveals the manifest content, the slippery territories in between unraveling like the threads joining the crazy quilt that joins images together. An anachronistic Victorian sensibility places the images in a chimerical, historical context that embodies the film with a mind that is paradoxical and alien to our 21st century perspective. The title "Secure the Shadow. ..'Ere the Substance Fade, let nature imitate what nature has made", comes from a 19th century post mortem photographer who advertised his services. This reference speaks about the function of photography of as a democratizing medium that assists in the process of mourning and serves as a physical reminder of loss.

About Kerry Laitala:
Kerry Laitala is a media archaeologist whose works spans the territories of photography and expanded cinema performances to 3D single channel videos and sculptural installation. Laitala’s work synthesizes ideas and ephemera from the realms of science, history, and technology. An expert in optical printing, D.I.Y practices, such as photogram and hand processing techniques, she utilizes these processes (among others) to re-shape ‘found’ Archival film materials into 16mm & 35mm handcrafted short films that embody and celebrate the phenomenon of motion pictures that made the early cinema going experience awe-inspiring. Inspired by avant-garde filmmakers like Phil Solomon and Paul Sharits, her work conveys a similar connection to the materials, but with a more unhinged sense of decay, and her works oftentimes utilize hybrid strategies. Her multifarious investigations into evolving systems of belief involve installation, photography, para-cinema, performance, kinetic sculpture, and single-channel forms. She studied photography and film at the Massachusetts College of Art and received her Master’s degree in film from the San Francisco Art Institute.

Laitala has won two Golden Gate Awards from the San Francisco International Film Festival, was awarded the Princess Grace Award for film in 1996 and PGF’s Special Grant in 2004, 2007, 2015 and 2016.

About Jon Leidecker (Wobbly):Jon Leidecker has been producing music under the name Wobbly since 1990, improvising with recordings to produce music which inherently resist the act of being captured. Recent performances deploy a battery of mobile devices driven by their built-in microphones, reacting instantly with error-prone variations on the notes and sounds they believe they are hearing: a tightly-knit orchestra with inhuman reflexes, resulting in structures which the human performer influences more than controls. Your phone is a musical instrument, and your phone is always listening. Leidecker's solo performances are complimented by extensive live and studio collaborations, including work with Dieter Moebius & Tim Story, Matmos, Fred Frith, John Oswald, Thomas Dimuzio, Huun-Huur-Tu, Sagan and the Freddy McGuire Show. He recently became a full time participant in the culture jamming art collective Negativland, and as of last year inherited the stewardship of their legendary, long-running live mix media collage program Over The Edge on Pacifica KPFA FM in Berkeley. His nearly completed eight hour podcast 'Variations' on the evolution of sampling and collage music in the age of recorded sound was commissioned by the Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona.


  1. Oddball Film + Video
    275 Capp Street, San Francisco, CA

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