Stephen Dwoskin – Chinese Checkers (1965)

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Chinese Checkers
Two women play Chinese checkers. Halfway through the film, the women are transformed through masks, make-up and costumes and they drift from a concentration on the board game to a concentration on each other’s hands and eyes, engaging in a game of seduction and lovemaking. Chinese Checkers was shot in New York in 1964 just before Dwoskin moved to the UK. It features Joan Adler and Beverly Grant and is based on a story by American experimental filmmaker Harry Smith. This film is not suitable for young audiences. Continue reading

Stephen Dwoskin – Central Bazaar (1976)

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Quote:
By Central Bazaar (1976), his next feature, Dwoskin seemed to have traded limitation for license: a handful of strangers gather together for what almost instantly devolves into a freeform two-and-a-half-hour-long sexual merry-go-round. Dwoskin’s subjects drift from partner to partner draped in elaborate costumes and moving half-consciously, as if magnetic currents were tugging them together and apart. There are moments of great tenderness, but the whole affair comes off as grotesque—not least because we’re made to feel like an unwelcome and particularly intrusive guest. Dwoskin’s camera roves around, focusing in on a caress here, a clasped hand there, the strap of a pair of leggings, an exposed back: always too close for comfort, yet for the most part excluded from the proceedings. In the spectacle of these able bodies contorting themselves, strutting, dancing, converging, and lounging around, Dwoskin saw a mirror of the world: a place in which human connection was something frightening and alien, something that demanded a performance well outside his range. Continue reading