Stephen Dwoskin – Central Bazaar (1976)
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.