V/A feat. John Spencer / Shithaus – The Cinema of Transgression [BETAMAX] (VIDEO, US)

1986 Penetration Films
01. John Spencer – Shithaus
02. Lung Leg – Worm Movie
03. Richard Klemann – A Suicide
04. Nick Zedd – The Bogus Man
05. Nick Zedd – Go To Hell
06. Erotic Psyche – Mutable Fire
07. Tommy Turner – Simonland
08. Richard Kern – You Killed Me 1st
09. Richard Kern – The King of Sex
10. Michael Wolfe – Nigger Night
11. Manuel Delanda – Judgement Day
12. Manuel Delanda – Ism Ism
V/A feat. John Spencer / Shithaus - The Cinema of Transgression [VHS] (VIDEO, US)
Original Betamax video release of The Cinema of Transgression Vol. 1. This is a collection of short films co-ordinated and produced by Nick Zedd and includes the short film Shithaus by John Spencer. The film lasts 11m 58s and features Cough ‘n’ Kill by Wiseblood and the music of Swans.

The Cinema of Transgression Vol. 1 was originally release on Betamax and VHS and later available as a DVDR from NickZedd.com.

John Spencer is interviewed in The Underground Film Bulletin 6 where he talks about the films Ponzo’s Masterwork and Pus (click here to view the 2700 word feature).

“Cinema of Transgression Manifesto by Nick Zedd

We who have violated the laws, commands and duties of the avant-garde; i.e. to bore, tranquilize and obfuscate through a fluke process dictated by practical convenience stand guilty as charged. We openly renounce and reject the entrenched academic snobbery which erected a monument to laziness known as structuralism and proceeded to lock out those filmmakers who possesed the vision to see through this charade.

We refuse to take their easy approach to cinematic creativity; an approach which ruined the underground of the sixties when the scourge of the film school took over. Legitimising every mindless manifestation of sloppy movie making undertaken by a generation of misled film students, the dreary media arts centres and geriatic cinema critics have totally ignored the exhilarating accomplishments of those in our rank – such underground invisibles as Zedd, Kern, Turner, Klemann, DeLanda, Eros and Mare, and DirectArt Ltd, a new generation of filmmakers daring to rip out of the stifling straight jackets of film theory in a direct attack on every value system known to man.

We propose that all film schools be blown up and all boring films never be made again. We propose that a sense of humour is an essential element discarded by the doddering academics and further, that any film which doesn’t shock isn’t worth looking at. All values must be challenged. Nothing is sacred. Everything must be questioned and reassessed in order to free our minds from the faith of tradition.Intellectual growth demands that risks be taken and changes occur in political, sexual and aesthetic alignments no matter who disapproves. We propose to go beyond all limits set or prescribed by taste, morality or any other traditional value system shackling the minds of men. We pass beyond and go over boundaries of millimeters, screens and projectors to a state of expanded cinema.

We violate the command and law that we bore audiences to death in rituals of circumlocution and propose to break all the taboos of our age by sinning as much as possible. There will be blood, shame, pain and ecstasy, the likes of which no one has yet imagined. None shall emerge unscathed. Since there is no afterlife, the only hell is the hell of praying, obeying laws, and debasing yourself before authority figures, the only heaven is the heaven of sin, being rebellious, having fun, fucking, learning new things and breaking as many rules as you can. This act of courage is known as transgression. We propose transformation through transgression – to convert, transfigure and transmute into a higher plane of existence in order to approach freedom in a world full of unknowing slaves.

– Nick Zedd” [from: NickZedd.com]

Coordinated and produced by Nick Zedd in 1986
“1 shameless hour an 40 deviant minutes !!!

Characterized by a scathing penchant for assaulting audiences with images of eroticism, pain, shame and ecstasy, a series of low budget super-8 filmes have been electrifying a small but supportive cult of cinema enthusiasts bored with the academic dreariness of the established structuralist avant garde.

To put it mildly, the Cinema of Transgression is the single most exciting thing to have happened in the creative community in the last six years and believe it or not, none of the journalists at the Village Voice, East Village Eye, New York Talk or Details are even aware of its existence. It’s that underground. It’s that new.

Thus, the Cinema of Transgression may, in the words of Orion Jeriko, “remain invisible for as long as they want us to, for we know we exist and one day the achievements of our generation will obliterate all memory of their cheap and dreary reign. They are dying and we are just being born.”

The hordes of closed-minded conservatives running the media arts centers and avant-garde literary organs around the country are losing their grip and a birth this proud and noble can’t be ignored for long. In the words of Orion Jeriko, “We will soon be rendered visible for all eternity by the greatness of our gestures.” Time will tell Long live the Cinema of Transgression.

Produced by Nick Zedd”

ARTWORK: [no details]