Wednesday, May 25, 2016 |
The unspoken promise was that in our second life we would become the question to every answer, jumping across borders until they finally dissolved. Man and woman. Queer and straight. What if it's not true that you only live once?
In this genre-transcending work of true fiction, trans writer and media artist Chase Joynt and HIV-positive movie artist Mike Hoolboom come together over the films of Chris Marker to exchange transition tales: confessional missives that map out the particularities of what they call "second lives": Chase's transition from female to male and Mike's near-death from AIDS in the 1990s. Chronicling reactions from friends and families, medical mechanics and different versions of "coming out," You Only Live Twice explores art, love, sex, death and life in changed bodies. (From Coach House Books)
Chase actually met Marker years ago in what could almost be described as a bar on New York's fearsome Avenue C - even legends need to drink. Of course Chris Marker didn't say he was Chris Marker. That would be gauche, as they say on the left. Like Chase, Marker is a code breaker, irresistibly drawn to the relationship between culture and aesthetics as a key to resistance, a key that might unlock the prisons of standard time and state control that both men can feel coursing through their bodies. As a filmmaker with only a few titles stacked beside his name, Chase is only too aware that some of cinema's roads-not-taken have been cleared away by this maestro of the personal film essay, a form that Chase tries to take in his own directions. Meeting Marker was like saying hi to a cinema dad. Home and not home.
From You Only Live Twice by Chase Joynt and Mike Hoolboom ©2016. Published by Coach House Books.