Word is Out

Pioneers of Queer Cinema

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In the mid-1970s, nearly 45 years ago, the Mariposa Film Group, a collective of six queer filmmakers (Peter Adair, Nancy Adair, Andrew Brown, Rob Epstein, Lucy Massie Phenix and Veronica Selver) traveled around the country, interviewing more than two dozen men and women of various backgrounds, ages and races to talk plainly and directly to the camera about their lives as gay men and lesbians. As David Dunlop wrote in the New York Times in 1996: "Understated though it was, Word is Out had a remarkable impact, coming at a time when images of homosexuals as everyday people, as opposed to psychopaths or eccentrics, were rare.” This groundbreaking landmark of a film is a true time capsule of an era when each individual’s participation was an act of courage. Also, it comes from a time when humans lived in a world without the omnipresent and omnivorous social media existing today, so there is a refreshing innocence and non-performative quality to the interviews. This iconic work was virtually lost at one point, with only a scratchy, dirty print, with whole scenes missing, known to exist. It has since been lovingly restored to its original glory and offers a not-to-be-missed experience. —Bob Hawk (Mariposa Film Group, USA, 1977, 124 min.)

Preserved by the UCLA Film & Television Archive

University of the Arts has updated its COVID policies for visitors and events, effective Aug. 22. Masks are now optional for all members of the community and campus visitors in all of the university’s public spaces, including the Levitt Auditorium. If you are feeling unwell, we strongly recommend that you consider not attending a Lightbox screening. Masks are still available at all Public Safety stations across campus.