Nitrate Kisses

Director: Barbara Hammer

Institute History

  • 1993 Sundance Film Festival


For many years filmmaker Barbara Hammer has been creating provocative. often experimental, imagery. In this, her first feature documentary. she has assembled an intense and exceptionally vital collage which relates a history which has heretofore been repressed or distorted.

In 1990, while researching at the George Eastman Archive in Rochester. Hammer discovered what may have been one of the earliest gay films, Lot In Sodom. Utilizing outtakes and clips, interwoven with an assortment of other materials, including footage from German-narrative feature films of the thirties, interviews, period music and shots of three separate couples making love, she offers a different set of images about lesbian and gay life than those which have previously emerged. In so doing, she not only challenges the dominant ideology of the heterosexual society, but confronts powerfully and graphically our images of sexual and erotic love.

This is not a liberal film attempting to assimilate its eroticism into a safe and accepted world. It is in fact subversive and adamant in its efforts to force us to see what we've managed to avoid for so many years. Hammer is not, however, just an ideologue. Her artistry is striking: sometimes formal, but more often associative and constructive. Nitrate Kisses is a representation which operates on many levels, including allegorical, historical and erotic. The filmmaker also sees it as an invitation to elicit personal history. It is without question a statement about sexual mores which will remain impressed on all who view it.

Sunday Jan 24 4:30 pm
Holiday Village Cinema III

Tuesday Jan 26 4:00 pm
Egyptian Theatre

Thursday Jan 21 10:00 am
Holiday Village Cinema I

Saturday Jan 30 1:00 pm
Holiday Village Cinema I


— Geoffrey Gilmore

Screening Details


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