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“Flaming Agnes” recreates the real life of the trance people of the 1950s

The bold film features trance actors and premier casts at this year’s Hot Docks Festival.

the film Framing AgnesThe Sundance Award winners, screened at the Hot Dox Festival in Toronto this month, took actual case files from the 1958 UCLA Sociology Study and adapted them as a talk show with Principal Investigator Harold Garfinkel. Features a cast of trance actors. That host. Here, Chase Joynt and historian Jules Gill-Peterson discuss techniques for finding a community in telling a trans-story.

Transscript

Destiny and Barr helped restore subject records in 2017. UCLA researchers had previously examined Garfinkel’s private archive, but passed by one rusted and closed drawer. Armed with the recovered records, Joint and his friend Kristen Schult began to make a connection between the details of the biographies on the page and the transactors who could bring them to life. For example, Henry’s character, whose corresponding subject is the writer, is portrayed by poet and memoryist Max Wolf Valerio, bringing his living experience of trance masculinity to the role. “These people cannot be revived from death,” says Gil Peterson. “But they live in a way that tells us what is difficult and fun about the trance life we ​​live in today.”

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interview

While pondering Garfinkel’s work, Joint realized that the questions asked by the participants were more interested than their answers. “I wondered,’What if I spend more time thinking about cross-examination methods, not disclosure methods?'” He says.

FramingSimple sets, small tables and uncomfortable wooden chairs all strategically convey a sense of alienation. However, even in a hot seat, the subject pushes back. Joint describes a reluctant moment on the screen when Garfinkel interviews Barbara (Jen Richards) and speaks to a lonely subject with another problem. “I’m not in trouble,” Barbara replies rebelliously.

Recreation

To achieve a vintage look and feel, Joynt’s team focused on clothing, decoration, and color palettes from the 1950s, rather than looking for evidence of what an individual subject would look like. “There are no images of the subject of the archive,” says Joynt. “I’m very happy they weren’t caught that way.” He said that in the past and present, invasive and objectified research has done extraordinary harm to trans and non-gender compliant people. I have stated that I have come. “The lack of that reference is a very small way for these real people to escape the clutch of power even further from the world of social science in which they were captured,” says Gil Peterson.

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scene

Draw a visual reference from a one-to-one format Mike Wallace Interview, Garfinkel (played by Joynt himself) sits opposite Agnes (Zackary Drucker), a young trans woman seeking care to identify the gender she needs. The film involves the viewer in the growth of each character, going back and forth between the reproduction and the living room confession with the cast. Reproductions show how trance people are placed under a microscope, but current considerations of trance politics, visibility, and expression help the viewer to understand why. “It allows us to calm down at those moments and snap back to say,’But why are we here?'” “The joint says.


This article was printed in the May 2022 issue. McLeans A magazine entitled “Our Story, Starring Us”.Subscribe to monthly print magazines Here..

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“Flaming Agnes” recreates the real life of the trance people of the 1950s

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