July 3, 2018 at 6:45 pm PDT | by John Paul King
“Dirty Looks: On Location” brings queer history back to life in L.A.

Laura Aguilar’s “Plush Pony” series will be on display at the former site of the iconic L.A. lesbian bar or the same name on July 23, as part of “Dirty Looks: On Location” (Image courtesy of On Location)

Lovers of local queer culture have a fantastic opportunity to experience it throughout July with “Dirty Looks: On Location,” an arts festival which focuses on “celebrating L.A. queer history in the streets that wrote it.”

According to the festival’s planners:

“On Location began in 2012 in the bars and community centers that fill New York City. Putting screenings or performances in everyday spaces brought new life to the works, focusing on the social nature of art making in the city.  But there were other stories to tell. On Location 2018 was organized in Los Angeles by 13 local curators, artists and promoters, playing with venues and meeting places that defined queer life in Los Angeles – 31 spaces across the 31 days of July, charting a progression of culture(s) using one month’s time.”

“Dirty Looks” is a widespread program of events and “happenings” featuring local musicians, artists, cultural icons and community leaders.  It aims to capture the creative and historic queer pulse of Los Angeles by “animating and activating historic sites of queer cultural exchange.”

With events ranging from traditional film screenings to drop-in installations, and re-activations of long-closed historic Los Angeles LGBT venues and bars, On Location fosters community-minded dialogues to tell stories through a collage of film and urban space.

The festival explains it’s mission as follows:

“Ours is a distinct urban sprawl – there is no city that feels quite as diverse, vast or chaotic as L.A. We have also witnessed the erasure of many queer communal spaces, a byproduct of gentrification, apps and online culture or the AIDS crisis. Our festival celebrates thriving spaces while also paying homage to the lost lesbian bars, bookstores or significant storefronts from which political activism once erupted. Through fun summer screenings and shows featuring local musicians and artists, we look back to move forward with a deeper understanding.”

The festival kicked off on July 1 with a 50th Anniversary of L.A.’s first homosexual film festival held in the summer of ’68, at “the sexploitation-centric”  Park Theater.  It’s too late to catch that (a shame, it sounds like fun!), but there are still plenty of other special nights to plan for.

A list of highlights includes re-activations of three closed lesbian bars (Boyle Heights’ Redz, El Sereno’s Plush Pony and North Hollywood’s Moonshadow), along with other iconic closed LA spots (CUFFS, Piano Bar The Other Door, and others); there’s also a preview night for a documentary on Silverlake’s iconic Circus of Books, a retrospective of the work of Zackary Drucker, an event celebrating the work of the late photographer Laura Aguilar, a screening of Gregg Araki’s iconic LA film Nowhere, Future Ladies of Wrestling event at Moonlight Rollerway, and many more.

For festival information and tickets, you can visit http://dirtylooksla.org/

The full schedule of events is below:

Sunday, July 1, 7PM – A Most Unusual Film Festival (50th Anniversary of the first L.A. homosexual film festival) Dynasty Typewriter at The Hayworth

Monday, July 2, 7:30PM – Brontez Purnell’s Unstoppable Feat: The Dances of Ed Mock at Downtown Independent

Tuesday, July 3, 9PM – Mar Citlali & Fabian Guerrero at Plaza

Wednesday, July 4, 5PM – Future Ladies of Wrestling at Moonlight Rollerway

Thursday, July 5, 8PM- human bridge at Mota (formerly Circus of Books, Silverlake)

Friday, July 6, 8PM – The Masque (with Xina Xurner + Trap Girl) at World of Wonder

Saturday, July 7, 9PM – CUFFS at Hyperion Tavern

Sunday, July 8, 3PM –  Zackary Drucker: Hard to look at, REDCAT

Monday, July 9, 9PM – Jewel’s Catch One at Union Nightclub

Tuesday, July 10, 11AM – 11PM – Venus Flytrap at CineFile Video

Wednesday, July 11, 7:30PM – The Dark Side of Tomorrow at The Egyptian Theater Thursday, July 12, 8PM, Hustler White at The Studs Theatre

Friday, July 13, 9PM – Escandalos Angeles with sCUM at Club Chico

Saturday, July 14, 4PM – 2AM – Fred Halsted Retrospective at Eagle LA

Sunday, July 15, 7PM – A Peek inside Circus of Books: first look at the in-progress documentary, Circus of Books

Monday, July 16, 9PM – Queer Karaoke with Karen Tongson at The Other Door (formerly Moonshadow)

Tuesday, July 17, 7PM – The Night Is Young at Mercado La Paloma

Wednesday, July 18, 7:30PM – Myra Breckenridge at The Black Cat

Thursday, July 19, 9PM – Handbag Factory Rooftop Party

Friday, July 20, 7PM –  Oral Histories of Queer Resistance at LACE

Saturday, July 21, 4PM – The Pirate and MGM’s Freed Unit at Mandrake

Sunday, July 22, 9PM – San Cha, Sister Mantos + Anna Luisa Petrisko at Silver Platter

Monday, July 23, 8PM – Laura Aguilar’s Plush Pony Series at the former site of Plush Pony

Tuesday, July 24, 7:30PM – All About Alice at Echo Park Film Center

Wednesday, July 25, 12PM – 2AM – The Hanged Man, 1971 at Bullet Bar

Thursday, July 26, 8PM – Tetsuo: The Iron Man rescored by Lauren Bousfield + Naomi Mitchell at Akbar

Friday, July 27, 11:59PM – Gregg Araki’s Nowhere midnight screening at The Vista

Saturday, July 28, 8PM – The Obscured Sky, undoing (part of LA Freewaves’ AINT I A WOMXN festival) at Los Angeles State Historic Park

Sunday, July 29, 9PM – All the films of Xandra Ibarra at the former site of Redz

Monday, July 30, 7:30PM – Queer Wikipedia-thon at Cuties Coffee

Tuesday, July 31, 7PM – Tagame’s VHS Pornspiration, Tom of Finland Foundation

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