Saturday, December 1, 7pm
@ Varsity Theatre (3165 Bailey Ave)
$20 Screening + After-party benefitting Dreamland
Click here to buy tickets.
As Buffalo’s LGBTQ+ spaces face closings and erasure, Squeaky Wheel presents Leilah Weinraub’s SHAKEDOWN (2017). Documenting a series of Black lesbian dance and strip parties in the 2000s, Weinraub’s film is a tender, hilarious, and utopic portrait of a space and community. Join us at Varsity Theatre for the screening of this vital film with director and Hood by Air co-founder Leilah Weinraub in person, followed by a benefit party for Dreamland at Sweets Lounge featuring a performance by burlesque troupe Femme Noire.
As a director, Weinraub resists operating as a liaison between viewer and subject; she seems more interested in the play between voyeurism and fantasy. Shakedown is neither an experimental art film nor an anthropology of gay, black femme performance in L.A. Rather, Weinraub sought to capture a moment and turn it into cinema. – Cassie da Costa, New Yorker
It’s a dreamy glimpse into a scene subjected to outrageous pressures — from the spectral cop of homophobia and even more from the real cops — that was a wellspring of fun, love, desire and good times regardless. – Hannah Black, Dazed
Leilah Weinraub’s bold, immersive documentary, SHAKEDOWN (2017), both enthralls and makes us question how we think about sex and its presentation on camera. A tribute to Weinraub’s talent, the film takes us into the eye of the spectacle — the dance club floor with dynamic, erotic figures of Black female dancers who strip for women — and then elegantly pulls us back. Weinraub finds a place of distance and subtle re-calibration where nothing is what it at first appears. This is a fitting approach for a film that celebrates a communal physical and symbolic space in which one can create a perfectly fluid, slippery identity to be desired and worshipped for — a state of grace, as we come to understand, that still rarely exists outside subaltern club culture. – Ela Bittencourt, Hyperallergic
SHAKEDOWN presented in collaboration with Dreamland, Buffalo-Niagara LGBTQ History Project. Thanks to our sponsors at the Varsity Theatre, and Sweet Lounge.
Banner image: Leilah Weinraub, Shakedown. 2017. Still courtesy Leilah Weinraub.