In 2016, Texas passed a law allowing people with concealed carry permits to bring guns on college campuses—at the same time that the possession of certain adult toys on campus violated the obscenity laws. Jessica Jin, a music student at UT Austin, mocked this Texas conundrum on social media (#CocksNotGlocks) and in a nanosecond found herself at the forefront of local and nationwide protests highlighted by raucous dildo giveaways. (Abbie Hoffman would have been proud.)
In 24 ricocheting minutes, Come and Take It (2018) captures Jin’s roller-coaster of viral fame and the contagious joy of righteous activism. A character sketch, a PSA for political engagement and a snapshot of the United States of Absurdity rolled into one, Ellen Spiro and PJ Raval’s film is one of the highlights of the Bay Area Film Fatales Showcase at the Roxie on Tuesday, Jan. 15.
The purpose of Film Fatales, which has chapters in 10 cities around the country and a handful abroad, is to reduce the gender disparity in the director’s chair. (In Hollywood, it’s happening more quickly in television than in movies.) Women filmmakers have long been a force in U.S. documentaries, though, partly in response to the incredible difficulty of getting an L.A. foothold in narrative film.
Movements and agendas matter, but the proof lies in the quality of the films. The BAFF Showcase lineup is packed with absorbing and moving new works by Bay Area filmmakers Emily Cohen Ibañez (Fruits of Labor), Laetitia Jacquart (Swan), Jessie Deeter (A Love Song for Larry Harvey), Julie Wyman (Fatmob), Cheryl Dunyé (DiAna’s Hair Ego Remix, a sequel to Ellen Spiro’s 1991 short doc DiAna’s Hair Ego: AIDS Info Up Front), Yuriko Romer (My Immigrant Story) and Dana Nachman (Washed Away).
This is going to be one hopping night at the Roxie. As Jessica Jin could tell you, when sisters do it for themselves, they’re doin’ it for everyone.