Cinema of Transgression

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The Cinema of Transgression is a term coined by Nick Zedd in 1985 to describe a New York City-based underground film movement, consisting of a loose-knit group of like-minded artists using shock value and humor in their work.[1][2] Key players in this movement were Zedd, Kembra Pfahler, Tessa Hughes-Freeland, Casandra Stark, Beth B, Tommy Turner, Richard Kern, and Lydia Lunch, who in the late 1970s and mid-1980s began to make very low-budget films using cheap 8 mm cameras.

Zedd outlined his philosophy on the Cinema of Transgression in "The Cinema of Transgression Manifesto", published under the name Orion Jeriko in the zine The Underground Film Bulletin (1984–90).[3]

Cinema of Transgression continues to heavily influence underground filmmakers. In 2000, the British Film Institute showed a retrospective of the movement's work introduced by those involved in the production of the original video films.[4]

List of notable films[edit]

  • Why Do You Exist (Nick Zedd, 1998)
  • You Killed Me First (Richard Kern, 1985)
  • Where Evil Dwells (David Wojnarowicz & Tommy Turner, 1985)
  • Raw Nerves: A Lacanian Thriller (Manuel DeLanda, 1980)
  • Mommy, Mommy, Where's My Brain? (Jon Moritsugu, 1986)
  • Llik Your Idols (Angélique Bosio, 2007)
  • Wrecked on Cannibal Island (Casandra Stark, 1986)
  • Stigmata (Beth B., 1991)
  • Blank City (Celine Danhier, 2009)
  • Nymphomania (Tessa Hughes-Freeland & Holly Adams, 1993) [5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Shock Value: New York’s underground ‘Cinema of Transgression’-Dangerous Minds
  2. ^ Sabin, Roger (2002). Punk Rock: So What?: The Cultural Legacy of Punk. Routledge. pp. 69–72. ISBN 9780203448403.
  3. ^ Zedd, Nick (1985). "The Cinema of Transgression Manifesto". Archived from the original on 22 October 2014. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
  4. ^ Zedd, Nick (2000). "The Cinema of Transgression 1984–90".
  5. ^ MUBI


External links[edit]