The Girl Can’t Help It: Trans Portraits at the Dawn of the Sexual Revolution

The Girl Can’t Help It: Trans Portraits at the Dawn of the Sexual Revolution

“…a reminder of just how radical queer love, lust, and visibility can be.” –Hyperallergic

“In our gay-marriage era, it’s reassuring to know spaces like those fostered by Dirty Looks can be a forum for queerer politics to make a comeback.” –Artforum


A platform for queer film, video, and performance founded in 2011 by CalArts alum, writer/curator Bradford Nordeen, Dirty Looks has dug deep into documents of trans history to assemble a program of archival trans portrait films that spool from experimental cinema of the 1970s, activist video, and nightclub documents. Spanning decades of production, illuminating (lost?) queer histories and liminal spaces across America, The Girl Can’t Help It screens poignant testimonials and early rhetorics of trans ideation. The centerpiece of the program, Joseph Horning’s short film Valerie, has not been screened publicly since its inclusion in the 24th Ann Arbor Film Festival in 1975.

In person via Zoom: Curator Bradford Nordeen

The Jack H. Skirball Series is organized by Bérénice Reynaud and Eduardo Thomas and funded in part by the Ostrovsky Family Fund, with special support provided by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. This program is curated by Bradford Nordeen and organized in collaboration with Dirty Looks, Inc.

KCRW is the Official Radio Sponsor of REDCAT.


Associated Images: 

MON 5/3
8:00 pm

G - General Audience

M - REDCAT Members

ST - Students

CA - CalArts Students/Faculty/Staff