This chapter discusses Fred Halsted’s pornographic leather film, L.A. Plays
Itself (1972), and traces its editing and exhibition history. Composed of
two dissimilar sections—one focusing on urban cruising and fisting and the
other on penetrative sex in the natural grandeur of the Malibu hills—Halsted
switched the ordering of these sections in the early years of the film’s
history. His 1974 screening at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and his
subsequent gift of L.A. Plays Itself and two other films to the museum,
became a point of pride for the director, who may have reordered his film to
suit the narratives of Modernism pervasive in the museum’s permanent
collection installations. Decades later, the artists A. K. Burns and A. L.
Steiner watched Halsted’s film in MoMA’s screening room and it inspired the
pair to make their own pornographic art video (also now owned by MoMA),
Community Action Center (2010). In a sequence of polymorphously perverse
scenes, Burns and Steiner directly quote L.A. Plays Itself and incorporate
its gritty, experimental attitude with lesbian-feminist, queer, and trans
performers and sources, assembling a heterogeneous pornographic archive in
In this chapter, the author, through a family history, speaks of how forced exile persists through generations. He narrates the series of events that took place after he left England and moved to United States, including the catastrophic failures of nuclear reactors. The discussion largely focuses on the incidence of cancers caused by exposure to radioactivity in England, and the impact it had on Anglo-American relations. The author also showcases the differences between English and American cultures.
In this chapter, the author discusses the cultural life in Rochester, New York, in the 1920s. The city of the 1920s is often referred to as 'Mr Eastman's town'. Economically, the first three decades of the twentieth century had been described as Rochester's golden age, and the centrality of Eastman-Kodak to the city's prosperity had important cultural consequences. The establishment by George Eastman of the Eastman School of Music and the Eastman Theatre in 1922 was the single most important event marking the 'end of provincialism'. The 'Rochester Renaissance' owed a lot to Eastman's wealth and philanthropy .
In this chapter, the author explains the internment of aliens in Britain during the Second World War. The 'internment of aliens' is a peculiar and rather hysterical measure taken by the British government after Dunkirk. The author describes his father as an alien. He is alien to Britain and to English culture. He came to Britain from Germany in February 1938, was a class C 'enemy alien' (recognised as a genuine refugee, and officially designated a 'friendly' enemy alien). The classifications were made by wartime tribunals set up in Britain in 1939.