Jan Oxenberg’s charmingly raw, politically-charged and remarkably funny celebration of the American lesbian experience validates the nuanced voice of a community otherwise underrepresented in the Wild West of mid-’70s independent filmmaking. In an attempt to combat the pervasive misconception of the “humorless, angry feminist,” the vignettes in A Comedy in Six Unnatural Acts experiment with self-aware yet playful depictions of common stereotypes, such as the “Stompin’ Dyke” or the butch-femme couple. In the process, Oxenberg’s short film reclaims those insults and assumptions as newfound, loaded weapons—to deploy on her own terms, of course.
Fun fact: this film was banned from screening at a bar in Provincetown because a group of men thought it might be porn and called the police!
Film stills courtesy of the artist.