Greetings from Washington, D.C. / Tricia's Wedding

Sunday, May 22, 2022 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
two people wearing hats in chairs among others sitting in chairs on lawn

UCLA Film & Television Archive presents free screenings at the Billy Wilder Theater at the Hammer Museum.

Please review our required COVID-19 precautions and updated admission policies.

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Greetings from Washington, D.C.

U.S., 1981

Documented by pioneering filmmakers Rob Epstein (The Times of Harvey Milk, 1984), Frances Reid (In the Best Interests of the Children, 1977), Greta Schiller (Before Stonewall, 1984) and Lucy Winer (Rate It X, 1986), the first National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights was a historic event that took place on Sunday, October 14, 1979. With interviews featuring diverse participants and spectators gathered at the nation’s capital, the consortium of queer filmmakers skillfully capture the hopeful and peaceful activism of this community, mirroring past movements grounded in non-violent action.

Opening with a 20-year-old Black man from D.C. who had been out for five years at the time, the film holds space for a self-assured joy that is emblematic of the numerous empowered LGBTQ+ constituents in attendance. Everyone on screen appears to be fulfilling their need to be visible as themselves and live openly. This celebratory activism honors the pioneering predecessors who paved the way for LGBTQ+ equal rights while capturing a poignant moment in time before the onset of the AIDS epidemic.

Largely unseen in recent decades, Greetings from Washington, D.C. is ready for rediscovery as we witness legislation intended to curb the rights of the queer community. With the support of the Archive, Outfest and its supporters have secured resources to develop important high school curriculum utilizing the restoration to support LGBTQ+ rights education, giving the film a new meaning for generations to come.

Jonathan Fahn and May Hong HaDuong

DCP, color, 28 min. Production: Greetings Films. Distribution: Iris Films, Wildlight Productions, Inc. Producers: Robert Epstein, Frances Reid, Greta, Schiller, Lucy Winer. Director: Lucy Winer. Cinematographers: Frances Reid, Greta Schiller, Lucy Winer.

Digitally restored by the UCLA Film & Television Archive in conjunction with the Outfest UCLA Legacy Project. Laboratory services provided by Metropolis Post, Audio Mechanics. Special thanks to Lucy Winer, Francis Reid, Rob Epstein, Debra Zimmerman, Dennis Doros.
 

Tricia's Wedding

U.S., 1971

Premiering on the same day as the real-life wedding of Edward Cox to Patricia Nixon, daughter of then-president Richard Nixon, Tricia’s Wedding delivered a raucous drag parody of the event. The gender-bending troupe The Cockettes, darlings of San Francisco’s counter-culture scene, are the stars here, portraying such a diverse lineup as Jacqueline Onassis, Elizabeth Taylor, Coretta Scott King, Golda Meir, Indira Gandhi and Mick Jagger. Don’t expect the polished impersonations you might see on RuPaul’s Drag Race. These portrayals are raw and over-the-top in the best way possible.

The Cockettes, subjects of the 2002 documentary of the same name, began holding guerilla drag shows at the Palace Theatre on New Year’s Eve, 1969. After the movie theater closed for the night, The Cockettes would hold wildly popular midnight events dubbed “Nocturnal Dream Shows.” Said American film critic Rex Reed, The Cockettes were “the hottest act in the country and the most unbelievable American phenomena since Martha Mitchell.” Their manager was Milton Miron (a.k.a. Sebastian) who was also the accountant for legendary concert promoter Bill Graham. Sebastian took the helm directing Tricia’s Wedding, the only film created by the group.

As reviewed in the Village Voice in 1971, “the film is strongly anarchic in sensibility, both in its anything-goes style and in its apocalyptic finale. The polymorphously perverse orgy with which the film ends is a revolutionary vision, a call for the ending of all sexual politics.” The Nixon White House unsurprisingly didn’t agree with this rave review. According to the memoir of John Dean, White House counsel, “[Bob] Haldeman wanted the movie killed,” so a group of White House officials screened the film in the president’s bomb shelter, “in order to weigh the case for suppression. Official action proved unnecessary: the film died a natural death.”

Jillian Borders

DCP, color, 33 min. Distribution: Grove Press Film Division. Producer: Mark Lester. Director: Milton Miron (credited as Sebastian). Screenwriters: Milton Miron, Robert Patteson, Kreemah Ritz. Cinematographer: Paul Aratow. With: Goldie Glitters, The Cockettes.

Restoration funding provided by Frameline and Outfest. Restored by the UCLA Film & Television Archive from the 16mm original A/B reversals, and 16mm optical track negative. Laboratory services by Roundabout Entertainment, Inc.