In the lead up to the premiere of Framing Agnes, I sought out interviews and panels for the film, thinking it might be interesting to discuss on my website. I was already excited to watch the film, but there was a sentiment that perked my interest further. Morgan M. Page, one of the writers of the documentary, mentioned that the target audience was trans people, not cisgender outsiders. My ears perked up immediately. I had come to the same conclusion about my trans museum studies work during my first exhibition, so I was very curious to see how the film handled this. My curiosity was further piqued when Jen Richards echoed the same sentiments in a different panel. In that one, Richards compared Framing Agnes to the far more straight forward Disclosure, with Agnes being much more for trans people. By the time the premiere came around, my anticipation was heightened. I am excited to say that it lived up to that high bar.
Lately, I have been engrossed by the films by documentarian Penny Lane. The subjects she chooses are always very odd, the sort that seem buck wild and grab your attention while browsing Netflix. At the same time, she approaches her films with a humour and wit that elevates the topics. In Hail Satan?, she presents The Satanic Temple as a paradoxically neoliberal institution, an organization founded to offend, choosing to follow the rules of the system they are opposing. In Listening to Kenny G, Lane starts the film by stating “Kenny G is the best selling instrumentalist of all time, he’s probably the most famous living jazz musician, and I made this film to find out why that makes certain people really angry” (Lane 2021, 0:00:42) before playing Kenny G to a series of jazz critics. Both of these films are fantastic and I highly recommend checking them out, but I want to look closely at another of her films, Nuts!, which explores both quackery and authorship.
I recommend viewing the film prior to continuing to read my opinions on it. As strange as it is to say, I will be spoiling this documentary. The film is about a doctor who became successful by implanting goat testicles into men to cure impotence. That is all before the opening credits and only gets more outlandish from there. While it is not on any streaming services that I am aware of, it is available through iTunes, Google Play store, and Vimeo On-Demand.
Trying to bridge the gap between transgender studies and museum studies.