My research explores post-war and post-1960s independent cinema in the United States and histories of marginal filmmaking practices, including adult films, exploitation, experimental and underground cinemas. My interests also range across the production of cinephilic and critical communities; women's filmmaking; sexuality, materiality and temporality; & contemporary artists' moving image and global art cinemas.
My book Lewd Looks: American Sexploitation Cinema in the 1960s (University of Minnesota Press, 2017) is the first scholarly history of the production, reception and regulation of American sex films in the 1960s. I am interested in the historicity of screen sex, and in thinking through cinema’s investment in corporeal spectacle and its aesthetic labours.
I've co-edited two books: one on the relationship of place and location to histories and theories of the moving image, Taking Place: Location and the Moving Image, with John David Rhodes (Minnesota, 2011); another which considers the status of global cinema in a digital era, Global Cinema Networks, with Tami Williams (Rutgers, 2018).
I have several concurrent book projects. Aesthetic Strike: Cinemas of Exhaustion was awarded a 2018 Arts Writers Grant by The Andy Warhol Foundation. In this project I examine several interstitial corporeal states—fatigue, waiting, sleeping, decelerated movement —that are central to the aesthetics and politics of recent film art practices. It seeks to complicate discourses on slow and durational cinema by prioritising corporeality, energy, and performance labour.
I am also at work on a short monograph on Barbara Loden's Wanda (1970) (BFI Film Classics, Bloomsbury), an essential work of American independent cinema and women's film history, a bruising tale of a working class woman's refusal and drift.
John David Rhodes and I are co-writing a small, eccentric book on the theory and history of the cinematic prop, across different modes of production, investigating how the prop can help rethink cinematic mise-en-scene, labour, property, and instrumentality.
Kelly Reichardt; the role of women and queer makers in adult media, across sex cinema and underground film; alternative histories of cinephilia and film writing, including the work of the gay film critic Parker Tyler; and considerations of embodiment, performance, labour, and duration in experimental and art cinemas.
I write criticism for publications such as Criterion, Sight & Sound, Art Monthly, Cinemascope and other venues.
Images, top to bottom: Hot Skin, Cold Cash (Barry Mahon, 1965); The Color of Love (Peggy Ahwesh, 1994); Sleepcinemahotel (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2018, photo by E. Gorfinkel); Barbara Loden undated promotional photographs (collection of E. Gorfinkel); The Train Stop (Sergei Loznitsa, 2000); Newspaper advertisement, Doris Wishman's Another Day, Another Man at Strand Art Theatre, Kansas City, MO, circa 1968.