Psykho III: The Musical Credit: Video Data Bank, Chicago

Made during the height of the AIDS epidemic, these experimental shorts by New York-based queer filmmakers Tom Rubnitz, David Wojnarowicz, and Tommy Turner communicate a sense of outrage at mainstream society for its failure to respond to the crisis. That sentiment is most explicit in Rubnitz and Wojnarowicz’s Listen to This (1992), in which Wojnarowicz delivers a screed about the vacuity of TV news that evolves into a pained testimony about his experience of living with AIDS (he died soon afterward). Wojnarowicz’s apocalyptic A Fire in My Belly (1987) is more oblique, intercutting homoerotic content with images of poverty and military brutality in Mexico. The one lighthearted piece, Rubnitz’s Psykho III: The Musical (1985), is a campy spoof of the Hitchcock classic that draws attention to its theme of sexual repression.