The Living End (Araki, 1992): Ritzy Cinema, 6.30pm
The Ritzy are presenting an excellent week-long Gregg Araki season and there's no better way to start than here with this, perhaps his best work, from 1992. I was first alerted to Araki's work by critic Robin Wood who wrote extensively about the director in his book From Vietnam To Reagan. Here is an interview with Araki from Slant magazine in which he talks about meeting Wood and how influenced he was by the critic's work.
Here is the Chicago Reader review:
'Shot with camera equipment and film stock furnished by Jon Jost, the third feature from radical independent writer-director-cinematographer-editor Gregg Araki—after the award-winning Three Bewildered People in the Nightand The Long Weekend (o' Despair)—is a talky but potent doomed-couple-on-the-run picture in which both leads are desperate young men who've recently tested HIV positive. Jon (Craig Gilmore) is a sometime film critic who lives in LA, and Luke (Mike Dytri) is a cop killer; in a rough parallel to Godard's Breathless, Gilmore plays Jean Seberg to Dytri's Jean-Paul Belmondo. After opening episodes involving Luke's flight from murderous women (including Mary Woronov) that seem more misogynistic than satirical, the film settles down to something more serious and affecting, though not always more lucid. The main postmodernist references Araki has in mind are plainly Godard and Antonioni, and the sincerity and purity of his rage often give this 1991 film more bite than its verbose and raw dialogue; a sharp sense of camera and editing rhythm helps. 92 min.' Jonathan Rosenbaum
Here is the trailer.