MUBI presents: Cocksucker Blues (1972) introduced by Rachel Kushner
A rare screening of one of the most infamous rock-and-roll documentaries ever made, which captured The Rolling Stones on their 1972 U.S. tour.
Aug 26, 2022, 8:00 PM
2220 Arts + Archives, 2220 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90057, USA
directed by Robert Frank and Danny Seymour
1972, U.S., 93m, DigiBeta
Selected and introduced by Rachel Kushner. Presented by MUBI.
We are thrilled to present a rare screening of one of the most infamous rock-and-roll documentaries ever made. In 1972, the Rolling Stones came to the United States to promote Exile on Main St, their first time in the country since the 1969 Altamont tragedy. Iconoclastic filmmaker and photographer Robert Frank, along with DP and sound recordist Danny Seymour, were given unprecedented access to the Stones’ backstage antics, resulting in a controversial fly-on-the-wall portrait that portrays the Stones at their most uninhibited, as well as their most alienated. Amid rip-roaring live performances, Frank and Seymour’s montage presents a brash, fragmented portrait of hedonism that serves as “a meditation on the disconnected nature of fame” (The New York Times). Never officially released due to a lawsuit from the band, the film led to a court order dictating that it screen only with Robert Frank in attendance. This rare event will mark the first Los Angeles screening since Frank’s passing in 2019.
Special thanks to Marian Luntz and Tracy Stephenson (Museum of Fine Arts Houston).
“An indelible look at a rock band on the road. Frank unflinchingly records the rough sexuality and substance abuse of the Stones’ entourage…like the Exile LP, it has a bleary, disoriented, 3 AM feeling.” -Chicago Reader
“Cocksucker Blues poses the Orphic question of just how far an artist can go too far. Today, with the private lives of heralded artists laid out as open books, and subject to Presidential-level scrutiny, it’s worth wondering whether that scrutiny will have an effect on the kinds of energies that get expressed and embodied in art. The existence—and the suppression—of Cocksucker Blues is a primordial moment in this historic shift. “ -Richard Brody, The New Yorker
“If the Maysles’ preferred aesthetic was ‘direct cinema,’ Frank’s is more like indirect cinema: impressionistic, collagist, morally and emotionally destabilizing… A riveting portrayal of beauty in decay…Raw, disturbed, equal parts quotidian and sublime, a completely honest depiction of a band on the road and a harrowing document of artistic triumph crashing into personal hell.” -David Hamilton, Slate
Rachel Kushner is the author of the internationally acclaimed novels THE MARS ROOM, THE FLAMETHROWERS, and TELEX FROM CUBA, as well as a book of short stories, THE STRANGE CASE OF RACHEL K. Her latest book, THE HARD CROWD: ESSAYS 2000-2020 was published in April 2021. She has won the Prix Médicis and been a finalist for the Booker Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Folio Prize, the James Tait Black Prize, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and was twice a finalist for the National Book Award in Fiction. She is a Guggenheim Foundation Fellow and the recipient of the Harold D. Vursell Memorial Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Her books have been translated into twenty-six languages.
This screening would not be possible without generous support from MUBI. Now available in Los Angeles and New York, MUBI GO picks a film recently released in theaters and provides you with a free ticket to see it, and offers access to a curated selection of films to stream. Visit mubi.com/go for more details. MUBI is also offering a 30-day free streaming trial for all attendees. Get access to the special offer at mubi.com/mezzanine.