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In a Different Light

Thursday, April 6, 1995
Demons
Robert and Donald Kinney U.S., 1994

The Kinneys, let it be known, are identical twin gay brothers. In their earlier works, mostly skewed adaptations of existing texts, gay twinning suffused the narratives with a complex, often queasy psychological and sexual resonance. In The Maids (1990) and Stephen (1991), for example, respective homages to Genet and Thornton Wilder, they explored the taboos and superstitions of twinhood, always looking beyond their own status to the dilemmas surrounding the gay and lesbian community at large. The Kinneys have again entered the stage of large-scale narrative, this time staying behind the camera. Demons, adapted from Shindo's Onibaba, a powerful, frightening story of unnatural love, takes place on a failing hog farm in Iowa where recently widowed Allie lives with her teenage son, Dip. Into their desperate situation comes Gray, brother of Allie's deceased husband. An illicit affair ensues between man and boy, prompting Allie to fight for control of her son. A dark folktale, Demons is about the struggle to maintain one's pinched autonomy in the face of grave but enticing desire.

—Steve Seid

• (70 mins, Color, 3/4" Video, From the artists)