An early film by Curtis Harrington, made while he was still a student and long before he would go on to direct horror movies with AIP, A Fragment of Seeking is a study of adolescent narcissism that articulates the labyrinth of the psyche through an experimental design reminiscent of Maya Deren and Jean Cocteau. Geography of the Body, by contrast, takes as its subject not the mind but flesh itself, abstracting the human form through a montage of extreme close-ups. These avant-garde works set the stage for one of the truly deep cuts of the pre-Stonewall series, The Case of Mr. Lynn, a fascinating document of the carnal at odds with the inner life. The reel is an actual filmed therapy session with a troubled young homophile, made in 1955 under the auspices of Penn State’s Psychological Cinema Register. “When you say that you’re queer,” Lynn explains, “it automatically sets you apart.”

A Fragment of Seeking
Curtis Harrington, USA, 1946, 16mm, 14m

Geography of the Body
Willard Maas, USA, 1943, 16mm, 7m

The Case of Mr. Lynn
Reuben Siegel, USA, 1955, 16mm, 55m