Sex, Power, and Money: Films by Beth B

Sex, Power, and Money: Films by Beth B

Beth B made an immediate and meteoric impact on the New York City’s art scene after graduating from the School of Visual Arts in 1977, producing Super 8 films with partner Scott B that invented a cinematic analog to the No Wave avant-garde in music. Her uncompromising innovative work as a solo artist has accelerated and expanded through time, as is proven by this cross-section of her extraordinarily prolific career, a selection of her sui generis short films—like Thanatopsis (1991), one of several collaborations with Lydia Lunch—that bring together aspects of fiction and nonfiction.

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Sex, Power, and Money: Films by Beth B
  • Black Box

    Directed by Beth B | 20 mins | 1978
    A terrifying allegory of societal repression, which follows the plight of an innocent youth abducted and tortured without any culpability. The film stars Bob Mason, Kiki Smith, and a 19-year-old Lydia Lunch.

  • High Heel Nights

    Directed by Beth B | 11 mins | 1994
    Intimate portraits of gay artists and drag performers talking about gender, identity, and all the fine lines around them. Beth B’s short film is a stirring reminder that drag-queen performances may be accepted in the mainstream today, but there was a time when ...

  • Amnesia

    Directed by Beth B | 1 min | 1992
    Originally aired on MTV, Amnesia is a one-minute direct assault on the languages of hate and intolerance. We hear spoken, “They spread disease. They smell bad. They take our jobs.” A timely reminder of the collective hysteria that can recur in the language and in...

  • The Dominatrix Sleeps Tonight

    Directed by Beth B | 3 mins | 1983
    A gang of leather-clad, powerful women take over a traditionally male domain, and hairspray, eyeliner, and bare flesh are on full display in Beth B’s music video for the Arthur Baker–produced club hit from synthpop band Dominatrix. Banned at the time of release,...

  • Belladonna

    Directed by Beth B | 11 mins | 1989
    Co-directed with artist Ida Applebroog, Belladonna is a disturbing depiction of violence in our society, featuring several talking heads frankly describing their most personal and perverse attitudes on sex, violence, and actors reciting texts drawn from stateme...

  • Thanatopsis

    Directed by Beth B | 11 mins | 1991
    In collaboration with the legendary Downtown performance artist/musician Lydia Lunch, Beth B creates a chilling yet poetic vision of despairing nihilism—a hypnotic narrative, as a beautiful young woman negotiates the banalities of life, as Lunch delivers a warn...