In April 2021, Film Comment published a Trans Cinema Roundtable Podcast, in which two trans film critics and two trans filmmakers answered questions submitted by listeners on what constitutes a cinema of transness. Now, two of those panelists—Caden Mark Gardner and Willow Catelyn Maclay—are about to publish a new book on that very subject. Corpses, Fools and Monsters is a thorough inquiry into the history, present, and future of what Caden and Willow call the “trans film image”—not a fully developed cinema, yet, but gestures, glimpses, and traces that have been visible in film from its earliest days and have now gained a renewed creative force. 

On today’s episode, Caden and Willow join Film Comment Editor Devika Girish to talk about the extensive research they undertook for the book, why representation can be a complex term for trans cinephiles, and films from reappraised classics like Jonathan Demme’s The Silence of the Lambs (1991) and Toshio Matsumoto’s Funeral Parade of Roses (1969) to new works by trans filmmakers, including Vera Drew’s The People’s Joker and Jane Schoenbrun’s I Saw the TV Glow

Show Notes:

Willow’s interview with Jane Schoenbrun

Caden’s Masc and Queersigthed: Class Acts series on the Criterion Channel

Body Talk, a series of transcribed conversations between Willow and Caden about trans cinema