Jul 3rd 2019


Directed by Doris Wishman • 1961

Nearly a decade before Neil Armstrong first stepped foot on the lunar surface, Miami rocket scientist Dr. Jeff (Lester Brown) embarked on a secret, self-funded mission to the moon, where deep within a remote crater he made perhaps the greatest discovery mankind has to date stumbled upon: a colony of buxom alien nudists! An exploitation dynamo and one of the most prolific female feature directors ever, Doris Wishman pumped out a cycle of achingly wholesome nudist pictures during the first half of the ‘60s; she prided herself on bringing invention and a certain lowbrow wit to a genre where traditional cinematic concerns were more often than not cast aside in favor of haphazardly shot prurience. Nude on the Moon would prove to be the most enduring of these films, a blissfully stupid lunar reverie where seemingly half the runtime is dedicated to cataloging the games and leisure activities of topless “moon nymphs” in a space utopia that suspiciously resembles Miami’s iconic Coral Castle. Too often sloughed off as “the female Ed Wood,” Wishman would prove to be massively influential in the world of avant-garde filmmaking, where her poverty-driven style and slapdash innovations would inspire filmmakers like George Kuchar and Peggy Ahwesh to pick up a camera, heedless of money or technical resources, and start filming their friends naked. (CW)

83 min • Moon Productions • 35mm from American Genre Film Archive

Short: “Hold Me While I’m Naked” (George Kuchar, 1966) – 17 min – 16mm from The Film-Makers’ Cooperative

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