(photo by Ana Grillo)
Pitchfork has premiered Silas Howard’s latest documentary on Bambi Lake, a landmark transsexual punk rocker from San Francisco’s fringe art scene. Howard’s documentary covers the story of a young woman who finds herself in the midst of a red light district lifestyle in San Francisco, who eventually found her ways on stage opening for David Bowie. The 15-minute film touches upon the early, pre-AIDS epidemic queer scene filled with promiscuity and hustling that Bambi called home. Sticks & Stones: Bambi Lake hinges on Bambi Lake’s song “Golden Age of Hustlers.”
In the interview, Pitchfork talks with Howard on his involvement with the early San Francisco queer community as his role as a guitarist in the queer punk band Tribe 8. When asked about his first time meeting Bambi, Howard said, “I went to the gay pride parade and all of a sudden there was this commotion on the sidelines and there was this tow truck pulling a fake cop car, and it was surrounded by all these punks and drag queens with baseball bats and high heel shoes smashing the cop car. And then in front of it it said “NO APOLOGIES, NO REGRETS.” It was this really wild, good-looking, sexy, performative group of people that were very irreverent. The humor was really gallows humor. For myself, I was 18, and knew “that’s my people.”
Silas Howard, formerly of seminal punk band Tribe 8, has been named the first Trans director of Jill Soloway’s original Golden Globe winning and Emmy winning seriesTransparent. He is also known for directing Hudson Valley Ballers, award winning, Sundance premiered By Hook or By Crook, SXSW-premiered Sunset Stories, and is currently working on a musical film for legendary artist Peaches.
Howard received his MFA at UCLA in directing in 2008 and was the recipient of the Kovler Family Fellowship in Film & Television, the Wasserman Film Production award, Motion Picture Association of America award and twice nominated for the Rockefeller Media Award. Silas is a Film Independent Directors Lab Fellow, Nantucket Screenwriting Colony Fellow and currently the 2014-15 Arthur Levitt Fellow at Williams College and a 2015 Guggenheim Fellowship. He currently is a visiting lecturer at Cornell University.