Past Event
Visual and Dramatic Arts
Saturday, November 16
Brokeback: A Shorts Film Program

About the Event

Houston Cinema Arts Festival presents Brokeback: A Shorts Film Program

These five short film engage and examine the notion of the queer cowboy, asking the question “who is the cowboy?” Spanning 50 years from Barbara Hammer’s DEATH OF A MARRIAGE to Adrian Garcia Gomez’s LA MESA, the image of the cowboy varies in each instance. Sometimes informed by Hollywood aesthetics of John Wayne and Michael Landon, others as more native and homegrown, the composition of the cowboy and who gets to wear the hat are malleable and complex. The queer cowboy doesn’t just exist exclusively as queering the western genre, but exists in multitudes beyond a rendezvous in the woods while away from the wives.

The screening will be followed by a reading and conversation with Houston-based writer Josh Inocéncio.

Death of a Marriage

Directed by Barbara Hammer

United States, 1969, 3 minutes

“Death of a Marriage I think is my first psychodrama – finding images and filmic methods of portraying my interior emotional being. I had built by hand with my husband a home in the woods, made my own horse corral, and had an art studio. Yet the alternative lifestyle didn’t erase the feeling of entrapment, proscribed role, and constrictions. Yip, yip and away!” — Barbara Hammer

Horse Dreams in BBQ Country

Directed by Daniel Baer

United States, 1996, 20 minutes

Horse Dreams in BBQ Country charmed in its 1996 release and continues to, thanks to a bittersweet portrayal of the long-time love between two gay ranchers in the patriotic, lottery-crazy land of South Texas. Though they struggle to make ends meet, Mario Borjas—Tejano to the core—and David Ewell, a Texas transplant, have somehow managed to fashion a rural life that has revolved around horses and each other for 14 years. A sweet short documentary about love the love that can be created in any place and any time.

Queers ‘N Steers

Directed by Kate Horsfield

United States, 1992, 12 minutes

Queers N Steers provides a heartwarming insight into queer memory and community-building within the Texas Gay Rodeo Association. Through interviews with members of the group and footage of their rodeos, Horsfield reveals the association’s bold defiance in confronting stereotypes and fear. Being queer can certainly mean a multitude of things for the members of the Texas Gay Rodeo Association. In the video, which was produced in the shadow of the HIV/AIDS crisis, expectations of sexuality and gender are undermined in a space that is often outside the realm of typical queer representation. A new notion of community is ultimately presented in reconfigured ideas of kinship, self-identity, and American tradition.

Hold Me Now

Directed by Michael Robinson

United States, 2008, 5 minutes

Plagued by blindness, sloth, and devotion, a troubled scene from Little House On The Prairie offers itself up to karaoke exorcism.

La Mesa

Directed by Adrian Gomez Garcia

United States, 2018, 10 minutes

La Mesa explores the intersections of memory, identity and queer desire. It recreates fragmented and romanticized stories of a childhood in rural Mexico as told by the artist’s father. These disjointed vignettes are interwoven with queered reenactments of scenes from popular culture. The artist casts himself in the old Mexican films and American Westerns he grew up watching with his family in California. He appears as the romantic lead opposite the male actors, including Pedro Infante, Mexican national hero and the filmmaker’s childhood crush. Animations are laid over footage of the old family home in Mexico which now sits alone, slowly being consumed by the surrounding countryside. By centering queer desire in his family’s history, the artist validates his childhood experiences while challenging popular representations of masculinity as well as traditional notions of power and vulnerability.

Parking available in West Lot 4, $5 flat rate charge, credit card required.

Directions to Rice Cinema, Rice Media Center:
Entrance #8 via University Blvd & Stockton Drive
For specific directions from any location Google map ‘Rice Cinema’.
For parking information:
Shuttle service:
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Directions & Parking

Entrance #8 via University Blvd & Stockton Drive

Nearest visitor parking lots:
Moody Lot (previously known as Hess Lot)


Rice Media Center
Cinema Auditorium #100