Arts Express: Sex, War and Gender Cartoons, a Conversation

Arts Express: Former cop, Vietnam veteran and NY Daily News Pulitzer nominated crime reporter turned filmmaker Stephen Ryder engages Arts Express in this fascinating when not contentious conversation touching on how all those experiences have made him a different kind of filmmaker. And talks Jimmy Breslin, Pancho Villa, his showgirl mother’s perfume, why murderers join the US military, maids and male chauvinists, French sexual weirdness, and why he thinks that disgraced IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn will beat the rape rap.


The Abduction Of Zack Butterfield screenwriter also sheds light on his exploration of female soldiers – as seen in the movie – transformed into dangerous ‘artificially masculinzed gender cartoons.’ The psychological thriller probes the violent kidnapping for sex and maybe love, of a stalked male teenager by a young female Iraq combat vet. An issue which has caused controversy among women – who in the real world are by far the largest group of victims of physical and sexual violence. And yet the one group for whom the offense of ‘hate crime’ on the books does not exist.

Ryder also dialed up Arts Express at WBAI Radio with one rather surprising revelation. No, not that he was donned in a bathrobe and bunny slippers at the time, though that was quite something to hear. But namely that among his vast number of life occupations, was as chauffeur decades ago to the late Lou Schweitzer, the actual founding father of WBAI Radio.

More information about the movie is online at:

Arts Express Graphic Comic Giveaway: Filmmaker Lynn Hershman Leeson, whose documentary !War: Women Art Revolution is just opening in theaters, has made available a special offer to our readers at Arts Express, a giveaway of the film’s companion graphic comic.

To request a free copy of !WAR, send your name and mailing address to: [email protected]

Spain Rodriguez, whose cartoon characters like Trashman became icons in 1960s radical underground newspapers, has collaborated with Leeson on this feminist art history and unique interactive project with reader participation, to expand the scope of !WAR into the future. The comic book, with text by Spain, Leeson and Alexandra Chowaniec also includes a visual arts curriculum guide by Krista Lynes and Claire Daigle, and a film and video guide by Fiona Summers.

Stay tuned for continuing features of Arts Express: Expression In The Arts. And if you’d like to Express yourself too, you can write to: [email protected].

Prairie Miller is a New York multimedia journalist online, in print and radio, who reviews movies and conducts in-depth interviews. She can also be heard on WBAI/Pacifica National Radio Network’s Arts Express.