Before Todd Haynes was exploring the legacy of Bob Dylan with his 2009 film I’m Not There, he was scaring the crap out of conservatives in the 1990s and prompting a full-on assault on the National Endowment for the Arts. His second film, 1991’s Poison, adopted several different genres (1950s campy horror, documentary film, and French new wave) to spin three different vignettes exploring gay themes. Disturbing, frightening, and shocking, this film drew an enormous amount of controversy and made Haynes a household name, allowing him to make similar films with bigger budgets. This one’s a challenge, but it’s a good snapshot of what was not being discussed on a large scale in 1990s America.—Finn Cohen

Poison (1991)
Saturday, June 18
5:30 p.m.
Gene Siskel Film Center
164 North State Street, Chicago
Tickets $10