"[H]is book is so much more than I dared expect, a model of what a gay study can be. Nearly devoid of academic jargon, it's authoritative, comprehensive, and personally couched." -- John F. Karr, Karrnal Knowledge (blog)
"...one of the most intriguing and unusual cultural histories of recent years, a work that simultaneously serves as a valuable extension of Jones's own idiosyncratic oeuvre." -- Travis Jeppesen, Whitehot Magazine
"A collection of writings by and about Fred Halsted... Jones's much-needed monograph charts a course through queer cinema's outer limits." -- Thomas Beard, Frieze
"[A] fascinating glimpse of a bygone gay culture whose aesthetic was far less polished, more earthy, and more dangerous than our current one, defined as it is by dollars and digital media." -- Sam Biederman, Bookforum
"As a project born out of the author's sincere admiration for his subject, Halsted Plays Himself amounts to a very passionate, if not sentimental, account. Jones not only attempts to symbolically revive Halsted in this elegy, but continuously constructs imaginary scenarios which could have resulted in him still being alive, better understood, or more accepted." -- Aliina Astrova, Kaleidoscope (blog)
"[A] rich and rewarding excavation of a blazing moment in the early 1970s...[A] valuable installment in a recent, resurgent interest in queer documents from that flourishing social period, positioning Halsted's artistic legacy within a teeming moment of gay visibility." -- Bradford Nordeen, Art in America
About the Author
William E. Jones is an artist and filmmaker who teaches film history at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. He has made two feature length experimental films, Massillon (1991) and Finished (1997), several short videos, including The Fall of Communism as Seen in Gay Pornography (1998), the feature length documentary Is It Really So Strange? (2004), and many video installations. His films and videos were the subject of retrospectives at Tate Modern, London, in 2005, and at Anthology Film Archives, New York, in 2010. He has worked in the adult video industry under the name Hudson Wilcox.