Monday, June 27, 2011

Generations: Youth & Elders (2011 shorts program)

Johnny and Lyman, together
for 65 years and counting
Generations: Youth and Elders Making Movies,” (shorts program)
Sun. 6/19, 4:00 p.m. @ Roxie

Coming Out in the 1950s: Stories of Our Lives, dir. Gabriel Gaska & Phil Siegel, 2011 USA, 15 min. 
Eau Queer Festival, dir. Pamela Forman & Ellen Mahaffy, 2010 USA, 11 min. 
The Hook-Up, dir. Frameline Generations Filmmaker Workshop, 2011 USA, 7 min. 
Johnny & Lyman: A Life Together, dir. Michael Chen & Paul Detwiler, 2010 USA, 19 min.  [trailer]
Love Me/Hate Me, dir. Frameline Generations Filmmaker Workshop, 2011 USA, 7 min. 
Our Compass, dir. Tess Vo, 2009 Canada, 29 min. 
Tenderloin: Forgotten History, dir. Frameline Generations Filmmaker Workshop, 2011 USA, 8 min. 

The Queen Has No Crown

The Heymann brothers,
from an old home movie.
The Queen Has No Crown, dir. Tomer Heymann (תומר הימן), 2011 Israel, 85 min., mostly in Hebrew with English subtitles 
Sat. 6/18, 6:30 p.m. @ Roxie

The Queen Has No Crown is a deeply personal documentary of the filmmaker’s life, growing up in Israel, coming out, gaining political awareness of gay rights and also of the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Tomer Heymann uses his own videos from the last decade, but also family home movies and photos going back to the formation of the State of Israel. He encompasses both the personal and family history, including the recent migration of much of the family to America, and the backdrop of world events against which the personal stories unfold. It’s an interesting story, and a rare opportunity to see so much of the story in contemporaneous images, but at almost an hour and a half, it ran a bit long; my interest flagged in several segments. Highly recommended.

Note: although most of the dialogue is in Hebrew (with English subtitles), the title of the film is only in English.הערה: למרות שרוב הדיאלוג היא עברית (עם כתוביות באנגלית), את הכותרת של הסרט הוא באנגלית בלבד.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Please May I Have Another?

International Mr. Leather contestants
in the doc. Crowned and Bound.
Please May I Have Another?” (shorts program)
Sat. 6/18, 9:00 p.m. @ Victoria

Black Rose Tango, dir. Richard Kimmel, 2010 USA, 12 min. 
Brotherly Love, dir. Kinky Lez, 2010 USA, 14 min. 
Crowned & Bound, dir. Jeffrey Thomas McHale, 2010 USA, 21 min.
feti(sh)ame, dir. Kevin Simmonds, 2011 USA, 25 min. 
Spring, dir. Hong Khaou, 2011 UK, 13 min. 
Transsexual Dominatrix, dir. Shawna Virago, 2011 USA, 3 min. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Bite Marks

Bite Marks, dir. Mark Bessenger, 2011 USA, 84 min. 
Fri. 6/17, 9:30 p.m. @ Victoria
[screened with GaySharkTank.com, dir. Guy Shalem, 2010 USA, 14 min.; (not reviewed)]
Hey, Brewster! What’s in the
back o’ that truck, anyhow??

I should say at the outset that I’m not really an aficionado of vampire movies, or horror movies in general. That said, Bite Marks is a passable entry in the vampire genre. We start with a truck driver named Brewster (Benjamin Lutz) who subs at the last minute for his missing brother, delivering some coffins. Along the way, he picks up a couple of hitchhikers, college boys Cary (Windham Beacham, Long-Term Relationship [2006]) and Vogel (David Alanson). Of course, there be vampires in them thar coffins, and so our trio must work out what really works against vampires, as opposed to the silly stuff they put in movies.

Bashment

J.J. (Joel Dommett) rapping with
Venom (Ludvig Bonin) in Bashment.
Bashment, dir. Rikki Beadle-Blair, 2010 UK, 110 min., 
Sat. 6/18, 1:30 p.m. @ Victoria; [view trailer]
ADVISORY: this film contains graphic violence

Rikki Beadle-Blair is well familiar to Frameline audiences for the 1999 TV series Metrosexuality and the 2008 short film Souljah; he also wrote the screenplay for the 1995 film Stonewall. In Bashment, he again takes on issues of race, sex, and sexuality. MC J.J. (Joel Dommett) is a white, gay rapper, originally from the “cow country” of southwestern England, rising quickly on the London rap scene. At the finals of the Urban Slam competition, J.J. comes out, inviting his boyfriend Orlando (Marcus Kai) to join him onstage. Problem is, the Ilford Ilmanics crew, pissed off at having been disqualified for showing up an hour late, take out their frustrations on Orly backstage, beating him so badly that he has permanent brain damage.

The Night Watch

The Night Watch, dir. Richard Laxton, 2011 UK, 90 min. 
Kay (Anna Maxwell Martin) and
Helen (Claire Foy) in the London
blitz in The Night Watch.
Fri. 6/17, 9:30 p.m. @ Castro

The Night Watch follows a group of interwoven characters in London during and shortly after World War II. The narrative takes an unusual structure, though, because we spend roughly the first third of the film in 1947, then abruptly fast-rewind to 1944 for the middle third, and finally fast-rewind to 1941 for most of the last third, only jumping back to 1947 at the very end. The director, Richard Laxton, also made the fabulous “Must See” An Englishman in New York, the opening film of Frameline33.

Fun in Boys Shorts (2011)

Fun in Boys Shorts” (2011 shorts program)
Sat. 6/18, 11:00a @ Castro, FUNB18C
Sun. 6/26, 2:15p @ Castro, FUNB26C
UPDATE: all 8 shorts reviewed

Cassie (Ivy Latimer) and Greg (Callan
McAuliffe) in Franswa Sharl.
52, dir. Josh Levy, 2010 Canada, 4 min. 
BaldGuy (Skallamann), dir. Maria Block, 2011 Norway, 12 min., in Norwegian with English subtitles 
Cold Star, dir. Kai Stänicke, 2011 Germany, 7 min., music video 
Drives (Pulsiones), dir. José Manuel Carrasco, 2009 Spain, 12 min., in Spanish with English subtitles 
Franswa Sharl, dir. Hannah Hilliard, 2010 Australia, 14 min. 
I’d Rather be Looking at Porn, dir. Jared Michell & R.M. Vaughan, 2010 Canada, 3 min. 
The Itch, dir. Nora Tennessen, 2011 USA, 13 min. 
Revolution (انقلاب), dir. Abdi Nazemian, 2010 USA, 15 min. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Green

The Green, dir. Steven Williford, 2010 USA, 90 min. 
Fri. 6/17, 7:00 p.m. @ Castro

Michael (Jason Butler Harner) and
Daniel (Cheyenne Jackson)
Michael (Jason Butler Harner) and Daniel (Cheyenne Jackson, most recently the Glee team’s nemesis Dustin Goolsby) were living in the New York City, but Michael’s yearning for something a bit more small-town — some place where he could see green — led them to the Connecticut countryside. Michael is working as a teacher at a private school, and Daniel has a catering business. Things are going well until Michael is accused of molesting one of the students, a boy named Jason (Chris Bert) who is clearly having problems in his home life. Jason’s recovering-alcoholic mom is dating the groundskeeper of the school, a man who seems indifferent at best to Jason and openly suspicious of Michael.

Weekend

Weekend, dir. Andrew Haigh, 2011 UK, 96 min. 
Russell (Tom Cullen) and Glen
(Chris New) in Weekend.
Fri. 6/17, 4:15 p.m. @ Castro

Russell and Glen hook up for a one-night stand, but their divergent views on relationships quickly become apparent. Also, Glen wants to record an audio interview with Russell about their hookup for some sort of art project he’s doing. Over the course of a weekend of sex, beer, and drugs, they talk quite uninhibitedly, the sort of chat you only have with someone you know is about to leave. I only know about cocaine third-hand, but it doesn’t seem like the optimal drug for soul-searching conversation. Still, the interaction between Russell and Glen comes across as genuine, and the insights they share authentic. Highly recommended, with a theatrical release in the US and UK expected later this year.

Blokes (shorts program)

We Once were Tide
Blokes” (shorts program), Fri 6/17 1:45p @ Castro, BLOK17C
UPDATE: all shorts now reviewed

Blokes (Block), dir. Marialy Rivas, 2011 Chile, 15 min., in Spanish with English subtitles; 
Spring, dir. Hong Khaou, 2011 UK, 13 min.; 
The In-between, dir. Alain Hain, 2011 USA, 10 min.; 
We Once were Tide, dir. Jason Bradbury, 2011 UK, 19 min. 
Triple Standard, dir. Branden Blinn, 2010, USA 20 min.; 
Family Affair (Assunto de Família), dir. Caru Alves de Souza, 2011, Brazil, 13 min., in Portuguese with English subtitles 

Celebrating the Life of Del Martin

Celebrating the Life of Del Martin, dir. Debra Chasnoff, 2011 USA, 57 min. 
A portrait of Del Martin hanging in
SF City Hall during her memorial.
Fri. 6/17, 11:30 a.m. @ Castro

Del Martin was an incredibly important figure for San Francisco and the world, a pioneer in lesbian rights (co-founded the Daughters of Bilitis), women’s health (the Lyon-Martin clinic is named for Del and her partner Phyllis Lyon), elder rights, marriage equality, and many other issues. This film documents the memorial service that was held for her at San Francisco City Hall when she passed away just ten weeks after her lifelong relationship with Phyllis Lyon was finally legally recognized.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Kawa

Kawa (Calvin Tuteao)
Kawa, dir. Katie Wolfe, 2011 New Zealand, 76 min. 
Tue. 6/21, 4:00p @ Castro, KAWA21C
Thu. 6/23, 9:30p @ Elmwood, KAWA23E

Kawa is a family man from a traditional Māori (New Zealand native) family, the son of a clan leader. He has a wife and two kids, but he also has a secret that is gnawing at him and threatening to dissolve his marriage. His white boyfriend is losing patience with his closetedness, but his Māori family views homosexuality as dishonorable, disgusting, contemptible, and completely incompatible with the family leadership role Kawa is expected to take up from his ailing father. He has nowhere to turn.

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Advocate for Fagdom

Filmmaker Bruce LaBruce
The Advocate for Fagdom, dir. Angélique Bosio, 2011 France, 92 min. 
Wed. 6/22, 7:00p @ Roxie, ADVO22R

Canadian-born filmmaker Bruce LaBruce is certainly controversial, mixing a hardcore porno sensibility (often including actual porn using scenes from the same film shoot) with slasher horror film imagery and erotic images of skinheads, including Nazi skinheads. Even just the titles of some of LaBruce’s films are deliberately provocative: The Raspberry Reich, Bruce and Pepper Wayne Gacy’s Home Movies (a reference to serial killer John Wayne Gacy), and A Case for the Closet, for example.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Time Index of Reviewed Films

Check back for updates during the festival.
Last update: 2011-06-16 @ 17:50 (i.e., 5:50 pm on opening night)


Index of reviewed films, sorted by screening time(s)

Alphabetical Index of Reviewed Films

Check back for updates during the festival.
Last update: 2011-06-16 @ 17:45 (i.e., 5:45 pm on opening night)

Three (Drei)

Three (Drei), dir. Tom Tykwer, 2010 Germany, 119 min., in German with English subtitles 
Adam (Daniel Striesow) and Simon
(Sebastian Schipper) in 3.
Tue. 6/21, 6:30p @ Castro, THRE21C ($15 general, $12 members)

From the Frameline website: From the director of iconic indie flick Run, Lola, Run comes Three, Tom Tykwer’s latest exploration of human motivation. If you let it, love can be as easy as one-two-three, as Tykwer proves in this atmospheric piece about bisexuality, love and longing in cosmopolitan Berlin.

August

Ex-lover Troy (Murray Bartlett)
returns in the heat of August.
August, dir. Eldar Rapaport, 2011 USA, 105 min. 
Sat. 6/18, 9:00p @ Castro, AUGU18C; [watch the trailer]

Jonathan (Daniel Dugan) is happy with his new boyfriend, Raul (Adrian Gonzalez), almost but not quite living together in Los Angeles. (Raul has married Jonathan’s friend Nina to try to get a green card.) One steamy day in the middle of an August heat wave, they get a message from Troy (Murray Bartlett) that he’s moving back from Barcelona to L.A. Of course, Jonathan isn’t quite as “over” Troy as he would like to believe, and Troy clearly wants to start right back up. 

Longhorns

Steve (Dylan Vox) and Kevin
(Jacob Newton) in Longhorns.
Longhorns, dir. David Lewis, 2011 USA, 74 min. 
Sat. 6/25, 11:00a @ Castro, LONG25C; [view trailer]

Kevin is a fratboy in Texas in 1982. He and his good-ole-boy buddies are interested in three things: football, beer, and pussy, and not in that order. Of course, when beer and yer buddies are all y’all got, you might come up with some creative substitutes for the pussy — ’scuse me, ma’am, ah mint to say female companionshee’up — with a little help from the VCR, “like havin’ a porno theater right in yer dorm room!”

Private Romeo

Private Romeo, dir. Alan Brown, 2011 USA, 98 min. 
Mon. 6/20, 6:30p @ Castro, PRIV20C
screens with HERNDON, dir. Steve Clark Hall, 2010 USA, 3 min. (not reviewed)

The boys of McKinley Military Academy have been studying William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, but on a weekend when all the adult faculty and staff are gone, leaving eight boys to fend for themselves, the story works its way off the dusty page and into their real lives. Most of the dialogue in the film — well over 90%, in fact — is the 400-year-old tale of Montagues and Capulets. If you’ve ever seen a high school try to perform Shakespeare, you might be filled with dread at the thought, but these boys clearly know that “Wherefore art thou Romeo?” is entirely different from “Where are you, Romeo?,” and they also know just where to hold an extra beat to underline a bawdy double-entendre.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wish Me Away

Wish Me Away, dir. Bobbie Birleffi and Beverly Kopf, 2011 USA, 95 min. 
Country music star Chely Wright
Wed. 6/22, 7:00p @ Castro, WISH22C ($15 general, $12 members)

As recently as two years ago, there were zero openly gay or lesbian stars in country music. Chely Wright (“Shut Up and Drive,” “Single White Female”) was the very first, and she documented her journey with the help of filmmakers Bobbie Birleffi and Beverly Kopf. Chely finally came out of the closet with a book titled Like Me and an album called Lifted Off the Ground, and went on The Today Show and Oprah to talk about them.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Coming Out (shorts program 2011)

Joel (Charlie Gustafsson)
in Coming Out. photo:
Alexander Westergårdh
Coming Out” (shorts program 2011)
Sun. 6/19, 1:15p @ Roxie, COUT19R

10,000 Hearts, dir. Lisa Lodico, 2010 USA, 15 min. 
CHANGE, dir. Melissa Osborne, 2010 USA, 24 min. 
Coming Out (Komma Ut), dir. Jerry Carlsson, 2010 Sweden, 5 min., in Swedish with English subtitles 
Henry & Anthony, dir. Spencer W. Richards, 2010 USA, 20 min. (not reviewed)
James Dean, dir. Lucy Asten Elliott, 2010 UK, 8 min. 
Loop Planes, dir. Robin Wilby, 2010 USA, 12 min. 
One on One, dir. Luís Fernando Midence, 2010 USA, 10 min. 

[Henry & Anthony was not available for review. James Dean and Loop Planes will also screen in the “Transtastic!” shorts program, Wed. 6/22, 7:00p @ Roxie, TRAN22V.]

Spork

Spork contemplating a spork.
Spork, dir. J. B. Ghuman, Jr., 2010 USA, 90 min. 
Sun. 6/19, 1:00 @ Castro, SPOR19C

“Spork” (Savannah Stehlin) is the nickname given to a girl-identified 13-year-old with an intersex condition. (She views herself as something of a hybrid, hence the name.) Her classmates mostly view her as a freak and an outcast, as much for her frizzy hair as for her unusual biology. With help from some of her friends, including the irrepressible neighbor girl Tootsie Roll (Sydney Park), Spork decides to enter the dance competition in hopes of winning the $236 prize in spite of her lack of rhythm and graceful moves.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Sleeping Beauty of East Finchley

The Sleeping Beauty of East Finchley, dir. Séamus Rea, 2010 UK, 50 min. 
Thu. 6/16, 10:00p @ Castro, SLEE16C
Mon. 6/20, 7:00p @ Elmwood, SLEE20E

Joan (Josie Walker)
Joan (Josie Walker) has a humdrum life, coming home from her boring job to care for her invalid mother, until the visiting nurse Pat (Ruth James) uncovers their shared passion for music, persuading Joan to join the “Friends of Dusty” women’s choir. The trouble is, Joan is a good Irish Catholic lass, so she has a heaping helping of guilt around using her beautiful voice for something other than the church choir, leading her to back out of singing the solo for the Friends of Dusty’s big performance at the big LGBT music festival in London.

Absent (Ausente)

Absent (Ausente), dir. Marco Berger, 2011 Argentina, 87 min., in Spanish with English subtitles 
Sun. 6/19, 9:15p @ Castro, ABSE19C
Martín (Javier de Pietro, foreground)
and Sebastián (Carlos Echevarría)

In Absent, 16-year-old Martín seems to be stalking his gym teacher, Sebastián, engineering an excuse for Sebastián to take him to the hospital, weaving a web of lies in order to spend the night on Sebastián’s sofa, and working his way into Sebastián’s life. But everything is not as simple as it seems. Despite having a girlfriend and a pretty ordinary life, Sebastián is clearly thrown off balance by Martín. Near the end of the film, we revisit several incidents from an alternate perspective: who is really stalking whom?

Absent is a well-crafted psychological thriller, building the tension between the main characters steadily as their mysterious relationship unfolds, re-folds, and unfolds again. The camera work, lighting, and musical score all help to set the mood as the characters build to a slow boil. Highly recommended.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Romeos

Romeos, dir. Sabine Bernardi, 2011 Germany, 94 min., in German with English subtitles 
Tue. 6/21, 9:30p @ Castro, ROME21C
Rick Okon as Lukas in Romeos.

From the Frameline website: “A sweltering German summer is the perfect backdrop for Romeos, a rich story of coming into one’s own. Lukas just turned twenty, just showed up for his year of civil service, just finished his twenty-fifth shot of testosterone, and is saving up for surgery. Life is looking good. But when he’s mistakenly assigned to a women’s dorm and as he falls for a hot guy, it gets harder to keep his secret under wraps.

Bumblefuck, USA

Bumblefuck, USA, dir. Aaron Douglas Johnston, 2011 USA & Netherlands, 90 min. 
Fri. 6/17, 7:00p @ Victoria, BUMB17V

Jennifer (Heidi M. Sallows) and
Alexa (Cat Smits) in Bumblefuck, USA
Following the suicide of her friend Matt, Alexa has traveled from her home in Amsterdam to his home town, an unnamed small town in Iowa, to make a documentary about gay suicide and the coming-out experiences of some of the locals. Alexa rents a room from Lucas, a guy who gradually slides from socially awkward to creepy to criminally violent. (Note: the film includes a scene of sexual assault.) She also meets (and hooks up with) a lesbian artist named Jennifer and a young man who tends the landscaping at the cemetery. Her adventures with them are intermixed with footage from the documentary.

Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same

Hmmm... I wonder where that bald
woman in the spacesuit is from....
Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same, dir. Madeleine Olnek, 2011 USA, 70 min.  [view trailer]
Sat. 6/25, 3:30p @ Castro, CODE25C

Campy, over-the-top, unrelentingly cheesy — zoinks! I mean, the protagonist is even named Zoinx. This film is exactly what it sets out to be: a send-up of low-budget black-and-white sci-fi movies of the 1950’s, with a heaping helping of lesbian film clichés added on the skewer. It’s amusing, and will probably be much more fun with a full theatre than it was with just me in my living room, but on the other hand I had the benefit of the 1.5X fast playback mode on my DVD player. After all, the flat monotone “I am a space alien” voice thing wears thin after a while. If the description sounds at all appealing to you, you’ll probably have a great time, plus you’ll get to see the director and three of the actors (guests expected, but not guaranteed). Recommended.

Keywords: Frameline35, LGBT Film

Zombies, Aussies, Musicals, Oh My!

Murray and Barry in Slut – The Musical
Zombies, Aussies, Musicals, Oh My!” shorts program
Mon. 6/20 9:30p @ Victoria, ZOMB20V

Cupcake: A Zombie Lesbian Musical, dir. Rebecca Thomson, 2010 Australia, 18 min. (not reviewed)
Slut – The Musical, dir. Tonnette Stanford, 2010 Australia, 16 min.
Slashed, dir. Rebecca Thomson, 2010 Australia, 11 min. 
Why Me?, dir.Victoria Stanford, 2010 Australia, 22 min. 
I was a Teenage Werebear, dir. Tim Sullivan, 2011 USA, 28 min. (not reviewed)

Fun in Girls Shorts (2011)

Fun in Girls Shorts” (shorts program)
Sat. 6/18, 1:30p @ Castro, FUNG18C
Sun. 6/26, 11:30a @ Castro, FUNG26C
Elisa Dei and Heather Salm in Cyclicity

Flyers, dir. Laura Terruso, 2011 USA, 3 min. (not reviewed)
Cyclicity, dir. Jason Knade, 2011 USA, 11 min. 
Poker Face, dir. Becky Lane, 2011 USA, 14 min. 
Nice Shirt, dir. Erik Gernand, 2011 USA, 5 min. 
L.U.G.S., dir. Sarah Rotella, 2010 Canada, 14 min. 
Slow Burn, dir. Christine Chew, 2011 Canada, 14 min. 
Lust Life, dir. Lynda Tarryk, 2010 USA, 9 min. 
Out of Bounds, dir. Nicholas Ybarra, 2010 USA, 18 min. 

Au Pair, Kansas

Oddmund (Håvard Lilleheie) and
Helen (Traci Lords) in Au Pair, Kansas.
Au Pair, Kansas, dir. J.T. O'Neal, 2010 USA, 94 min. 
Sat. 6/25, 9:30p @ Victoria, AUPA25V
preceded by Mr. Right, dir. Jim Knoop, 2010 Canada, 9 min. (not reviewed)

Helen (Traci Lordsis a recent widow, raising two sons on a bison ranch near the Swedish town of Lindsborg in central Kansas. She sends off for an au pair, and gets Oddmund (Håvard Lilleheie), a Norwegian who literally kicks his soccer ball down the stairs of the airplane as he arrives. Everyone wonders which team Oddmund really plays for — is he gay, or just European? In the mean time, Helen must deal with the ghost of her gay husband while raising a 15-year-old and a 9-year-old boy. When Helen develops feelings for Oddmund, things get really complicated, the police get involved, and somehow, through it all, we see the importance of real connections between people.

Bob's New Suit

Bob (Hunter Bodine) and Steve
(Shay Astar) in Bob's New Suit.
Bob's New Suit, dir. Alan Howard, 2011 USA, 97 min.
Wed. 6/22 1:15p @ Castro, BOBS22C

Bob (Hunter Bodine) has finally proposed to his longtime girlfriend Jenny (Hayley DuMond) and is off to tell his parents the joyous news, but his sister Stephanie has some news of his own: he's decided to start living as a man, and wants to be called Steve (Shay Astar). On top of that, cousin George gets Bob and his dad mixed up in some shady business, and Dad has a secret past that is about to be unearthed. It's a recipe for a pretty decent comedy, but one where the transgender character is one of the players, not a stereotyped butt-of-all-jokes.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Tomboy

Zoé Héran as Laure/Mickäel in Tomboy.
Tomboy, dir. Céline Sciamma, 2011 France, 84 min., in French with English subtitles 
Fri. 6/24, 7:00p @ Castro, TOMB24C

Laure and her family have just moved to a new neighborhood. Already quite a tomboy, Laure creates an alter-ego, a boy named Mickäel, who hangs out with the girl next door, Lisa, and plays soccer with the other boys. Poignant, funny, and insightful, Tomboy is a "must-see" portrayal of gender ambiguity on the threshhold of adolescence.

Worldly Affairs

"Worldly Affairs" shorts program, Sat. 6/25 1:15p @ Castro, WORL25C

Ron (Yuval Rozman) and
Tal (Avi Kornick) in A Word.
רון (יובל רוזמן) ו טל (אבי קורניק) ב מילה.

A Day in the Country, dir. Pella Kågerman & Hugo Lilja, 2010, Sweden, 15 min., in Swedish with English subtitles; (not reviewed)
A Word (מילה), dir. Yoav Inbar (יואב ענבר), 2010, Israel, 19 min., in Hebrew with English subtitles 
Lek and the Waterboy, dir. Lasse Nielsen, 2010, Thailand, 8 min., (no dialogue)
Samaritan (Samaritanen), dir. Magnus Mork, 2010, Norway, 29 min., in English, Norwegian and Kurdish with partial English subtitles 
I Don't Want to Go Back Alone, dir. Daniel Ribeiro, 2010, Brazil, 17 min., in Portuguese with English subtitles; (not reviewed)

Christopher and His Kind

Christopher and His Kind, dir. Geoffrey Sax, 2011 UK, 90 min. 
Sun. 6/26, 7:30p @ Castro, CHRI26C (closing-night gala; $35/$30 film only, $60/$50 film and party)

Christopher Isherwood (Matt Smith, lower right)
and Heinz Neddermayer (Douglas Booth)
Gay literary icon Christopher Isherwood, at the urging of his friend, poet W. H. Auden, lived in Berlin from 1929 to 1933, as the 1920’s gay liberation scene in Berlin was fading and Adolph Hitler’s “national socialism” was on the rise. That period of Isherwood’s life inspired several works, including the Broadway musical and film Cabaret. Christopher and His Kind is a more direct adaptation of Isherwood's memoirs in a biopic style, starring Matt Smith (the current Doctor Who!). Isherwood moved to Berlin “because of the boys,” but became especially fond of one in particular, Heinz Neddermayer (Douglas Booth). He also met the people who begat some of his more famous characters, including “Sally Bowles” (Jean Ross, played by Imogen Poots) and “Mr. Norris,” (Gerald Hamilton, played by Toby Jones) both of whom we meet in the film. 

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Frameline35 is Here!

The 35th annual Frameline LGBT Film Festival is upon us, with over 230 films from 30 countries, including 80 feature-length films. The four spotlighted films (opening night, closing night, and two centerpieces) represent the four bastions of the LGBT community. Gun Hill Road, the opening night film, leads off an impressive list of 44 transgender-themed films. The Tuesday centerpiece film, Drei (Three), delves into bisexuality, followed by the Wednesday centerpiece, Wish Me Away, about country music star Chely Wright's coming out as a lesbian. The closing night film, Christopher and His Kind, rounds out the list with gay literary icon Christopher Isherwood's life in Berlin in the early 1930's — with Isherwood played by the current Doctor Who!

I'm reviewing a number of titles from press screeners, and will have reviews of additional films I see during the festival proper. Stay tuned!

Ticket prices:
matinees: $9 general, $8 members
evenings: $11 general, $10 members
centerpieces: $15 general, $12 members
opening/closing night, film only: $35 general, $30 members

Remember: even if a screening is listed as “sold out,” you can wait in the “hope line” for the last few seats.

Keywords: Frameline35, LGBT Film

Gun Hill Road

Harmony Santana and Esai Morales
in Gun Hill Road. [click for full size]
Gun Hill Road, dir. Rashaad Ernesto Green, 2011, USA, 88 min. 
Thursday, June 16, 7:00 PM, Castro Theatre, ticket code GUNH16

Enrique Michael Rodriguez (Esai Morales) is coming home to his Puerto Rican family in New York City after three years in prison — not his first time — to find that his family is not quite just as he left them. His wife still loves him, but how much comfort did she find in the arms of another man while he was "upstate"? More importantly, what is up with his teenage son Michael (Harmony Santana)?