50 SHADES OF GAY

GA Voice - - Out On Film -

by STEVE WAR­REN

For the first time in its 28 years, Out On Film can be legally mar­ried in Ge­or­gia! Well, I’m not sure the Supreme Court rul­ing cov­ers fes­ti­val mar­riages, but Out On Film di­rec­tor (and Ge­or­gia Voice con­trib­u­tor) Jim Farmer tied the knot with Craig Hardesty on July 2, and yours truly got hitched in Florida to Dan War­ren (for­merly Smith) on Jan. 15.

In other words, a lot more than Cait­lyn Jen­ner’s gen­der has changed since last year’s fes­ti­val. Have the movies kept up with the times?

As Sarah Palin (re­mem­ber her?) might say, “You betcha!”

You can see how well they’ve kept up if you look back at the early days of Out On Film, which presents its 28th slate of movies from Oct. 1 through 8 at the Land­mark The­atres Midtown Art Cin­ema. A typ­i­cal fes­ti­val in the re­cent past might have in­cluded a rom-com about a gay man look­ing for (and find­ing) love, a drama about a woman leav­ing her hus­band af­ter re­al­iz­ing she prefers another woman, and a doc­u­men­tary about the nascent “gay” (or “gay and les­bian”) move­ment in another coun­try.

Films about trans peo­ple would have been rare, and even L, G and B films were of­ten in short sup­ply, though what few did ex­ist would be helped by dis­trib­u­tors of those new­fan­gled “home videos” try­ing to build word of mouth for their up­com­ing re­leases.

Cut to 2015. To­day, we have all kinds of nar­ra­tive and doc­u­men­tary films, about peo­ple all up and down the Kin­sey scale, in var­i­ous phases of tran­si­tion, and min­gling freely in a di­verse so­ci­ety.

Septem­ber 18, 2015

Pro­duc­tion val­ues are up, too, and are now at least equal to those of het­ero in­die films, be­cause there’s in­creased com­pe­ti­tion from ca­ble, Net­flix and other dis­tri­bu­tion out­lets. As GLAAD pointed out re­cently, TV se­ries with at least one LGBT char­ac­ter have be­come the rule rather than the ex­cep­tion.

Re­mem­ber when we were lucky to have one film with LGBT con­tent (e.g., “Philadelphia,” “Broke­back Moun­tain” or “Milk”) car­ry­ing the ban­ner for us in award sea­son?

This year’s act­ing Os­car win­ners, Ju­lianne Moore and Ed­die Red­mayne, are in con­tention again—Moore for play­ing a les­bian in “Free­held,” show­ing in Out On Film on Oct. 4 (and which also fea­tures an act­ing nom­i­nee for this year, Steve Carell, as a gay man) and Red­mayne for play­ing a trans­gen­der woman in “The Dan­ish Girl.” There’s also award buzz around Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara as a les­bian cou­ple in “Carol,” Elle Fan­ning as a trans­gen­der teen in “About Ray,” and Tom Hardy as the Kray twins, one of whom was gay, in “Leg­end.”

With all these and more, in­clud­ing the con­tro­ver­sial “Stonewall” (open­ing on Sep. 25) and “The New Girl­friend” (open­ing on Oct. 2) com­ing to the­aters, you may won­der what’s left for a fes­ti­val. I think you’ll be pleas­antly sur­prised by the an­swer.

Here are my thoughts on more than half of the fes­ti­val fea­tures, which I was able to preview. As a critic (a.k.a. “pro­fes­sional bitch”), I didn’t love them all, but that doesn’t mean you won’t.

For com­plete fes­ti­val in­for­ma­tion and to buy tick­ets, visit www.ou­t­on­film.org. For ex­tended ver­sions of my re­views, go to the­gavoice.com.

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