Out On Film makes Amer­ica gay again

GA Voice - - Outspoken -

By STEVE WAR­REN

Last sum­mer we cel­e­brated the Supreme Court de­ci­sion on same-sex mar­riage. This sum­mer we mourned the vic­tims of Or­lando’s Pulse mas­sacre.

But on the brighter side, the Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­date (Is this re­ally hap­pen­ing or am I trapped in a bad movie?) threw a crumb to the LGBT com­mu­nity, even if he couldn’t pro­nounce it.

What­ever hap­pens, some peo­ple have to make movies and just about all of us have to watch them. So Out On Film goes on, as it has for 29 years, try­ing to dis­cover LGBT films and film­mak­ers be­fore the main­stream does, and of­fer­ing a queerer al­ter­na­tive to what’s on other screens.

The more as­sim­i­lated we be­come, the less ghet­toiza­tion there is, in cin­ema as well as real life. There are still films made by, for and about us; but most can be ap­pre­ci­ated by wider au­di­ences now that our se­crets are as out as we are.

So why do we need a fes­ti­val? I won­der that ev­ery year, un­til I start watch­ing the films. Yes, there’s main­stream work out there that ac­cepts and in­cludes us; but these films are us. They bring up mem­o­ries, happy or sad, of be­ing bul­lied, of be­ing out and proud; the pain of want­ing some­one you can’t have, the thrill of find­ing out you can have them and the let­down after you do. Lov­ing and los­ing – or win­ning – aren’t exclusive to us, but some­times the way we do it is spe­cial.

There are sto­ries, real and fic­tional, that il­lus­trate the steps we’ve been through on our jour­neys and re­mind us that oth­ers are still go­ing through the process, which can be just as painful in this more en­light­ened age. The courage of our pre­de­ces­sors can em­power and inspire us as they have oth­ers.

Fes­ti­val direc­tor (and Georgia Voice con­trib­u­tor) Jim Farmer has as­sem­bled a bumper crop of more than 110 fea­ture films, doc­u­men­taries, short films and web se­ries, in hopes of top­ping last year’s record at­ten­dance.

Out On Film 29 runs Sept. 29 - Oct. 6 at the Land­mark Mid­town Art Cin­ema. For com­plete fes­ti­val in­for­ma­tion, in­clud­ing spe­cial guests, spe­cial events and up­dates, and to buy tick­ets, visit www.ou­t­on­film.org. For more de­tailed ver­sions of my re­views, go to www.the­gavoice.com. STRIKE A POSE (***) Sept. 29, 7 p.m.

In 1990, Madonna hired seven young men as dancers for her “Blond Am­bi­tion” tour. One of them was even straight, though you’d never guess which! Madonna doesn’t par­tic­i­pate but “Strike a Pose” of­fers a dif­fer­ent look at the great men be­hind a great woman, up­dat­ing the dancers’ sto­ries. SUM­MER­TIME (***) Sept. 30, 7:25 p.m.

In 1971, Del­phine (Izïa Higelin) is con­tent on her fam­ily’s farm un­til her lo­cal girl­friend mar­ries a man. Del­phine moves to Paris and falls in love with bi­sex­ual Ca­role (Cé­cile De France). But when her fam­ily needs her, Del­phine is torn be­tween love and duty in this ro­man­tic, sexy drama. FAIR HAVEN (***) Sept. 30, 9:20 p.m.

James (Michael Grant, ex­cel­lent) re­turns home from con­ver­sion ther­apy to his fam­ily’s Ver­mont ap­ple or­chard, but wants to leave his wid­owed dad (Tom Wopat), his old boyfriend and the preacher’s daugh­ter to go to mu­sic school in Bos­ton. The film’s

Septem­ber 16, 2016

WHERE ARE YOU GO­ING, HABIBI? (** 1/2) Oct. 1, 11 a.m.

Ibo (Cem Alkan) can’t get a good job be­cause of Ger­man prej­u­dice against his Turk­ish de­scent, so he works in a gay sex shop. He be­friends Ali (Martin Walde), a ho­mo­pho­bic (but flex­i­ble – but how flex­i­ble?) crim­i­nal. There’s a lot that’s hard to be­lieve here, but I en­joyed it. AWOL (***) Oct. 1, 11:40 a.m.

This seem­ingly sim­ple ro­man­tic les­bian melo­drama is full of sur­prises. Joey (Lola Kirke) is join­ing the Army un­til she meets Rayna (Breeda Wool, a younger Uma Thur­man), a hot, older blonde whose truck­drivin’ hus­band is away a lot. By and about women, “AWOL” kept this male re­viewer emo­tion­ally in­volved. KIKI (** 1/2) Oct. 1, 9:30 p.m.

There’s a lot of fab­u­los­ity in terms of dance, wardrobe and at­ti­tude, in Sara Jor­denö’s poorly as­sem­bled hodge­podge about New York’s cur­rent com­pet­i­tive ball­room scene. Enough in­di­vid­ual sto­ries of LGBT youth of color will stay with you to make “Kiki” worth see­ing. THE AD­VEN­TURES OF PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT (***) Oct. 1, 11 p.m.

“...a cock in a frock on a rock.” Drag queens Hugo Weav­ing and Guy Pearce and trans­gen­der for­mer drag queen Ter- THE QUEEN OF IRE­LAND (***) Oct. 2, 11:05 a.m.

Ire­land beat the U.S. to mar­riage equal­ity by a month – and by pop­u­lar vote! This is that story, and the story of ac­tivist Panti Bliss, a.k.a. Rory O’Neill, a small town boy who be­came fa­mous as “a gi­ant car­toon woman” and helped per­suade the coun­try. You’re gonna love him! JONATHAN (** 1/2) Oct. 2, 11:10 a.m.; Oct. 6, 3:30 p.m.

“Jonathan” is a gay love story, but not the one you ex­pect. De­spite our hopes, the hand­some ti­tle char­ac­ter (Jan­nis Niewöh­ner) is straight. He’s sur­prised to learn his dy­ing fa­ther isn’t, when Dad’s old lover vis­its. Gay se­niors who spent most of their lives in the closet will re­late. PO­LIT­I­CAL AN­I­MALS (***) Oct. 2, 12:45 p.m.

The first four out politi­cians elected to statewide of­fice in Cal­i­for­nia, start­ing only 22 years ago, were all les­bians. This ter­rific look at Sheila James Kuehl, Ca­role Mig­den, Chris­tine Ke­hoe and Jackie Gold­berg stud­ies their vic­to­ries, their de­feats and, most use­fully, their strate­gies in fight­ing for our rights. FRONT COVER (***) Oct. 2, 2:50 p.m.

Clos­eted Chi­nese movie star Ning (James Chen) meets Chi­nese-Amer­i­can stylist Ryan

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