07 June 2013

Me and You and Frameline 37

For those of you in San Francisco, the 37th edition of Frameline, SF's Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, begins on Thursday, June 20th, at the Castro Theatre with Stacie Passon's debut feature Concussion, which premiered at Sundance earlier this year and won the Teddy jury prize at the Berlinale. If you're planning on attending the festival this year, the chances are good that you'll run into me (or, at least, find yourself in the same theatre) over the course of those ten days. Naturally, I'll be in attendance for the June 23rd screening of Travis Mathews and James Franco's Interior. Leather Bar., which I am proud to say I worked on. The film screens with Mathews' excellent In Their Room: London, the third in a series of docs exploring gay male intimacy and sexuality.
Working for the festival this year, I've had a chance to see a sizable portion of the selection, so I thought I might direct your attention to a few of Frameline 37's notable screenings, in no particular order. I am in the process of writing a bit more extensively on a few of these. Winner of the Teddy for Best Feature Film at the Berlinale earlier this year, Małgorzata Szumowska's In the Name Of (W imię...), which stars Andrzej Chyra (Katyń) as a gay Catholic priest, is the fest's dramatic centerpiece, screening on 25 June.

A pair of solid documentaries about famous gay American authors, Daniel Young's Paul Bowles: The Cage Door Is Always Open and Nicholas Wrathall's Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia, would have made for a great double-feature, had their screenings not fallen on different days. And then throw in Stephen Silha and Eric Slade's Big Joy: The Adventures of James Broughton (which I have yet to see) if docs about dead gay American artists are your thing.
Appealing to both the tranny doc lovers and performance art queers in your home, I would recommend both Charles Atlas's Turning, an exploration of the concert of the same name that Atlas staged with Antony Hegarty in Europe in 2006, and Tim Lienhard's One Zero One: The Story of Cybersissy & BayBjane (One Zero One - Die Geschichte von Cybersissy & BayBjane), a visually dazzling portrait of two drag artists which combines testimonials with performance piece interludes of the duo.

If sexy lesbians are more your speed, check out Marco Berger and Marcelo Monaco's Sexual Tension: Violetas (Tensión sexual, Volumen 2: Violetas), which substitutes the hunky Argentine men of its predecessor with lusty lipstick lezzies in six erotic shorts. Like Sexual Tension: Volatile (Tensión sexual, Volumen 1: Volátil), certain shorts are much stronger than the others; the highlight of this set is Berger's "Dormi conmigo," in which two girls cross paths at a youth hostel. I will definitely be attending Sexperimental, a retrospective of experimental video artists Texas Starr and Kadet Kuhne's films. With titles as alluring as Cunt Dykula, Girls Will Be Boys, Rave Porn, and Pussy Buffet, I'm expecting a good-ol'-time.

Not counting Interior. Leather Bar. and Concussion, there are four other US narrative features I can direct your attention toward (two of which I've seen, the other two I'm planning to see): Yen Tan's gays-in-small-town-Texas drama Pit Stop, which played in the NEXT section at Sundance this year and features a great performance from Amy Seimetz; Cory Krueckeberg's The Go Doc Project, a film I was surprised to have liked which concerns a lonely college student who schemes to make a documentary about gay clubbing in NYC as a ruse to meet the go-go boy of his Tumblr dreams; another Sundance leftover, Kyle Patrick Alvarez's C.O.G., which the director adapted from David Sedaris's work, starring Jonathan Groff and Dean Stockwell; and the screen adaptation of Michelle Tea's Valencia, an omnibus feature in eighteen segments from twenty directors with San Francisco ties, including Cheryl Dunye (The Watermelon Woman), Silas Howard (By Hook or By Crook), Jill Soloway (Afternoon Delight), Michelle Lawler (Forever's Gonna Start Tonight), and Courtney Trouble (Fucking Different XXX).

And there's additional three international features about difficult love between good-looking gentlemen behind one-half of the amorous duo's girlfriends that you might consider: David Lambert's Beyond the Walls (Hors les murs), which premiered at the Semaine de la critique at Cannes in 2012 and stars Guillaume Gouix (Belle épine) and newcomer Matila Malliarakis; Stephen Lacant's Free Fall (Freier Fall), which premiered at the Berlinale and stars Hanno Koffler (If Not Us, Who?) and Max Riemelt (Before the Fall); and Antonio Hens's La partida, which chronicles an illicit affair between two Cuban teenagers.
And finally, assuming you haven't already watched it on Netflix, Marialy Rivas's feature debut Young and Wild (Joven y alocada), following her award-winning short Blokes, will screen at the Roxie Theater on 29 June. Hope to see you there!

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