Gay and Lesbian Film Highlights The Second Annual Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival
Bedrooms & Hallways.
24 Nights Jonathan is an adorable but spacey stoner who works at a gay bookstore in New York. At 24, he still believes in Santa Claus, so he writes to him in early December and asks for the man of his dreams to arrive by Christmas. When innocent Toby is hired to work at the store days later, Jonathan is convinced that Santa has delivered. The characters here are warmly and humanly drawn, with great acting and true-to-life humor. Winner of the Best American Independent Feature Film at the 23rd Cleveland International Film Festival. Director Kieran Turner will be present at the screenings.
Bedrooms & Hallways Director Rose Troche's 1994 debut film, Go Fish, won her awards and accolades across the country. This, her second feature, is an hysterical, sophisticated romp through the trials and tribulations of love and lust in the '90s, with a perfect cast, witty and sharp dialogue, and enough twists and turns to keep you laughing out loud.
Defying Gravity Griff is the ultimate adorable boy-next-door, and he's never had a problem fitting in. But he does have a secret that he has skillfully hidden from his frat brothers, his best friend Todd, and most of all, himself. Griff is in love with Pete, another member of his house, but he's too afraid to deal with his true feelings. Pete is more open, and wants more of a relationship from Griff, which he is not willing to give. As their worlds reach a collision point, Pete is the victim of a gay bashing, and Griff is forced to make important choices as many truths are revealed.
Dry Cleaning After ladies' night out at a nightclub where a sexually ambiguous brother-sister act is featured, Jean-Marie and Nicole find their conservative, consistent, and controlled life will never be the same. A Venice Film festival award for screenplay and five Cesar (French Academy Awards) nominations speak for the quality of this production. Especially noteworthy was Stanislas Merhar who was awarded a Cesar for his lusty and disturbing performance of Loic the androgynous orphan.
Earth In 1997, Director Deepa Mehta created riots in India with the release of Fire, which depicted two women in unhappy arranged marriages who are sexually attracted to each other. While Earth does not have any lesbian content, it is a visually stunning film of color and imagery, an epic tale of romance, religion, nationalism, and betrayal set at the moment of India's most violent historical moment, independence from Great Britain and its division into two nations. A must-see!
Head On Head On is a bold tale of a young man's inner demons as he faces his heritage, his sexuality, his future. Ari is a complex, contradictory character played intensely by Alex Dimitriades, who won the 1998 Best Actor in a feature film by the Film Critics Circle of Australia, and nominated as Best Actor by the Australian Film Institute for this role. The film follows Ari as he jams all his energy and defiance, pain and joy into one high velocity night of dancing, sex and drugs. It's a powerful and hard tale of identity and belonging, and finding one's own escape route. Andrew Bovell is co-writer of the film, his second feature, his first being the award- winning Strictly Ballroom.
Show Me Love Show Me Love won most of the major awards at the equivalent of Sweden's Academy Awards last year, and was Sweden's official entry for the Best Foreign Language Film for the Academy Award. It also opened LA's Outfest and closed the prestigious San Francisco Lesbian and Gay Film Festival this year. It's a contemporary film about two teen age girls, Elin and Agnes, the comical and heartbreaking aspects of growing up, and the courage it takes to be different.
The Sticky Fingers of Time This stunningly photographed romantic thriller for the end of the millennium offers us a new hero, Tucker Harding, a writer of hard-boiled fiction. She steps out to buy coffee one day in 1953, and finds herself mysteriously transported to 1997. Wandering dazed through New York, she collides with Drew, who is so jaded she can't even write a proper suicide note. Thus begins an elaborate tale of passion, betrayal and fate as the two women travel through the hazards of non-linear time. It's a deliciously deviant, seductively offbeat, and very '90s nod to lesbian chic, constantly shifting in style and mood, from science fiction to film noir.
The Trio In this highly original film nothing is allowed to remain familiar. A traveling family of pickpockets is threatened when Zobel's lover Karl is laid up in the hospital. Winner of the German equivalent of the Academy Award, Director Hungeburth has created characters that oscillate between warm tenderness and icy animosity. The talented cast of noted German actors makes each character erotically human. They dare to cross lines between legal/criminal, gay/straight, and honest/ deceptive with total abandon. Part caper, part sex farce and part family portrait, this film questions, "Who cons who?" It is a delightful non-formula story of people who want stable livesbut always their own way.
When Love Comes Katie is a middle aged lounge singer caught in a mid-life crisis. She moved from New Zealand to the U.S. when she had a hit single, but now she's back in the sex and drug saturated life of New Zealand's music industry, trying to get her career out of stall and putting together some new material for a comeback. Falling in with her pal, Eddie, a no-nonsense gay man who doesn't put up with any self pity, she begins the painful task of reassessing her professional and personal priorities, while the inhabitants of the urban artistic world flow around her.
Beefcake The '50s physique magazines featuring scantily clad, muscle bound models posed "artistically" like Greek statues provided some of the best homoeroticism of the era. Police and Judges constantly challenged this ruse and tried to shutdown the producer of Athletic Model Guild Bob Mizer. Using the original archival footage, interviews with the actual icons of bodybuilding and dramatized scenes, filmmaker Thom Fitzgerald recreates the kitsch of the original product. This odd package of docudrama, campy humor, nostalgia, and a cartoon like production style raises a lot of questions about what is clean and what is obscene. Nudity appropriate to the subject.
Get Bruce! Despite his regular appearances on Hollywood Squares and his column in The Advocate, Bruce Vilanch is, let's face it, not a well known celebrity. Unless, of course, your name is Whoopi Goldberg, Billy Crystal, Robin Williams, Bette Midler, Paul Reiser or one of many other celebrities who call on him regularly to make them funny. Bruce has been behind some of Hollywood's most comical moments, from writing the scripts for the Oscars to writing monologues for some of our favorite comedians. Interviews with his celebrity hit list offer hysterical insights into this comical man, as the filmmakers put the spotlight on one of show business's hardest working and funniest stars. Sure to be a big festival hit.
Short Films Guest curator Paul Lee, a respected filmmaker, producer, festival programmer, and curator from Canada, has put together 2 programs of short films from around the world on Secret Passions, many of which include gay and lesbian themed films. Make sure to check them out (as well as Paul's beautiful new film, The Offering, which is playing in a separate program).
The Rehoboth Beach Convention Center will be home to some of the festival's signature events during the weekend.
On Friday, November 12, the fest will be presenting a sneak preview of a work in progress on the lost art of Cinerama, the 3-camera 3-angle process that ushered in the wide screen era in the late 1950's, early 1960's ($6). The cinerama process created a picture on the screen that was 3 times wider and a little higher than people were used to seeing in the theaters, and it packed theaters around the globe. There is great archival footage from some of the old films, plus a captivating peek behind the scenes as we see how the films were made. We'll also hear about some of the problems of trying to restore some of the prints, and see fascinating interviews with many involved on the Cinerama scene, then and now. The evening will be hosted by Greg Kimble, who will also present an all-new special effects seminar on Saturday. (If you
missed it last year, don't even think about repeating that mistake again! It was one of the most talked about programs last year.) Greg is also an expert on Cinerama, and his stories will absolutely fascinate you.
Ben Hur, with live accompaniment!
On Saturday, November 13, the festival will present the 1926 silent film version of Ben Hur, one of the silent film era's greatest and most technologically advanced films ($15). It will be accompanied by an 11-piece orchestra under the baton of Gillian Anderson (not the one on X-Files), who has reconstructed more than 2 dozen silent film scores, and who has performed literally around the globe. "We are so honored and humbled to have Gillian here," says Becker. "Her experience and expertise are profound, and she will be a significant part of the festival." Ms. Anderson will also present a seminar on Sunday morning on Sounds and Images in film, which will be a very interactive look at music and film and how they effect the viewer.
Climb Against the Odds for breast cancer
The final part of the Convention Center trilogy is Sunday, November 14 at 1:00, with a special presentation of Climb Against the Odds, a moving and amazing story of courage and hope as 5 women with breast cancer attempt to climb Mt. McKinley ($10). We are introduced to each of the women, who tell their stories of survival and hope, and watch them as they train for the big climb up North America's highest peak. The film also features a terrific soundtrack with some of the best women vocalists recording today, and is narrated by Academy Award and Emmy Award winning actress Olympia Dukakis. The film's producer, Jeanne Rizzo, and one of the mountain climbers, Mary Ann Castimore, will be present at the screening. The film society will be donating all proceeds from ticket sales of this event to organizations involved in the fight against breast cancer.
CAMP Rehoboth is proud to be a sponsor of the 1999 Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival.
The Sticky Finger of Time.
LETTERS From CAMP Rehoboth, Vol. 9, No. 14, Oct. 15, 1999