Thursday, October 18, 2012
Showing at Oriental Theatre
(Thom Fitzgerald, Canada, 94min., 2011)
Opening Night Co-Sponsors: Jack H. Smith of Shorewest Realtors, Cream City Foundation, Bronze Optical, Lesbian Fund, PrideFest
Community Co-Presenters: SAGE/Milwaukee, PFLAG-Milwaukee, Lesbian Alliance
Campus Partners: UWM Women's Resource Center, UWM LGBT Resource Center, UWM Center for International Education
Media Sponsors: Quest and Outbound Magazines, The Business Journal, Serving Greater Milwaukee, Wisconsin Gazette, 88Nine Radio Milwaukee, 91.7FM WMSE
A winning romantic comedy with Oscar winners Olympia Dukakis and Brenda Fricker as Stella and Dot, life partners together for 31 years…and now on the lam. Stella, stubborn and willful and desperately in love, busts her partner Dot out of a nursing home and the two hightail it to Canada. (They are in neighboring Maine, and their pick-up truck should make it that far.) Dot, the more frail of the two, is losing her eyesight; Stella is a little hard of hearing. (She tends to share her truck driver's vocabulary in a shout.) Canada offers the security of distance from Dot's meddling – and phobic – daughter and also the promise of matrimony, a legal sanctuary in itself. Along the way, two becomes three as they pick up a young hitchhiker, a young man named Prentice, who is returning to Nova Scotia to visit his dying mother. Life lessons ensue along the way, yes, in this very touching movie about the looming end of the road, but, as directed by LGBT film veteran Thom Fitzgerald (The Hanging Garden, Beefcake), Cloudburst knows what's best, opting for boisterous humor and comic outbursts over anything maudlin and resigned. With the gorgeous Nova Scotian coast, and, even better, the gorgeous stars each having a rambunctious good time – Dukakis in particular – Cloudburst is hilarious, moving, and, kilometer by kilometer, such a rich, satisfying and entertaining experience.
Winner: Audience Award, Best Feature, 2012 San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival & at many other festivals too numerous to list.
Friday, October 19, 2012
(Charles Atlas, 100min., 2011) UWM Union Theatre
Charles Atlas; Merce Cunningham. "Ocean," 2008.
Courtesy Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York.
Co-Sponsor: Lynden Sculpture Garden
Community Co-Presenters: Alverno Presents, Milwaukee Gay Arts Center, SAGE/Milwaukee, Woodland Pattern Book Center
Campus Partner: UWM Dance Department
A pas de trois of cinema, dance and music, and a particular performance of circles and time. Ocean is video artist Charles Atlas' stunning documentation of Merce Cunningham's dance piece, staged at the bottom of a quarry. In 2008, Merce Cunningham shared, in the Rainbow Granite Quarry in Minnesota, Ocean – his celebrated dance, a tribute to his partner John Cage and to James Joyce (who Cunningham and Cage were told was to make the ocean his next topic after Finnegans Wake). Cunningham's long time video collaborator Charles Atlas taped three performances of the piece and his video Ocean, a stunner at this year's Whitney Biennial, is his video con brio: compilation, documentation, and vivid mirroring of the performance and its spirit, Atlas working with the movement of multiple cameras and split-screen to capture the particular dynamism of this legendary occasion.
Gays are everywhere: At the bathhouse! In Nazi ruins! In the Canadian Navy! At the office! At home! Tonight's menagerie of international and award-winning shorts offers portraits and stories of men (mostly gay, some straight) learning to live where they are, or maybe longing to leave, and/or choosing to celebrate their sexuality at home. To screen: Steam is Steam (Etienne Desrosiers, Canada, 11min, 2011); The Man That Got Away (Trevor Anderson, Canada, 25min., 2012); Desanimado (Emilio Martí López, Spain, in Spanish with English subtitles, 7min., 2011); Prora (Stephane Riethauser, Switzerland, in German and French with English subtitles, 23min., 2012); Performance Anxiety (Reid Waterer, USA, 15min, 2012); and Law & Order (Jan Soldat, 9min, Germany, in German with English subtitles, 9min., 2012).
Co-Sponsors: Art Bar-Riverwest, Cream City Foundation, Tool Shed, Lesbian Fund
Community Co-Presenters: Milwaukee LGBT Community Center, Lesbian Alliance
Campus Partners: UWM Women's Resource Center, UWM LGBT Alumni Chapter
These women – venting in the bathroom about a date gone wrong, trying to feel reassured about their sexual prowess, looking for a partner who doesn't own a goddamn cat, learning about outsider classmates, getting pregnant, and dealing with those pesky gay men – prove it: Relationships take hard work. Tonight's exhibition of the finest short videos on the festival circuit offer a cross section, humorous and honest, of a diverse lesbian community. To screen: Lesbian Cliché Song (Amy Turner, Kathryn Lounsberry, & Bob Koherr, USA, 7min, 2012); Dayglo (You Know, You Know) (Bev Zalcock, Sarah Chambers, UK, 3min, 2011); Genderfreak (Rebecca Louisell, USA, 18min, 2011); Do You Have a Cat? (Nicole Kristal & Jason Sax, USA, 11 min., 2011); The First Date (Janella Lacson, USA, 8min, 2012); 2nd Best (Sarah Gertrude Shapiro, USA, 8min., 2012); It Gets Bitter (Laura Terruso, USA, 1min, 2012); Two Bodies (Nijla Mumin, USA, 13min, 2011); & Seminal (Bren Ryder, Canada, 10min, 2012).
Saturday, October 20, 2012
(Paul Schneider, USA, 35mm, 90 min., 1986)
Community Co-Presenters: PFLAG-Milwaukee, Milwaukee LGBT Community Center
Campus Partner: UWM Women's Resource Center
A Hollywood teen transgender comedy about a girl who gets to be a boy. Recommended by queer film scholar and friend of the Festival Jenni Olson, who describes the film as follows: "Try to imagine an ABC Afterschool Special with a queer sensibility and a sophisticated sense of humor. Something Special is super fun for boys and girls, and for girls who want to be boys. Teenager Milly Niceman gets her 'deepest, darkest heart's desire' when she wishes on a magical Indian eclipse powder and wakes up to discover she's grown 'a guy's thing down there.' When Mr. and Mrs. Niceman tell her she must choose between being a boy or a girl, she asks innocently, 'Can't I be both?'
35mm print courtesy of Jenni Olson and the UCLA Film/Television Archive.
(Katherine Fairfax Wright & Malika Zouhali-Worrall, USA, 87min., 2012)
Co-Sponsor: National Association of Black and White Men Together, Cream City Foundation, Lesbian Fund
Campus Partners: UWM Center for International Education, UWM Women's Resource Center, Community Media Project
Community Co-Presenters: Queer Program, Equality Wisconsin
"They kept on saying we are not here. But as of late, we are here, " David Kato (1964-2011). In Uganda, an "Anti-Homosexuality Bill" proposes death for HIV-positive gay men, and prison for anyone who fails to turn in a known homosexual. Inspired by American evangelicals who have christened this African nation ground zero in their war on the "homosexual agenda," the bill awaits debate in Uganda's Parliament. Meanwhile, local newspapers have begun outing LGBT people – known in Uganda as "kuchus "– with vicious fervor under headlines such as: "HOMO TERROR! We Name and Shame Top Gays in the City." Leading the fight, David Kato, Uganda's first openly gay man, and an inspiring, courageous activist, and a coalition of LGBT colleagues risk their lives to secure the most basic rights. Call Me Kuchu is a harrowing bulletin from the front lines of the ongoing global struggle for LGBT rights, and, tragically, the film is the final testimony of David Kato, who was brutally murdered in his own home one year into filming.
Winner: Teddy Award, Best Documentary, 2012 Berlin Film Festival / Audience Award, Best Documentary, 2012 San Francisco International LGBT Film/Video Festival
(Jim Hubbard, USA, 93min., 2012)
Co-Sponsors: BESTD Clinic, AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin
Campus Partners: UWM Libraries Community Co-Presenters: Milwaukee Film, Queer Zine Archive Project, Center for AIDS Intervention Research, Sixteenth Street Community Health Center, Equality Wisconsin, SAGE/Milwaukee, Milwaukee LGBT Community Center's HIV Prevention Program
How a small group of men and women of all races and classes came together to change the world and save each other's lives. Festival friend Jim Hubbard's bracing and inspiring documentary is a smartly made, quite edifying and stirring showcase of the energies, strategies, and diverse personalities that formed the still landmark activist organization AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power. The film takes the viewer through the planning and execution of a half dozen major actions – including Seize Control of the FDA, Stop the Church, and Day of Desperation – activism successful and exhilarating that forced the U.S. government and mainstream media to deal with the AIDS crisis. Informed by the remarkable interviews from the ACT UP Oral History Project, United In Anger offers a singular inside perspective to this historic intervention into attitudes and policy of public health that reveals the group's complex culture: meetings, affinity groups, and approaches to civil disobedience mingle with profound grief, sexiness, and the incredible fierceness that is ACT UP.
(Negar Azarbayjani, Iran/Germany, in Farsi with English subtitles, 102min., 2011)
Campus Partners: UWM LGBT Studies Certificate Program, UWM Center for International Education
Community Co-Presenters: FORGE, PFLAG-Milwaukee
The first narrative film from Iran to feature a transgender main character and a story of an unexpected friendship, one that defies class, oppressive social norms and religious beliefs. In her first feature, filmmaker Negar Azarbayjani pairs two unlikely allies. Edi, breezily rebellious as only the wealthy can be, is nevertheless desperately awaiting her passport: She needs to leave her oppressive father, who rejects her trans identity and is determined to marry her off. Rana is an otherwise traditional wife and mother, who, forced to defy convention, drives a cab to pay off her imprisoned husband's debts. By chance she picks up Edi, in flight, and the two, as in the best buddy films and road movies, negotiate conflicting and rigid attitudes and arrive at unanticipated understandings. As does the film: The gripping Facing Mirrors is impressively idiosyncratic in its adherence to genre, always compelling in its sympathies, and edifyingly revealing as a portrait of the people of Tehran.
Winner: Jury Award, Best Film 2011, Montreal World Film Festival / Jury Award, Best First Feature, San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival
Aurora Guerrero, USA, English and Spanish with English subtitles, 85min., 2011)
Co-Sponsors: Lesbian Fund, Riviera Maya Restaurant
Campus Parnters: Production Club-UWM Film Department, UWM LGBT Resource Center, UWM Women's Resource Center
Community Co-Presenters: Lesbian Alliance, Sixteenth Street Community Health Center, The Alliance School of Milwaukee, Milwaukee LGBT Community Center's Project Q Youth Program
Yolanda – known affectionately as "Mosquita" – was only interested in getting into college, but then she met Mari. Somewhat sheltered, the only-child to her immigrant parents, Mosquita is book-smart, and secure in that, however shy. Mari, her new neighbor, is more street-wise, and she has to be: she does what she can to help her undocumented family keep it together. The two are brought together over tutoring – Mari's in trouble and Mosquita offers to help – and a friendship develops: The two test newly discovered senses of themselves. The film's portrait of a friendship is also a portrait of a neighborhood: Writer-Director Guerrero's film deftly reveals Mosquita and Mari's relationship in the larger surround of their friends, schoolroom, family and social classes. But, pardon me, this is no sociological tract: The wonder of this lovely and sharply observant film is its delicacy, absorbing and moving portraits emerging from the details assembled, the director and her cast inhabiting a space and its characters such that the familiar feels new, memorable, vital.
Winner: Audience Award, Best First U.S. Dramatic Feature Film & Jury Award, Outstanding Actress in a U.S. Feature Film to Fenessa Pineda ("Mosquita"), 2012 Outfest
(Ira Sachs, USA, 101min., 2012)
Co-Sponsors: BESTD Clinic, Outwords Books
Community Co-Presenters: Milwaukee LGBT Community Center, Milwaukee Gay Arts Center, Milwaukee Film, Milwaukee LGBT Community Center's Mental Health Program
A chronicle of a decade-long relationship between two men, a pairing founded on chance (promiscuous; intense) and foundered by addiction. Erik meets Paul through a phone sex line (the movie opens in 1998). This casual encounter accumulates into something greater, and the two explore a relationship, one sustained through and despite of their avid professional lives (Erik is working on a documentary about a filmmaker; Paul works in publishing). But an unshakeable addiction tests the resolve of their commitments. One of the most acclaimed films of the season, and the most beautifully shot movie of the Festival, Keep The Lights On – from the acclaimed independent filmmaker behind the beloved short film Last Address – is a striking film, singularly adult in its depiction of a gay male relationship, in the complicated understandings of the lives of these two men and their lives in the context of their work, friends and city. The film has the detailed texture – and resonant ache – of a memoir, the immediacy of a letter home. The film is captivatingly wistful, like a period piece of just yesterday.
Winner: Outstanding U.S. Dramatic Feature and Outstanding Screenwriting in a US Dramatic Feature Film, 2012 Outfest
(Curt McDowell, USA, 16mm on DVD, 120min., 1985)
Community Co-Presenters: Queer Zine Archive Project, Tool Shed
A rare screening of the last film from the outrageous queer underground filmmaker Curt McDowell – and starring George Kuchar! Sparkle's Tavern is a bordello run by a brother and sister team (The sister is played by McDowell's real-life sister Melinda, to whose generosity we owe this opportunity to present her late brother's film. Much thanks!) The siblings try to keep their operation a secret from their disapproving, more conservative mother, but when she encounters the enchanting Mr. Pupik (played by Kuchar), she has a change of temperament. "Sparkle's becomes a raucous, sex-positive family film!" enthuses Bradford Nordeen, of NYC Dirty Looks.
Sunday, October 21, 2012
(Yariv Mozer, Israel, in Arabic, Hebrew and English with English subtitles, 69min. 2011)
Campus Partners: docUWM, UWM Center for International Education, The Sam and Helen Stahl Center for Jewish Studies at UWM
A powerful, moving documentary about Palestinian men – gay, out and outed – who hide illegally in Tel Aviv hoping for sanctuary. Consider: Louie, 32 years old, a gay Palestinian who has been hiding in Israel for the past eight years; Abdu, 24 years old, who was exposed as gay in Ramallah and then accused of espionage and tortured by Palestinian security forces; and Faris, 23 years old, who fled to Tel Aviv after his family tried to kill him. Beautifully shot, and haunted by heartache, Mozer's film offers intimate portraits of desperate men forcibly exiled whose only hope for survival is a more welcoming elsewhere.
Winner: Jury Award, Outstanding Documentary Feature, 2012 San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival / Special Jury Award, Doc Aviv 2012
With: Tomorrow Everything Will Be Alright
(Akram Zaatari, Lebanon, 7 min., 2010)
A late night online chat between two men who haven't met since the turn of the millennium leads to their reunion after 10 years of separation.
(Mikael Buch, France, in French with English subtitles, 86min., 2012)
Campus Partners: UWM Center for International Education, The Sam and Helen Stahl Center for Jewish Studies at UWM, UWM Festival of Films in French
Community Co-Presenters: PFLAG-Milwaukee, Milwaukee LGBT Community Center
A sweet and hilarious mélange of gay romance, Jewish family drama and French bedroom farce. Mikael Buch's exuberantly silly, invitingly stylized comedy follows the travails and daydreams of the lovelorn Reuben, a French-Jewish gay mailman living in fairytale Finland (where he got his MA in "Comparative Sauna Cultures") with his gorgeous Nordic boyfriend. But just before Passover, a series of mishaps and a lovers' quarrel banish the heartbroken Reuben back to Paris where his family – including renowned Almodóvar regular Carmen Maura as his mom – is already unglued by romantic imbroglios of their own. Deeply heartwarming and hysterically funny.
A broken refrigerator helps thaw the relationships between the lovelorn and clumsily smitten in this smartly observed – and very funny – small town lesbian (and gay) comedy. Karen has to work on the 4th of July, but maybe it's fate: Could the customer in need of refrigerator repair be her long-lost father? Meagan, able-bodied repairwoman with wrench in hand, tags along to investigate, distracted, sure, by the kinks her new motorcycle, and her wandering eye, are causing in her once-steady relationship with her girlfriend. On the job, Karen and Meagan discover a motley crew, some of whom may be relatives: a woman with a jones for gambling; a young boy neurotic and observant yet also addled by bullies; a scruffy if unspecified "friend" of her father's who's "just sleeping on the couch." With great wit, ace timing, and an affection for behavior rash and ridiculous, director Greenwell expertly choreographs these encounters – inadvertent and longed for – into a winning roundelay. Cue the fireworks!
Winner: Audience Award, Best Narrative Film, New Fest 2012 / Audience Award, Best Feature, Portland, Oregon Women's Film Festival
Co-Sponsor: Cream City Foundation
Community Co-Presenters: FORGE, Milwaukee LGBT Community Center, PFLAG-Milwaukee
Campus Partner: UWM LGBT Studies Certificate Program
This evening's shorts program explores and celebrates the struggles and joys and talents of a diverse group of Trans* people. Featured: families, established and in formation; love, new and old, and love, uncertain and promising; humor, tragic and exultant; sorrow and happiness; and this: a killer performance of Etta James' "At Last!" To screen: Queen (Adam Rose, USA, 22min, 2011); The Thing (Rhys Ernst, USA, 15min, 2012); La Santa (Mauricio López Fernández, Chile, in Spanish with English subtitles, 14min., 2012); Transforming Family (Rémy Huberdeau, Canada, 10min, 2012); & Black Mask (Rene Brasil, Brazil, in Portuguese with English subtitles; 15min, 2011)
(Sally El Hosaini, UK, 111min., 2011)
Community Co-Presenters: Milwaukee LGBT Community Center's Anti-Violence Program, Sixteenth Street Community Health Clinic, Equality Wisconsin, Milwaukee Film, Queer Program, The Alliance School of Milwaukee
Campus Partners: UWM LGBT Resource Center, UWM Center for International Education
Two Arab brothers, joined by devotion and hero worship, find their loyalties tested in this gripping British drama about masculinity, the lure of gangs and the bravest of declarations. Mo and his older brother Rashid live in an immigrant community in the London borough of Hackney (an area aflame during the 2011 riots). Mo idolizes the glamorous Rashid, who, as something of a prince in a local gang (dealing drugs, mostly), is the stealth breadwinner for his family. But after his best friend falls in a knife fight, Rashid, shaken, drifts from the society the gang corralled, finding other possibilities in Sayyid (the great Saïd Taghmaoui), an artist on the periphery of their tenement world. Seen as disloyal, Rashid becomes a target for his former cohorts, and a confused Mo, betrayed by his brother's change of heart, embraces the role models brandished by the gang. The jurors at Outfest, when awarding My Brother The Devil Outstanding International Feature, cited, "its taut narrative, sensitive interrogation of masculinity, excellent performances by an ensemble cast, and intense cinematic experience." We couldn't agree more: Sally El Hosaini's debut film, one of the most exciting we are screening this year, is powerful, troubling, beautiful.
Winner: Best European Film, 2012 Berlin Film Festival / Best Cinematography, World Cinema, Dramatic, 2012 Sundance Film Festival