As Madame Curie already announced on her blog, we are attending QFest, the Philadelphia Gay and Lesbian film festival, this year. We sat down and identified which days we could arrange for babysitting so we could attend together and then we identified which other films were "must see" and we arranged with each other to watch Le Petite Curie so the other person could go on a solo excursion to the film festival. Just to keep it fair, we each get the same number of solo nights out and we will each see a total of 10 films at the film festival (4 together, 6 solo). Today's films we are going to see are as follows:
Is It Just Me?
A witty, feel-good romantic comedy about a sexually-frustrated young man, his hunky go-go boy roomate and the man he meets in an online chatroom. Romance turns to chaos when a case of mistaken identity upsets his chance for true love.
One of the funniest and sweetest gay romantic comedies in years, Is It Just Me? delivers a refreshingly witty take on one gay boy’s search for Mr. Right. Cute, but unaware of his adorableness, Blaine (Nicholas Downs), a newspaper columnist can’t seem to meet guys, let alone form a relationship. His beefy go-go boy roommate Cameron— who has no shortage of willing partners —can’t understand why he doesn’t pounce and enjoy some one-nighters. Instead, Blaine hides in his room and searches Internet chat rooms for a kindred spirit. He may have found one in the form of Zander, a shy recently relocated Texan. But when the time comes to exchange photos, Blaine accidentally sends an image of his hunky roomie, and things go from romantically promising to just confusing. This case of mistaken identity escalates when Blaine begs his roommate to go out with the charming, sandy-haired Zander. When it seems they hit it off, our lonely hero feels love has passed him by again... or did it? Think Cyrano de Bergerac by way of Eating Out, writer/director J.C. Calciano’s first feature film is a hilarious, captivating winner. And the guys aren’t bad either!
Beyond Gay: The Politics of Pride
A documentary exploring the role and relevance of Pride Celebrations, detailing the vast differences in Pride movements around the world.
This film covers the diverse range of Pride events along with the political dynamics behind them. From Brazil's government sponsored events that attract three million participants to Sri Lanka, where "curative rape" is sanctioned as a "cure" for lesbianism, you are reminded that homosexuality remains illegal in roughly 80 countries (punishable by death in seven). As Ken Cooler (Canadian Pride Festival Planner) travels to various locations around the world a 'Freedometer' charts each location/country's LGBT tolerance level. Highlights of the film include interviews with Gilbert Baker—the activist who created the Rainbow Flag, along with Russian organizer Nikolai Alekseev. Alekseev arranged cloak and dagger meetings to stage and quickly disperse a parade in Moscow, where the mayor has banned the Pride parade forever. This 2008 Moscow Gay Pride March will have you cheering and standing on your feet. Even those who have become jaded toward parades and Pride events will have a lot to reconsider after viewing this inspiring film.
The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister
Considered by many to be the first modern lesbian, Anne Lister—born in the same era as Jane Austen—was an inspiring 19th-century landowner, industrialist and traveler. A prolific diarist, she detailed her observations on life, and her passionate affairs with other women in over four million words, one-sixth written in secret code!
John Lister, the last in the line of the Lister family, wisely stashed the diaries of his relative Anne behind the paneling of the ancestral home in Shibden Hall, Halifax, Yorkshire, over 150 years ago. Discovered in the 1980s, this Sapphic treasure-trove which took 6-years to decode is the rich source material for this sumptuously produced, BBC period-drama. The story starts with Anne, (Maxine Peake, "Criminal Justice") looking through her monocular at a woman, Mariana (Anna Madeley), her secret lover and soul-mate. United, they savor illicit kisses pressed against an ancient tree. When Mariana succumbs to societal pressure and marries a wealthy landowner, Charles Lawton, Anne is bereft. Finding solace in scholarly pursuits—journal-writing, pistol-shooting and remodeling the vast estate—her libido is soon re-energized when she spies a young pretty parishioner, Miss Browne. When an heiress, Ann Walker, agrees to back a business proposal, Miss Lister has to make some difficult choices to carve out a lesbian life for herself. Writer Jane English (“Sugar Rush”) and director James Kent deserve a standing ovation for resuscitating the true story of this remarkable woman, who only loved “the fairer-sex,” and bringing her vividly back to life, 170 years after her death!
I will see the first two solo, while we will see the third film together. Reviews to follow . . .