Quinceañera, Kate Clinton, She Likes Girls, Jesus Camp, Gay Games VII, Apartment Zero, and more
When gay filmmaking couple Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland established their indie film foothold with The Fluffer (2000), a comedy set in the gay porn industry (tagline: Love Is Hard), you wouldn’t expect them to follow up with a movie about a Latina girl’s 15th birthday party. But perhaps it is their gay sensibility that makes Quinceañera as fresh and brave as it is. Quinceañera is a story about young people’s coming of age in hard times, about being cast as an outsider because of who you are (or because no one bothers to find out who you really are), and about the sweetness of life despite all this.
Quinceañera opens as 14-year-old Magdalena takes part in her well-to-do cousin’s quinceañera. Magdalena is next in line for this resplendent coming-of-age ritual that marks a girl’s becoming a woman. But Magdalena gets an unexpected shortcut to womanhood, and an immersion course in widespread rejection.
The secondary story of Quinceañera follows Magdalena’s gang-hardened cousin Carlos, tossed out of his house when his dad caught him looking at a gay website. Everyone dismisses him as a no-good, except for the gay couple who move in next door, who have their own misguided ideas about him. Just like the film itself, he stares down the world’s misconceptions, insisting on that which is moving and real.
A special treat: Chalo González as Magdalena and Carlos’ tender bachelor uncle, who takes them in when they have nowhere else to go. — Review: Ann Walton Sieber
She Likes Girls
Just in time for Valentine’s Day viewing comes a new compilation of romantic lesbian short films that wowed the queer film festival circuit. One of the six standout mini-flicks is Cosa Bella, directed by Fiona Mackenzie, and starring Devil Wears Prada players Stephanie Szostak and Alexia Gilmore. Available February 6 from Wolfe Video (1-800-GET-WOLFE or www.wolfevideo.com). — Preview Nancy Ford
This sexy romance begins in Mexico with two university students, Gerardo and Jonas, who meet on campus and fall in love. In the midst of their passion, Jonas becomes enraptured with another boy, driving Gerardo into an affair with Sergio. Jonas and Gerardo still love each other, but must find a way to salvage their relationship. 2006. Written and directed by Julian Hernandez. Spanish with English subtitles. From Strand Releasing (www.strandreleasing.com). — Preview: Eric A.T. Dieckman
Here! Comedy Presents Kate Clinton
Before DeGeneres, before O’Donnell, before Cantone, before any of those post-modern lesbian comics, there was Kate Clinton. Filmed at L.A.’s Lesbian and Gay Community Center, Clinton riffs on erectile dysfunction, the Cheneys, and “the new ‘F’ word,” feminism. And her shirt perfectly matches the stage’s backdrop. That’s a pro. Hysterical and inspiring. From Genius Products (www.geniusproducts.com). More: www.kateclinton.com or www.heretv.com.
— Review: Nancy Ford
In this multiple-award-winning documentary, elementary school-aged children gather at arguably the most zealous bible camp in the U.S. in hopes of becoming effective evangelicals and the next Billy Graham (or perhaps less tolerant versions of him). They pledge allegiance to a separate Christian flag, they gather around a cardboard cutout of Dubya and ask God to give their president wisdom, and they burst into passionate tears during prayer (again, these are elementary school-aged children). One agenda-telling quote comes from an adult: “If the evangelicals vote, they determine the election.” 2006. Co-directed by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady. From Magnolia Pictures (www.magpictures.com). — Preview: Eric A.T. Dieckman
More than two hours of coverage of the 2006 Gay Games in Chicago celebrate sports, culture, and pride. Opening- and closing-ceremony highlights include icons Margaret Cho, Any Bell of Erasure, Ant, Cyndi Lauper, and The L Word’s Pam Grier, Marlee Matlin, and Daniela Sea. On-site interviews with athletes, families, and fans pepper the video. Also, listen for live and studio versions of “The Faces of Victory,” the new anthem for the games, written by Chicago’s Dylan Rice, performed at Wrigley Field with Chuck Panozzo of Styx and other Chicago GLBT rock figures. 2006. From Wolfe Video (www.WolfeVideo.com, direct at www.GayGamesChicago.org). — Preview: Eric A.T. Dieckman
In this uncut classic thriller, Adrian LeDuc (Colin Firth) decides to take in a boarder to share an apartment with his dying, insane mother. At first, new tenant Jack Carney (Hart Bochner) seems to be a charismatic charmer, and a hit with the rest of the building. But soon Adrian suspects Jack of the serial killings happening around town. And the neighbors begin suspecting the madness of Adrian’s mother is congenital. 1988. Directed by Martin Donovan (co-written by Donovan and David Koepp). From Strand Releasing (www.strandreleasing.com). — Preview: Eric A.T. Dieckman
The Longing (Saudade)
A young Adonis named Erik and his two sexy German friends spend their days sizzling in the Brazilian sun and their nights making love in front of a live webcam. But when Erik meets actor Miguel, their love is haunted by Erik’s past, namely a sexual tryst on the beach that went violently wrong. 2003. Written and directed by Jurgen Bruning. German and Portuguese with English subtitles. From TLA Releasing (www.tlareleasing.com). — Preview: Eric A.T. Dieckman
In Her Line of Fire
Think Clint Eastwood with breasts. In this Line, the über gay-friendly Mariel Hemingway goes action-adventure, playing a “tough but beautiful” Secret Service agent charged with protecting not only the vice president, but also her girlfriend. Playing that girlfriend is the out, increasingly visible Jill Bennett, one of the first celebrities interviewed on What She Said, Logo’s new online lesbian talk show. From here! Films (www.heretv.com) and Genius Products (www.geniusproducts.com). — Preview: Nancy Ford
Jackass Number Two
Eye candy ahoy (Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Steve-O, Chris Pontius, and friends) return for a lower-brow, higher stakes comedy of stunts. The unrated version guarantees dangerous and crude exploits, sexual content, and nudity. 2006. Directed by Jeff Tremaine (co-written by Tremaine and Spike Jonze). From Paramount Home Entertainment (www.paramount.com/homeentertainment). — Preview: Eric A.T. Dieckman