Oufest 2013: Ten of Greg’s Picks!
Outfest veterans know that putting your schedule together is like putting together a puzzle.
It’s a given that you can sit through 3-4 movies (or more!) on a weekend day but will they fit with the panel or the party you want to go to? Can you walk from the DGA to Harmony Gold and back in time? Will there be time for a sit-down lunch or do you pack some Clif bars and hope the parties have goodies?
Oh, it’s all so glorious and I love every crazy minute of it.
I’ve been sent some screeners and managed to watch some but have not gotten to them all. But below are some of the movies I’m going to recommend based on having seen it, on good buzz, or on knowing and trusting the filmmaker or the talent involved.
Concussion: (Friday, July 12 7 pm at DGA) Saw this film at the LA Film Festival last month and was completely blown away by the performance of Robin Weigert who should be a best actress contender. You are just fascinated by her performance and her lesbian suburban housewife character. She has an erotic epiphany after suffering a head wound and her unexpected sexual awakening leads to all kinds of excitement – and trouble. This film, from writer-director Stacie Passon, is damned good.
Bridegroom (Saturday, July 13 at 1:30 at DGA): I didn’t watch this on screener because I want to see it with an audience the first time.
If you saw the heartbreaking video It Can Happen to You, then you won’t want to miss this film from director Linda Bloodworth Thomason (Designing Women). It tells the story of Shane Bitney Crone and Tom Bridegroom and what happens after tragedy strikes and Tom dies. His family refuses to let Shane attend the funeral and cut of all contact. But Shane did not remain silent about love, loss and took a stand for same-sex equality with his video that had more than 3.4 million views and has been expanded into this film.
Before You Know It (Sunday, July 14 at 5 pm at Harmony Gold): Wow. Was really bowled over by this documentary from director PJ Raval that looks at three stories of everyday struggles that come with aging and being gay. I was most riveted by a man named Dennis who after his wife dies, looks for love after a lifetime of being in the closet about being gay and cross-dressing. Dennis goes on quite a journey and is so quietly brave.
Big Gay Love (Sunday, July 14 at 4:30 pm at DGA 1): Haven’t seen this yet but plan to be at the screening because Jonathan Lisecki is involved. Jonathan wrote, directed and co-starred in last year’s hit Gayby. This time he only acts which is great because he is FUNNY! In Big Gay Love, Jonathan plays a sex-starved event planner who can’t believe his luck when a dashing chef (played by Nicholas Brendan) falls for him. But Jonathan’s character keeps cock blocking himself from getting closer to the guy in this film written and directed by Ringo Le.
Big Joy: The Adventures of James Broughton (Monday, July 15 at 5 pm in DGA 2): I’m so glad I got to see this movie on a screener because I learned all about someone amazing who I did not know much about before. He is James Broughton, an omnisexual poet and filmmaker perhaps best known for his 1968 film The Bed. There is a wealth of archival footage and some terrific interviews including terrific ones with his much-younger partner who he left his wife for. The ex-wife is interviewed too and she’s lovely and honest enough to admit that after he left her, she found his newfound bliss “irritating.”
Transvisible: The Bamby Salcedo Story (Sunday, July 14 at 6:30 pm at Redcat): I was sent a screener by the director Dante Alencastre and have not had a chance to watch it yet! But I think so highly of Dante and know how passionate he has been about the movie that I want to give it a plug. His movie tells the story of an icon of LA’s transgender community: Latina activist Bamby Salcedo. This candid documentary begins with Bamby’s life on the drug-addicted streets of Guadalajara and then we are taken through her recovery and blossoming as an outspoken activist. The film includes revealing one-on-one interviews with this tireless HIV advocate and tireless spokeswoman for the transgender community.
Out in the Dark: (Sunday, July 14 at 7pm at DGA 1 and Sunday, July 21 at 2:45 pm at DGA 2): I only got to see the first 20 minutes of this the other night and have not gotten to finish the screener but what I have seen so far is VERY SEXY. This movie from director Michael Mayer (he co-wrote the screenplay with Yael Shafrir) is about a handsome Palistinian psychology student who is closeted at home. He then meets a dashing Israeli attorney while in Tel Aviv taking a class and they quickly fall in love. This is the part I have seen so far. Still ahead are the parts where he gets stripped of his visa and kicked out of the family home and is blackmailed into becoming an informant!
Southern Baptist Sissies (Monday, July 15 at 9:30 pm in DGA 1): This is the return to the big screen for Sordid Lives writer-director Del Shores! It’s the film adaptation of his hit play about four young gay Texans who grow up as born again Christians. Each follows his own path in attempting to reconcile faith with sexuality. It was filmed before a live audience and Del tells me it was finished very recently – just under the wire. Cannot wait to see it!
Two: The Story of Roman & Nyro: (Wednesday, July 17 at 7:15 pm at DGA 2): This is a wonderful and fascinating film from director Heather Winters. It combines over twelve years of footage and narrated by their twin sons and follows legendary songwriter Desmond Child and his lifelong partner, Curtis Shaw’s journey to create their new modern family. You really are a fly on the wall and the movie really is made by the candid interviews given by Angela Whitaker, the close friend and soulmate of the couple who agreed to be their surrogate. Also in a film a bit is the godfather to the twins: Jon Bon Jovi!
Hot Guys With Guns: (Friday, July 19 at 8:30 pm and Ford Ampitheatre): This has been a passion project for writer-director Doug Spearman and I am so thrilled for him that he got his movie made and that it has such a prime screening at Outfest. Doug, of Noah’s Arc fame, had been trying to get the movie made – originally as a TV series if I recall – with himself as a lead. But as the years passed, he decided to go with a younger lead and found one in Marc Anthony Samuel of General Hospital fame who stars opposite Brian McArdle. They play ex-lovers still attracted to each other in this modern take on the old-fashioned detective story. Think Lethal Weapon is Gibson and Glover were gay and ex-lovers. I haven’t seen the movie yet but will be at the Ford for the screening. The buzz has been excellent.
Also on my list to see are the documentary Born This Way, the drama Pit Stop, Boys Shorts, Geography Club, Last Summer, Test, Free Fall, The Last Match and closing night film G.B.F.
For a complete listing of films in the Festival, log on to www.outfest.org/fest2013