By Alan Scherstuhl
By Amy Nicholson
By Charles Taylor
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By CAROLINA DEL BUSTO
By AMY NICHOLSON
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Movies of the Week:
Q Film Festival
The fourth-annual event tied to the Center Long Beach’s Pride Day Weekend features lavish parties; workshops; the screening of 10 new films; and bonus viewings of the 1981 picture that demonized wire hangers, two John Waters’ trashterpieces on back-to-back midnights and a raw, funny and, at times, painful documentary about the “winner” from season one of TV’s Project Runway. Events bounce between the Center and the Art Theatre, which are a few doors away from each other on East Fourth Street.
In a nod to the shitty economy, the festival kicks off at the Art with a free 2:30 p.m. Friday showing of Mommie Dearest, Frank Perry’s scathing bio-pic on Joan Crawford that is based on the book by the screen legend’s adopted daughter, Christina Crawford. What better way to watch the volcanic, inebriated, overeyebrowed Ms. C, played to the drag-worthy hilt by Faye Dunaway, than with $4 mimosas?
Friday also includes the world premiere of the short film Let It Reign: Imperial Court, in which mother-and-son filmmaking team Kathleen and Camrin Pitts take viewers on a ballroom-dancing excursion steered by drag queens and kings. That’s followed by Don’t Go, director Amber Sharp’s new television series taped in Long Beach that’s described as “Melrose Place meets The L Word.” There’s an audience Q&A with the directors and cast members after. The festival’s Opening Night Party at the Center, beginning at 7:45 p.m., includes drinks, hors d’ouevres and entertainment by Jennifer Corday. Next comes a screening of the feature film Tru Loved, which is about teen girl uprooted from the loving San Francisco home of a lesbian couple and moved to “a conservative, suburban community in Southern California.” Huh, wonder where you find one of those? The screening also has an audience Q&A with the director and cast members. The night is capped at 11:30 p.m. by Mondo Celluloid’s presentation of a fully restored, 25th-anniversary, 35mm print of Waters’ 1972 gross-out Pink Flamingos, complete with Divine, chicken fucking and dog-shit eating.
Saturday begins with a 1 p.m. workshop on “How to Make Your First Short Film” facilitated by Camrin Pitts at the Center. The film made during the workshop will be shown at the Art on Sunday night. Next comes Brittany Blockman and Josephine Decker’s documentary Bi the Way, which crosses the country in search of the truth about bisexuality. Savage Love columnist Dan Savage and the Village Voice’s Michael Musto are among the interviewees, and the doc is followed by a panel discussion. After that, it’s “Fun In Women’s Shorts” short films: What I Found in Great Aunt Nell’s Closet, Long Ago, T, Hung, Sondra Stingray: Sapphic Gumshoe, The Perfect Gender (from UC Irvine’s Breanna Hansen), La Carona and I’ve Got You. There’s also an audience Q&A with directors and cast members. Men get their shorts in a bunch, too, but not before the Shorts Party at the Center with filmmakers, drinks, hors d’ouevres, more drinks and entertainment by Francesca Valle. Then comes “Fun In Men’s Briefs”: El Abuelo, Saving the Boom (John Keitel’s doc that just premiered at the Newport Beach Film Festival about the unsuccessful attempt to keep Laguna Beach’s fabled gay bar the Boom Boom Room open), Laundromat, El Primo and Dirty Magazines. Directors and cast members from those also subject themselves to audience grilling before the program moves to Shane Morton’s one-night-stand shortie Ogles With Goggles (Tom Gustafson’s Were the World Mine, a re-imaginingg of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream set to lush music) and Mondo Celluloid’s midnight screening of Waters’ Female Trouble.
Sunday starts with A Place to Live: The Story of Triangle Square, Carolyn Coal’s documentary about the first senior center in the country for elderly gays and lesbians that is not called the “Balboa Bay Club.” An audience Q&A with filmmakers follows before it’s on to Douglas Hunter’s short The Constant Process,a documentary about the Reverend Susan Russell of All Saints Church in Pasadena. She’ll be present to take questions from the audience, but not before a screening of David Rothmiller’s lauded doc For My Wife, which is about a woman who was barred from the bedside of her dying partner. Remembering Harvey, the bonus documentary in the DVD version of Gus Van Sant’s Milk, screens before an audience Q&A with special guest Cleve Jones, who worked with Harvey Milk, The NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, and, currently, the Long Beach Coalition for Good Jobs & A Healthy Community. The aforementioned short What I Found in Great Aunt Nell’s Closet precedes Shamim Sarif’s feature I Can’t Think Straight, which proves some Middle Eastern women are not immune to going lesbo. Next it’s the Closing Night Party at the Center with drinks, hors d’ouvres and entertainment by Kristi Jo before it’s back to the Art, where drag queen Nikki Coldwater hosts screenings of the short film created in the Saturday workshop followed by C. Fitz’s documentary Showgirls: Provincetown, MA, which is about a drag stage production of Paul Verhoeven’s critcally panned, homosexually adored Showgirls.
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