By Alan Scherstuhl
By Amy Nicholson
By Charles Taylor
By Stephanie Zacharek
By Brian Feinzimer
By CAROLINA DEL BUSTO
By AMY NICHOLSON
By Amy Nicholson
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.
Monday through Thursday, May 14, the Art screens Eleven Minutes, which followed Jay McCarroll for the year after he was labeled “the next great American designer” in winning season one of Project Runway. Michael Selditch and Robert Tate’s documentary was well-received at the Newport Beach Film Festival. Q Film Festival at Art Theatre, 2025 E. Fourth St., Long Beach, (562) 428-5435; and the Center Long Beach, 2017 E. Fourth St., Long Beach, (562) 434-4455. Fri.-Thurs., May 14. Visit centerlb.org, arttheatrelongbeach.com and mondocelluloid.com for show dates and times. Individual screening ticket prices vary, but they are $5 for students and those older than 60 with valid IDs. Parties and workshops are not included. Weekend passes, which do include admission to parties, are $80-$110. Admission to the Mondo Celluloid screenings is free to weekend-pass holders.
An American Girl: Chrissa Stands Strong
“Industry Insider” Martha Coolidge closes out the Spring Semester series with a screening of a film she directed and was released earlier this year. It’s the story of a fourth grader and her friends dealing with bullies at school. Chapman University, Marion Knott Studios, Folino Theater, 11283 N. Cypress St., Orange, (714) 997-6711. Thurs., May 14, 7 p.m. Free.
One can debate whether David Fincher’s 1999 swing at the Chuck Palahniuk novel has attained the classic status that affords its inclusion on Regency’s Classic Movie Night list. But there is no denying the Brad Pitt-Edward Norton pic is now deeply woven into popular culture, simply by the number of variations on “The first rule of ‘X’ is you don’t talk about ‘X’” that are out there. South Coast Village, 1561 W. Sunflower Ave., Santa Ana, (714) 557-5701; www.regencymovies.com. Wed., 7:30 p.m. $7.
Grindhouse Presents: Death Proof
The Quentin Tarantino-directed portion of the 2007 exploitation double-bill with colleague Robert Rodriguez concerns some shapely lasses terrorized on backcountry highways by a sociopathic stuntman (Kurt Russell). A hair-raising, 18-minute automotive duel that features one girl strapped to the hood of a thundering Dodge Challenger “earns a place of honor among the great movie car chases,” according to Scott Foundas at our sister paper LA Weekly. This screening allows you to meet that girl, stuntwoman Zoë Bell, who also doubled for Uma Thurman in Tarantino’s Kill Bill, Vol. 1 and Kill Bill, Vol. 2 and Lucy Lawless in TV’s Xena: Warrior Princess. UCI’s Film and Video Center is scheduled to follow up with Rodriguez’s Grindhouse Presents: Planet Terror on 35mm at the same time, same place on May 21. UC Irvine, Humanities Instructional Building, Room 100, Lucille Kuehn Auditorium, Campus & W. Peltason drs., Irvine, (949) 824-7418; www.humanities.uci.edu/fvc/. Thurs., May 14, 7 p.m. $3.
The Long, Long Trailer
Newleyweds Nicky (Desi Arnaz) and Tracy (Lucille Ball) spend their honeymoon on the road towing a long, long trailer in what feels like a long, long movie. Cinema Fusion at Anaheim’s GardenWalk, 321 W. Katella Ave., Anaheim, (714) 399-0300; www.cinemafusionanaheim.com. Wed., 7 p.m. $7.50.
My Life As a Dog
Spring semester “Industry Insider” Martha Coolidge presents Lasse Hallström’s 1985 Swedish film about a little boy named Ingemar, who lives with his brother and his terminally ill mother and frets about Laika, the Russian dog sent into space. Ingemar gets sent away for the summer to stay with relations and meet various strange characters who will forever change his life. Chapman University, Marion Knott Studios, Folino Theater, 11283 N. Cypress St., Orange, (714) 997-6711. Thurs., May 7, 7 p.m. Free.
The “Bowerscon” anime day includes a screening of this classic anime about young Ashitaka finding herself caught between inhabitants of the supernatural world that exists in the forest and humans in the real world who are destroying it. Bowers Museum of Cultural Art, 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana, (714) 567-3600; www.bowers.org. Sat., 11 a.m. Free with paid admission ($9-$12).
Scholars and modern samurais bring the elite warrior class to life in this 50-minute documentary. Bowers Museum of Cultural Art, 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana, (714) 567-3600; www.bowers.org. Fri., 1:30 p.m. Free with paid admission ($9-$12).
Secrets of the Samurai Sword
This doc shares the secrets of the samurai’s most-cherished weapon. Bowers Museum of Cultural Art, 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana, (714) 567-3600; www.bowers.org. Sun., 1:30 p.m. Free with paid admission ($9-$12).
Senior Thesis Screenings
Projects from the graduating class are screened for the whole world to see. Up this week are Rylan Kendall (Seven Minutes), Andrew McIntyre (Eternity), Brian Garson (Deception), Derick Alexander (Last Days of Toussaint L’Ouverture), Cameron Clark (Passing On) and Joshua Kun (Megan’s Documentary). A brief reception follows the screenings. Chapman University, Marion Knott Studios, Folino Theater, 11283 N. Cypress St., Orange, (714) 997-6711. Sat., 7 p.m. Free.
The Great Migration is captured in this 40-minute doc. Bowers Museum of Cultural Art, 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana, (714) 567-3600; www.bowers.org. Wed., 1:30 p.m. Free with paid admission ($9-$12).
Three strangers strive to connect, break technological boundaries and unseal their fates in a militarized, near-future world marked by closed borders, virtual labor and a global digital network. Director Alex Rivera will be on hand at this Cosecha Latina/Latin Harvest showcase—co-sponsored by the UC Irvine Film and Video Center, UCI Humanities Center, UCI International Center for Writing and Translation, UCI Department of Film Studies, UCI Department of Chicano/Latino Studies and UCI Department of Spanish and Portuguese—which features the latest of new work by Chicano, Latino and Latin American media artists based in the United States in a variety of genres and formats. UCI, Humanities Instructional Building, Room 100, Lucille Kuehn Auditorium, Campus & W. Peltason drs., Irvine, (949) 824-7418; www.humanities.uci.edu/fvc/. Thurs., May 7. Reception, 6:30 p.m.; screening, 7 p.m. $3-$5.
Mail your press releases (and a videotape or disc, if available) to Special Screenings, OC Weekly, 2975 Red Hill Ave., Ste. 150, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. Or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. All materials must be received at least two weeks before the screening.
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