The weekend is here! And the 31st annual Boston LGBT Film Festival is in full swing! Great entertainment is in store all over the MetroBoston area, but like yesterday, time to make some tough choices. Each choice looks to be very worthy, though. So no matter what you choose, you should have a great time, with some top notch films.
All film descriptions come from the official festival press release, so here goes!
Things kick off today at the Alfond Theatre at the Museum of Fine Arts with The New Man, directed by Aldo Garay.
At the tender age of twelve, Roberto supported the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua and fought for education and social reforms. He was to continue his political struggle fighting alongside the communist Tupamaros in Uruguay. Thirty years later he is struggling to live his life as a woman named Stephanía and striving to be accepted by both society and his family. Documentary filmmaker Aldo Garay has followed Stephanía for over twenty years. In El Hombre Nuevo he provides a personal and tender portrait of a woman who can look back on a tempestuous life in which violence, drugs, prostitution and political commitment all found its place. Scenes from her day-to-day life are interspersed with interview material that includes conversations with old friends, fellow-travellers and siblings, as well as a passionate, heated exchange with her mother. The picture of society that emerges is as diverse as it is intimate, and spans a time of great political upheaval in the 1970s to the present day.
This sounds utterly fascinating to me, and I can’t wait to check it out.
Next, it’s over to the Bright Family Screening Room at Arts/Paramount in Downtown Crossing for the first of four shorts programs for today. Coming of Age gets underway at 2 PM with 10 shorts devoted to discovering the person you are and what it brings to your life.
Another great doc begins unspooling at Cambridge’s historic Brattle Theatre at 2:30 – it’s Nerdgasm:
Actor/comedian Tom Lenk has been a nerd all his life; on stage, on screen, and in reality. Known for his comedic roles in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Cabin in the Woods,” “Transformers,” and “Much Ado About Nothing,” Tom attempts to fulfill a lifelong “drama geek” dream to perform his live solo comedy show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland, the largest and most famous theater festival in the world. Part “dorkumentary,” part concert film, NERDGASM takes us behind the scenes of Tom’s unusual, exciting and sometimes lazy approach to creating a non-traditional “one man show” – from practice shows in L.A.’s low-rent Theater Row to grandiose and historic British venues. Throughout the trip Tom tries to satisfy his own personal Scotland-centric geeky cravings for Harry Potter, underground cities, Loch Ness Mythology and delicious sausage rolls. Tom’s fun-loving and neurotic persona is put to the test on stage, in the Scottish Highland wilderness and in the “Buffy” themed memorabilia room at the home of his biggest local Edinburgh fan.
Lenk has a large fan following thanks to his long running career, and this should hit the spot for many of his fans, as well as making new fans along the way.
Back at the Alfond @MFA at 3:30 PM, the powerful doc Out In The Night screens, and it’s a fascinating (and frightening) look at how media fuels even the smallest of innuendo:
One fateful August night in 2006, the lives of a group of African lesbians out for a fun evening in NYC were changed forever when they fought back against a man who kept harassing them. The media had a field day in the aftermath, calling them a “gang of killer lesbians.” Known as the “New Jersey Four,” the women were found guilty and given harsh sentences of 2-8 years for gang assault, despite highly questionable evidence. Their stories are finally being told, and OUT IN THE NIGHT exposes the institutionalized racism in the court system and the media that deemed them all a “wolf pack.” Contains graphic violence.
Director Blair Doroshwalther has put together a powerful portrait of the incident in question and how it changed lives, and has already been critically praised throughout it’s fest circuit run, and today’s screening should be no different.
5:00 PM at the Bright Family Screening Room, the fest presents the World Premiere of local Boston director Jared Vincenti’s film Day of Youth:
A halfway-romantic comedy about brain damage and life after college. Local filmmaker Jared Vincenti (ALLSTON XMAS web series) world premieres his feature film DAY OF YOUTH at the Boston LGBT Film Festival. When Rhee wakes from a severe bike accident to discover she doesn’t remember several years of her life it is up to her exes Aran and Nat to see who can win her back. Will she go back to her girlfriend or boyfriend or do something completely different? Like change her life? Jared Vincenti’s smart debut feature film wittily captures the angst and anguish of post-college life in Boston. What do you do when you have forgotten that you did nothing after school and can start over again?
Who doesn’t LOVE a film made in Boston? (Well, Ok, there WAS R.I.P.D., but I mean GOOD films…) Vincenti is gaining quite the rep in the Hub, and this film shows off just WHY that rep is bound to grow in the months and years ahead.
The second shorts program gets underway at the Brattle in Cambridge at 5:00PM also. All Lives Matter is a series of 8 shorts that make it very clear that everyone has a part to play on this big blue marble, and just what that part is might be the best part of discovery.
And directly following that shorts fest, at 7 PM the Brattle hosts the first of tonights feature premieres, director Philippe Audi-Dor’s film WASP:
Having left England for a romantic escapade in the south of France, Olivier and James invite Caroline along at the very last minute. She was just left by her long-time boyfriend and is in need of a change of scenery. The trio arrives in a little Provencal village, somewhat cut off from the world. Though everything seems calm between the pool, sunshine and a village visit, Olivier finds himself more and more intrigued by Caroline. A tension of sexual jealousy and possessiveness will escalade between the three. The next day, all is silence. The three leave the house. Not one word is exchanged. The house stands still, quiet, empty.
Having not yet seen this film, I can honestly say it’s one of the several films I’m really interested in checking out – it sounds fascinating, and right up our alley.
The evening entertainment continues with two more shorts series:
At the Bright Family Screening Room at 7:15, the Women’s shorts program, which is traditionally one of the most popular series at the LGBT Festival. This year is no exception, with 8 short films by and/or about women in all walks of life.
And back at the Brattle at 9 PM, this year’s Drag shorts program, 8 films about everything Drag, in a mix of docs and narratives.
Finally, Saturday’s fest entertainment concludes at the Bright Family Screening Room with Tiger Orange:
Two estranged gay brothers attempt to make amends in Wade Gasque’s charming small-town drama. Set against the sun-kissed fields of Central California, and anchored by strong performances from Mark Strano and pornstar-turned-leading man Frankie Valenti (aka Johnny Hazzard), TIGER ORANGE pits two diametric opposites against each other – the closeted introvert versus the out-and-proud hunk. The result is a blunt, playful meditation on queer sibling rivalry and the childhood bonds that force us together.
I’ve actually had my eye on this film for a couple months, since it screened at one of the January fests and it looks and sounds excellent.
And if you thought Saturday was good, then Sunday will be equally as fantastic – check back tomorrow for a complete rundown of Sunday’s features.
And don’t forget to check out the fest’s official website at http://bostonlgbtfilmfestival.org for complete info on screenings, times, venues, tickets and more!