As is noted in the 2003 Lesbian and Gay Film Festival catalog, it's been a big year for the gays. We can legally make whoopee in all fifty states, we can get married on this continent (we love us some Canada), and we have a little show called Queer Eye for the Straight Guy that accomplished more positive-image results in its first five episodes than Will & Grace did in its first five seasons. We're here, we're queer, and whaddya know? People are getting used to it.
But there are still lots of films by and about homos that don't seem to make it to middle-American (or even Seattle-American) multiplexes. Thus, fab cinematic celebrations like SLGFF remain, and they probably will for a while, and as long as they're around we'll flock to 'em to witness wacky campfests like Die Mommie Die!, tender love stories like Latter Days, heartfelt documentaries like Put the Camera on Me, and plenty of sexy-boy softcore porn like Bulgarian Lovers.
And following in Queer Eye's footsteps, the festival invites everyone to enjoy queer film at its best, even the straights! The late, great Katharine Hepburn can be seen in a new revival print of the 1935 film Sylvia Scarlett. Ghostlight pays homage to the late Martha Graham and includes an incredible cast including Ann Magnuson, Isaac Mizrahi, Deborah Harry, and former Seattlite Mark Morris. In true TIG fashion, three interactive programs (The Gong Show, Cine-oke, and the Singin' in the Rain sing-along) will allow audience members a chance at glory. (Or ridicule.) And if you don't get a kick out of opening night film Die Mommie Die!, there's little hope for you.
Show yourself at SLGFF 2003, and be sure not to miss:
Cine-oke: Reloaded. Karaoke with a cinematic twist — participants sing and dance to scenes from classic movie musicals.
Diary of a Male Porn Star. It's about a male porn star. Oh, and it's Italian.
Dildo Diaries. Why would anyone not want to see a movie with this title? It's a brief (and appropriately absurd) history of everyone's favorite sex toy.
Don't You Worry, It Will Probably Pass. Intimate documentary about three bisexual Swedish teen girls coming to terms with… being bisexual Swedes, I suppose.
Gasoline. Another sexy Italian flick, this time about unlucky lesbian lovers dealing with an accidental matricide.
The Gong Show. Sassy celebrity judges David Schmader, Steve Wells, and ingenious Sarah Rudinoff judge short video offerings by brave audience members.
JIM IN BOLD. Loving tribute to late activist/artist/poet Jim Wheeler, whose hopeful legacy of acceptance and empowerment have left a prevailing impact on today's gay youth.
Latter Days. This Centerpiece selection features the great Mary Kay Place and Buffy's Amber Benson — reasons enough for me to see it. And the plot (beautiful LA twink falls for curious Mormon lad) actually sounds compelling.
9 Dead Gay Guys. Bitchy, anti-PC British film about two Machiavellian hustlers. I wonder why it's not called 9 Dead Poofs?
Porn on the Cob. An hour-long program of offbeat erotica, including Porno Picture of Dorian Grey, which follows an ageless star through several bygone gay-porn eras.
Put the Camera on Me. Hilarious and touching doc about a child auteur at the dawn of the video generation. Includes unbelievably funny video footage from now-adult Darren Stein's no-budget VHS mini-masterpieces from his early-'80s youth.
Sylvia Scarlett. Archival presentation of George Cukor's subtext-rife 1935 classic, starring the late Katharine Hepburn (in drag) and Cary Grant.
Twisted and Bent Shorts. I helped program this year's short films, and this wacked-out compilation is my favorite. If you're not easily offended, this shit (especially Buff…'n Muffin, Annie Dearest, and Wonderfluff Sandwiches) is wonderfully warped. But don't blame me for the over-the-top eye-roller Gaydar; for the record, it's the only one featured in this set that I (unsuccessfully) vetoed.
Working Girls. New print of dyke director Dorothy Arzner's witty and irreverent 1931 drama. Jodie Foster helped fund the restoration. Hmmm…