Lesbian mountainbike racers and boxing champs. An ABBA sing-along (Cinerama style), and a Madonna one (with blonde ambition provided by a drag queen called Peaches Christ). Latina crime-fighters known as Taco Chick and Salsa Girl. Fag hags. Gay Republicans. Bollywood's first homocentric film. John Wayne's dyke daughter. A desperate housewife gone tranny.
All part of the PNW's largest queer film event, beginning this Friday and celebrating its tenth anniversary with ten days of cinematically gay (or gayly cinematic?) splendor from across the globe. The fun begins close to home on opening night with the Northwest premiere of Portland-shot Say Uncle, written and directed by Peter Paige (of tedious American Queer as Folk — but don't let that dissuade you). After his young godson is moved out of the country, Paige's character follows a friend's advice to hang out at a local playground. Which is maybe not the best idea. Kathy Najimy (taking a lil' break from voicing Peggy Hill) leads an increasingly ferocious gaggle of distrustful playground moms in a citywide crusade to protect their children from evil. Mass hysteria, of course, ensues.
Speaking of hysteria, and gays, there were plenty of both in the 1970s (and not just because that was the decade in which I happened to make my debut into this world). This year's SLGFF pays tribute to the era of tight jeans and unnecessary wars and government distrust and sky-high petrol prices (hmmm…) with revivals of The Gardener and Saturday Night at the Baths, an ABBA: The Movie sing-along, and bluntly-titled documentary Gay Sex in the '70s. See 'em all, then compare and contrast that decade with our current one.
I'm always a fan of shorts programs (even when I'm too busy to help program them), and this year's crop features strong lineups in both the general local, animated, girls' and boys' categories, plus Beyond Delirious ("freakishly hilarious delights"), Dear Diary (queer youth), and Scream Clubbing (music films and vids from Minneapolis' Flaming Film Festival).
And let us not forget:
Fingersmith. Big ol' BBC costume drama by the writer/director of Tipping the Velvet.
Formula 17. A gay country boy comes to the big city in this Taiwanese coming-of-age yarn.
Garçon Stupide. It's about a hot 20something Swiss boy named Loïc who works in a chocolate factory and has lots of sex. Do you need more reasons to check it out?
My Brother Nikhil. A Goa swimming champ is imprisoned when his HIV status is discovered in the first-ever Hindi movie to deal with homosexuality.
Transamerica. I can't WAIT for this one. I've heard nothing but glorious things about Felicity Huffman's performance … as a transgendered woman forced to reconcile her past with her present.
When I'm 64. Another BBC drama, this time about two proper men of a certain age who come to realize that they're not as old as society would have them believe.