Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Frameline schedule announced

Frameline, the world's largest film festival devoted to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender filmmakers and images, announced its full program earlier today. The festival runs June 19-29 here in Frisco at the Castro, Roxie, Victoria, and in Berkeley, the Elmwood. I missed the press conference myself and haven't had time to peruse thoroughly, but two items stick out at first glance-over.

First, Derek, Isaac Julien's documentary on the life and art of Derek Jarman, will be playing at the Castro on Sunday, June 29th at 4:30 PM, just before the closing night film, Breakfast With Scot. Derek was my favorite documentary seen at this year's Sundance Film Festival, and I wrote about it here. I know I responded to it so well in part because I knew so little about the boundary-shredding British filmmaker beforehand. I'm curious to know how Frisco's true-blue Jarmaniacs will respond. Meanwhile, Jarman's Sebastiane and In The Shadow of the Sun (with soundtrack by Throbbing Gristle) are playing a screening totally unconnected to Frameline at A.T.A. Wednesday, May 21.

Second, this year's Frameline Award is going to its own outgoing festival director Michael Lumpkin, and a seven-film selection of past Frameline hits with real staying power will be included in the festival. I've seen four of them (Gus Van Sant's Mala Noche, the Wachowskis' Bound, Joseph Gaï Ramaka's Karmen Geï and my personal favorite of the quartet, Pedro Almodóvar's Law of Desire) on the big screen before, but never with Frameline audiences. I've never seen the other three (Big Eden, Lilies and Yes Nurse, No Nurse) at all.

See anything else in the guide that looks particularly good?


  1. Brian, let me recommend one of the strongest films I saw at TIFF last year, Jacques Nolot's Before I Forget. Nolot is a memorable actor (he played Nenette and Boni's dad in the Claire Denis film, and is also in films by Andre Techine) and this is an unflinchingly autobiographical film about a middle-aged gay man not getting any younger and his small circle of friends. This is not a 'soothing' or 'uplifting' film to watch but it packs a great emotional punch because of its bare-it-all honesty. It took a few weeks for this film to truly 'sink in' for me, and now I look back on it as one of the truly haunting films I saw last year.

  2. Peter Nellhaus5/21/08, 8:43 AM

    If I were able to attend, I'd see Edge of Heaven. Also of interest to me is The Amazing Truth about Queen Raquela.

  3. Thanks, girish and Peter! I will see if I can fit your suggestions into my schedule. Edge of Heaven has played here before, opening the Berlin & Beyond film festival (I missed it there), and it is expected to open theatrically in July, the weekend of the Silent Film Festival. It would be nice to see it before then, as I may be too "movied-out" from the weekend for a new release. Unless I rent Head On first, it will be my first Fatih Akin film.

    Daniel Kasman makes Before I Forget sound worthwhile.

  4. Peter Nellhaus5/21/08, 10:19 AM

    Head On is terrific. I also liked In July.

    Not related, but the Thai Film foundation now has some classic Thai films from the 50s on DVD.

  5. All hail King Russell and his Buddhist Bubblegum: I've got high hopes for Matt Wolf's Wild Combination: A Portrait of Arthur Russell

  6. Fortuitously, this month's issue of Film Comment likewise has a piece on Russell.

    I thought Saturn in Opposition was quite lovely. Dennis Harvey expressed his interest in the festival's opening night lesbian bodice ripper Affinity.

    I'm possibly more excited by Lumpkin's festival within the festival than anything else. We're meeting next week to go over those entries.

    Of the new tuff, I'm off to the Frameline office to pick up screeners of Cthulhu; Bruce LaBruce's Otto: Up With Dead People (I'm planning on interviewing Bruce); the Argentine entry All My Life; The Amazing Truth About Queen Raquela and the long-anticipated directorial debut of Diana Lee Inosanto: The Sensei. I've already interviewed Diana on that one and feel very proud of helping shepherd the film into Frameline.

  7. Thanks for all the tips, folks! Keep 'em coming!

    David Husdon has links to more festival previews, including your piece, Michael.

    At the Castro this afternoon, buying the still-available tickets for tonight's Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull screening (yes, I remember my own reservations on this booking, but can't resist a midnight movie, especially when I'm not working the next day anyway) I picked up a hard copy of the program and began flipping.

    I was reminded of talking to people at the Sundance film festival who liked Be Like Others and, as you mentioned Michael, Otto ;or Up with Dead People. And I rued the fact that I've never seen a film by Barbara Hammer, who has three films in the program playing together in a program sharing the title of her latest film a Horse Is Not a Metaphor. I hope nobody's scared off by the "only" 58-minute running time. Just last week I was talking with Konrad Steiner about how often experimental film programs are perfectly rich, even when they last under an hour.

    Oh, and Peter, I'm curious to know about the 1950s films you're talking about. The only Thai film from that era I've seen is Pestonji's Country Hotel, from a Thai Film Foundation DVD as I recall. I very much liked the way it made use of a limited set. I'd like to do a close comparison between it and a more well-known closed-in 1957 film, 12 Angry Men (obviously it would be more contrast than compare, but I suspect it might be fruitful).

  8. Peter Nellhaus5/21/08, 5:47 PM

    Brian: Here is Curtis' article on the Thai DVDs.

  9. WooooooooHoooooo!!!

    I am soooooooo excited that OUT: SMASHING HOMOPHOBIA PROJECT made the cut this year. When I was at the Women's International Film Festival in Seoul, in my post from the fest for GreenCine, I pleaded to Frameline to bring this film - http://daily.greencine.com/archives/003537.html
    As you'll see from the link, Director of Programming Jennifer Morris dropped in on the comment section to tell me they'd take a look at it for next year's (that is, 2008's) fest. And it's on the docket for this year's fest.

    Can I make a claim I finally had some influence? Seriously, I don't care. I'm just glad I'll get a second chance to see this film and that this film will get greater exposure.

    If anyone's curious, here's a review from my friend Annie Koh for Koreanfilm.org - http://www.koreanfilm.org/docs.html#smashing


  10. Peter, thanks for the link. I frequently get behind in reading WiseKwai. I hope I can see the other five Pestonji films released. Thanks to Adam for helping me see the one I have seen.

    Adam, I'm not surprised that you have influence. Your passion for films showcasing the voices of those who would otherwise be edged off screens is infectious. I hope we both are among those able to attend that Roxie screening June 28th.

  11. I hardly know any films in this festival, but I guess these films may be interesting

    1.JAPAN JAPAN (2007, Lior Shamriz, Israel, 65 min)

    2.LA LEON (2006, Santiago Otheguy, Argentina, 85 min)

    3.SOLOS (2007, Loo Zihan, Singapore, 70 min)