Things move quickly at the Seattle International Film Festival…it’s already the second weekend of the 2013 festival and despite the fact it’s Memorial Day Weekend and Folklife and ninety dozen other things are going on, there are films you need to check out.
The one we’re most excited about is PEACHES DOES HERSELF, the gender fuck musical documentary starring the one and only Peaches, the iconic queer punk rock theatrical diva. Check out the synopsis:
Artist, provocateur, and electro-rock goddess Peaches brings her sensational stage show to the big screen in a no-holds-barred neo-queer extravaganza channeled through the wild, pumping, sexually skewed fibers of her unstoppable imagination. A jukebox musical with a sex change, Peaches Does Herself is a mythical biography that travels through the artist’s four provocative albums (“The Teaches of Peaches,” “Fatherfucker,” “Impeach my Bush,” and “I Feel Cream”). On the advice of a 65-year-old stripper, Peaches charts a course of sexually forthright music that leads her to develop magical sexual powers. As her popularity increases she becomes defined by the image expected by her fans, and it is only after Peaches has her heart broken by a beautiful she-male that she discovers her true self. Staged in the heart of Berlin’s art and theatre scene, the show unfurls on intricately connected sets filled with a progressively swelling synth band, teams of dancers in eye-popping costumes (or lack-thereof), elaborate theatrics (including one unforgettable entrance through an enormous sequined vagina), and a cast that features trans porn star Danni Daniels and The Naked Cowgirl, Sandy Kane. In the middle of this sexed-up, art-fuck spectacle there is Peaches, doing herself, and loving every moment of it.
PEACHES DOES HERSELF debuts tonight, Saturday, May 25, at 9:30pm at the Egyptian and repeats Monday night, also at the Egyptian at 9pm. Sadly, Peaches isn’t in attendance…she was in Seattle awhile back (last year?). We think it’s time someone brought her back to town.
Also tonight (Saturday the 25th) and at 9:30pm, but down at the Harvard Exit, there’s the Israeli film OUT IN THE DARK, romantic drama about a problematic love affair between two men, one Israeli and one Palestinian.
Sometimes the best way to explore a conflict is by looking at a few individuals affected by it. For Nimr and Roy, the divide between Israel and Palestine will try their love and test the failing systems of each of their countries. Nimr meets Roy in a tiny gay bar, after sneaking into Tel Aviv from Ramallah. The instant chemistry between them makes their love seem like a foregone conclusion, but the hatred between the Israeli and Palestinian governments and their own families thwart their simple desire to be together at every turn. Nimr has a student permit to cross into Tel Aviv, though like everything else in the region, the politics and governmental pressures don’t stop to care about little things like love, especially not love as taboo as that between two men.
Director Michael Mayer will be in attendance for tonight’s screening AND Sunday, May 26th’s encore screening at SIFF Cinema At The Uptown at 2pm.
C.O.G. is surprisingly, the first film produced based on the work of insanely popular writer David Sedaris and it’s from gay director Kyle Patrick Alvarez (who’ll be attendance for the screenings in Seattle) and stars out actor Jonthan Groff (sadly, NOT in attendance) as the Sedaris character, a naive young man who spends a summer working on an apple farm in Oregon and encounters an odd array of unique characters.
Based on a short story from David Sedaris’ collection, Naked, this is the first time Sedaris has licensed a film based on his work, and thus the first filmic adaptation of his trademark humorous storytelling. C.O.G. is a funny and poignant portrait of a lost soul and the amusing characters he meets. David (played by Tony Award nominee and Glee star, Jonathan Groff) is dismissive, elitist, and out of his element as he pursues his Steinbeckian dream—to spend his summer working on an apple farm in Oregon. Writer/director Kyle Patrick Alvarez (who in 2010 won the Someone to Watch Award at the Independent Spirit Awards for his debut film, Easier with Practice) made C.O.G. in just 18 days, shooting on location near Portland, Oregon, and on a budget of less than $1 million. With an eclectic cast of character actors as co-stars, including Denis O’Hare, Corey Stoll, and Dean Stockwell, this adaption remains true to the author’s voice.
C.O.G. screens Sunday, May 26 at 7pm at The Egyptian and repeats on Monday, May 27 at 6pm at the Renton IKEA Center for the Performing Arts (NOT the IKEA store!). Tickets for the Sunday/Egyptian screening are getting scarce…get yours NOW!
Finally, Memorial Day Weekend at SIFF is also the big Shorts Weekend, including the popular gay shorts package, GAY BY ANY MEANS, screening on Sunday, the 26th at 6:30pm at SIFF Cinema At The Uptown. This year features 6 films from around the world, including Australia’s wry “Y2Gay” about nervous straights who head to a bunker to avoid the terror of marriage equality, and “Spooners” about a gay couple shopping for a new mattress.
For more info on the gazillion films at SIFF, which runs through June 9, check out their website.