The Seattle International Film Festival begins May 14! Ack! Here’s a rundown of the Non-Hetero/Non-Binary films of interest:
For boy-identified who like boys:
- 54: The Director’s Cut: Remember this movie? Remember how yummy it was, and how cheated we felt at the theatrical release? Director’s Cut at SIFF Egyptian, plus “The Studio 54 Experience” at the Neptune Theater. The Neptune will feature disco lessons and dance performances, along with flash mobs, Videoke, and contests while you break out your best ’70s duds under disco balls at 9pm May 29.
- ICYMI: Eisenstein in Guanajuato looks to be the must-watch biopic. Full of art, history, and some art history of sorts, this promises to be compelling, raunchy, and bittersweet. It’ll be airing at the Q-friendly W hotel on closing night, June 6.
- Ian McKellen!! OMG GUYZ. He plays the elder Sherlock in Mr. Holmes. I know I’m not the only one hoping for a cameo from the ubiquitous Benedict Cumberyum. The best old gay actor, and friend to Sir Patrick Stewart, portrays a Holmes attempting to solve a 30-year old case with a failing mind. And while we may not see any “gay action,” we may just fall in love with Gandalf and Magneto a little more.
- This one may or may not have gay themes in it, but Seoul Searching might have some John Hughes-ish effect on you. Reading the description of this one made me recall our dear Adam’s article about the Seoul Gay Scene. Some of the teens will probably struggle with sexuality and acceptance in society, if we’re lucky enough to see a non-censored film. Go find out!
- Do I Sound Gay? Yes, “Ex-gay,” that affected lisp as you protest at the Pride Parade is giving you away. Actually, I don’t know if this film will touch on that, but it’ll probably talk about all the twinks who sound like vacuous Valley Girls. And the straight guys who get mistaken for being gay just because of the way they speak. Featuring the much-debated Dan Savage!
- Tab Hunter was a secret gay! Or something. Don’t know who he was? See Tab Hunter Confidential. The film features our Gay Nerd Leader, George Takei, as well as John Waters, Clint Eastwood, and Debbie Reynolds. For those who remember pre-Stonewall, or want to give a history lesson to the young’uns.
- I Am Michael. Guys, if you’re not secretly or not-so-secretly in love with Zachary Quinto, I really don’t know how you exist. If I were a gay man, I’d be stalking the shit out of him. He’ll be in this film with James Franco, portraying the true story of Michael Glatze. A fundamentalist Christian pastor who rejects his “gay lifestyle”? The HELL you say! If Quinto’s acting history is any indication, his role will be mesmerizing and sensitive.
- Xenia. This might just be your “WTF” movie. The main character is a gay Greek-Albanian “with a pet rabbit named Dido.”-SIFF Guide. He and his brother do a journey thing with the goal of maybe being on a TV talent show and finding their father. Hunh! Have fun!
- Front Cover explores a relationship between two Asian men who battle the societal norms of their culture. As mentioned above re: Seoul, this can be exceedingly difficult in the Eastern world.
For the female-identified who like ladies:
- When Marnie Was There is an animated film from Miyazaki’s protege Yonebayashi. If you’ve ever seen Miyazaki’s films (Sprited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, etc.) you’ll expect something a little surreal and intensely beautiful. At the forefront is a shy tomboy teen “who befriends a young blonde girl who may not be of this world.”-SIFF Guide. It would be nice to see a coming-of-age story that’s not so boy-meets-girl and is a little out of the ordinary.
- In the girl-meets-girl territory, we’ll have The Summer of Sangaile. This time it’ll have to do with stunt planes. Remember when Hilary Swank played Amelia Earhart? That one scene where she was checking out a lady’s legs? Sangaile will probably take that notion a step further. Yay!
- Tig. Why have we not seen advertisements for her playing Seattle lately? Oh, yeah, she’s probably recovering from that whole breast cancer thing and having some quality family time. Personally, I haven’t seen her perform, but I’ll probably watch this hopefully to catch some snippets. If I could get Tig Notaro, Suzanne Westenhoeffer, and Wanda Sykes all in the same room, I think there would be a whole lot of dying from pants-peeing going on. Can we plan that cruise please? As soon as Notaro is feeling well enough, of course.
- Ready for some cheesy horror with hot girls and dildos? Deathgasm may be just what the date night doctor ordered! This promises to be the best popcorn flick, complete with tons of blood, metal, and electric guitars. C’mon, I know you want to see a dildo fight on screen!
- And because there don’t seem to be as many girl/girl flicks as guy/guy flicks, I’ll also mention films starring awesome celebrity women whom I’m just happy exist: Spy, starring Melissa McCarthy, will kick off the festival at the opening night gala at Marion Oliver McCaw Hall. It’s kind of more of the same for her, as in funny-lady-everyone-thinks-can’t-do-something turns out to be awesome and kicks some ass. I’d watch anything she’s in! Also, Inside Out is one of my most-aniticpated films this year. From the director of Pixar’s Up comes a comedic take on the thing we all thought about as kids: What if there were little people inside us who shepherded our emotions? Amy Poehler and Mindy Kaling star as voices, alongside Lewis Black as “Anger”…fitting, no? Heavily appreciating that the main character is a young girl. Besides these two, fans of Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother, Avengers) can see her in Results and Unexpected, with the latter sounding more interesting than the former. I really like her, and hate that she’s my age and infinitely hotter. Ha!
For the trans*/bi/everyone & all else category (sorry to lump y’all together, but there didn’t appear to be enough to warrant separate listings:
- KEVIN BACON!! omgomgomgomgomgomgomg!! He’ll be doing “An Evening with Kevin Bacon” at SIFF Cinema Egyptian on Wednesday, May 27, and 8pm to premiere his film, Cop Car. He’s getting a SIFF award for Outstanding Achievement in Acting. BUT. The previous day, the 26th, the Egyptian will also be airing Diner…and our perennial “I Need a Hero” dance-a-long-sing-a-long favorite, Footloose! Prep your Six Degrees answers NOW.
- Tangerine is the ROFL story of transgender prostitutes in L.A. over the course of one night. Filled with sass and “Oh, DRAMA!” moments, this promises to be the trans* comedy you’re looking for without making trans* people themselves the punchline. Presented at Gay-La at the Egyptian, followed by a party at the Baltic Room. Woot!
- Set in Saigon, Big Father, Small Father and Other Stories is a film about two boys and a girl at the turn of the millennium. Sexual ambiguity moves them through neon lights, slums, and nightlife. Who knows what’ll enfold? Be prepared to sweat.
- A guy thinks he’s gay, till death does he part with his boyfriend, until he wakes up next to a woman, in I Kissed a Girl (not to be confused with the Katy Perry song). Explore what it means to feel like your sexuality has changed—literally overnight.
- What’s it like to be trans* in the midst of cultural and political turmoil in Latin America? Go see the documentary The New Man and find out.
And, because I’m a nerd, these two deserve your time, because nothing helps social change gain momentum like art:
- Cartoonists: Foot Soldiers of Democracy explores the minds of about a dozen political cartoonists from around the world who have to deal with governments and media who don’t have a sense of humor. The U.S. is lucky not to have the level of censorship and retaliation most other countries face. Do you create art and satire with the nagging feeling that you’ll get shot for what you say?
- Very Semi-Serious looks at the “New Yorker” single-panel comics we’ve all grown up with. ‘Nuff said.
For a full listing of SIFF movies and venues, pick up a SIFF Guide or check online. What will you be watching? Don’t forget the parties and galas! SIFF month is gonna be a blast!