Three Dollar Bill Cinema’s Translations Film Festival kicked off to a terrific start last night with their opening night, mixed media event, “Gender Failure” at the Harvard Exit. “GF” stars two Canadian gender queer performers, Ivan Coyote and Rae Allen who combine narrative stories from their lives with original music and all backed by animated visuals from Seattle’s own Clyde Peterson. The highly personable performers each have their strengths; Ivan’s gifts as a storyteller and Rae’s gorgeous voice, but both artists share great comedy timing and unique charisma My only complaint about the show: it could use some “shaping” from a professional theater director and it would behoove the duo to memorize their stories instead of referring to notes. And, the show could use a lot more of Clyde’s charming animated footage; it helps unify the show and lifts it to a higher artistic level. Those critical notes aside, “Gender Failure” was hugely entertaining and a big hit with the adoring crowd at the Harvard Exit last night and the biggest opening ever for the Translations Film Festival, one of the few festivals specifically for the transgender community in the world.
Translations continues tonight with the Thai film, “It Gets Better” from director Tanwarin Sukkhapisit:
Transgender filmmaker Tanwarin Sukkhapisit creates an authentic and moving film with three intertwined story lines that grow increasingly tighter as the drama progresses. The alluring Saitan, a middle-aged transwoman on a road trip; the timid Din, found dancing in women’s clothes by his father; and the dashing Tonmai, who’s returned to Thailand from the States, are all connected through the Fountain Bar, a “ladyboy” cabaret that Tonmai has inherited from a father he never knew. Gorgeous scenery, spectacular performances, and entertaining club routines complement the message behind the stark realities of relationships, family, and seeking acceptance: it does get better.
“It Gets Better” and all the rest of the films in Translations will screen at Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Avenue (between Pike and Pine). “IGB” screens at 7pm and the second program of the night will be the Northwest premiere of “She-Male Snails”, a Danish-Swedish production from director Ester Martin Bergsmark. More info:
A visually intoxicating mix of experimental documentary and poetic narrative, SHE MAIL SNAILS explores the interaction between a person’s aspirations and the expectations of others. What began as a portrait of transgender author Eli Leven becomes a more stylized exploration, as Leven and director Bergsmark share memories of being caught between two genders, the desire for sexual identity, and the power of being able to express oneself through art. Having won awards and acclaim for its provocative visual style, this deeply personal film is a groundbreaking work of reality and fantasy.
“She-Male Snails” screens at 9:30pm at NW Film Forum.
Translations continues Saturday and Sunday. Check their website for full schedule and tickets.
In other exciting news for the transgender/gender queer community, Seattle will finally have a Trans Pride event on Friday, June 28 at 5:30pm with a march from Seattle Community College to Cal Anderson Park, followed by a rally/festival/dance party. It’s being put on by the awesomely named Gender Justice League with the help of Seattle Out & Proud. For more info, check out their website and we’ll also chat more about it in the weeks ahead.