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I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing

I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing

BY GARY M. KRAMER | Out filmmaker Eytan Fox’s joyful musical comedy “Cupcakes” may well give viewers a sugar buzz. Six friends — Anat (Anat Waxman), Keren (Keren Berger), Yael (Yael Bar-Zohar), Dana (Dana Ivgy), Efrat (Efrat Dor), and Ofer (Ofer Shechter) — enter the UniverSong contest, as the Israeli delegation to the competition, with a […]

The Wretched of the Pound

The Wretched of the Pound

BY STEVE ERICKSON | Take the opening scene of Hungarian director Kornél Mundruczó’s “White God”: a 13-year-old white girl rides her bicycle through deserted Budapest streets, followed by a pack of feral dogs. The very title of this film signals its allegorical intentions, through an allusion to Sam Fuller’s “White Dog.” That film was about a […]

Desert of the Mind

Desert of the Mind

BY STEVE ERICKSON | Like all great films, Argentine director Lisandro Alonso’s “Jauja” makes up its own rules. Or, at the very least, it synthesizes its influences, which seem to stretch from John Ford’s classic Westerns to Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Buddhist surrealism, into something really new. Its elliptical narrative and refusal to answer most of the questions […]

Dorothy’s Dozen

Dorothy’s Dozen

BY DAVID NOH | Once upon a time, in the distant BR (Before RuPaul) era, real women ruled our hearts in gay dives. Barbra Streisand at the Lion, Bette Midler at the Continental Baths, Ellen Greene at Reno Sweeney made us swoon, cocktails in hand, with their big, actual voices, talent, and camp sensibilities. Carrying on the […]

Sex Is Scary

Sex Is Scary

BY STEVE ERICKSON | David Robert Mitchell’s “It Follows” takes the sexual anxiety from John Carpenter’s “Halloween” and lifts it from subtext to subject matter. A return to the body-horror pioneered by David Cronenberg but missing from Cronenberg’s past few films, it riffs on the anxiety created by STDs. Mitchell made his name with “The Myth […]

Magician Challenging Magical Thinking

Magician Challenging Magical Thinking

BY GARY M. KRAMER | There’s a sucker born every minute, perhaps, but there are all too few people who try to expose the swindlers, charlatans, and con men who deceive them. Magician James “The Amazing” Randi, the subject of the fantastic documentary “An Honest Liar,” is one such debunker. Directors Tyler Measom and Justin Weinstein […]

Tidal Rhythms

Tidal Rhythms

BY GARY M. KRAMER | Out gay filmmaker Karim Aïnouz’s superb new film “Futuro Beach” is a gripping three-part drama that begins in dangerous ocean waters. Konrad (Clemens Schick) is swimming with his friend Heiko (Fred Lima) at a Brazilian beach when Heiko suddenly disappears. Donato (Wagner Moura), a hunky lifeguard, saves Konrad and explains that […]

Getting Beyond Gare du Nord

Getting Beyond Gare du Nord

BY GARY M. KRAMER | The outstanding French drama “Eastern Boys” opens as if it’s a sex-drenched film about exploited undocumented immigrant hustlers. A cluster of young, attractive Eastern European youths congregate outside of Paris’ Gare du Nord. In a hypnotic sequence that unfolds largely without subtitles one of these Eastern boys, the handsome Ukrainian Marek, […]

LA Overkill

LA Overkill

BY STEVE ERICKSON |  For the first two thirds of his career, Canadian director David Cronenberg was known as the king of “body-horror.” Who can forget the phallic appendages grown by Marilyn Chambers in “Rabid” or the quasi-vaginal VCR slit in James Woods’ stomach in “Videodrome”? While not queer himself, Cronenberg’s films are full of images […]

Cinema Succor in a Cold Season

Cinema Succor in a Cold Season

BY STEVE ERICKSON | January and February are usually deserts for cinephiles, although this is less true in a city with a still-thriving film repertory scene like New York. Granted, 2015 has already brought us worthwhile films like Bruno Dumont’s “Li’l Quinquin,” Desiree Akhvan’s “Appropriate Behavor,” Peter Strickland’s “The Duke of Burgundy,” Aleksei German’s “Hard to […]

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