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Grandeur in Tapei’s Underbelly

Grandeur in Tapei’s Underbelly

BY STEVE ERICKSON | What to make of a film that ends on a note of stillness so deep and serene that it comes closer to photography than what we usually expect of cinema! Taiwanese out gay director Tsai Ming-liang’s “Stray Dogs” has a monumental quality that demands to be seen on the biggest screen […]

Friendship and Betrayal

Friendship and Betrayal

BY STEVE ERICKSON | The Green Prince,” a documentary by Israeli director Nadav Schirman, is bound to get sold as a heartwarming tale of Israeli-Palestinian friendship. Nevertheless, its depiction of the close relationship between Mosab Hassan Yousef, the son of Hamas’ founder, and Gonen Ben Yitzhak, an agent in Israel’s security agency Shin Bet, pivots […]

London Theater Shines in Houses Big and Wee

London Theater Shines in Houses Big and Wee

BY ANDY HUMM | The real drama in the now tenuously-United Kingdom this past week has been the build-up to the momentous Scots’ vote on September 18 about whether to become an independent nation again, a contest in which new polls say independence has a chance for the first time –– an outcome that would […]

Let Your Sex Flag Fly

Let Your Sex Flag Fly

BY GARY M. KRAMER | In the cheeky sex romp “Wetlands,” Helen (Carla Juri, in a star-making performance), claims, “If you think penises, sperm, and other bodily fluids are gross, you should just forget about sex altogether.” She licks seminal fluid — “sex-souvenir chewing gum,” she calls it — from her fingers, and then tests […]

Trusting Youth to Tell Us Their Troubles

Trusting Youth to Tell Us Their Troubles

BY STEVE ERICKSON | Critic/ filmmaker Robert Greene recently attacked reviewers for their blindness to subtleties of form — particularly in the way faces were filmed — in the recent Afghanistan War documentary “The Kill List.” It would be difficult to ignore the choices Mexican director Nuria Ibañez has made in framing her subjects — […]

The Complicated Business of Intimacy

The Complicated Business of Intimacy

BY GARY M. KRAMER | Love Is Strange,” a thoughtful, wistful film from director and co-writer Ira Sachs, concerns a couple — George (Alfred Molina) and Ben (John Lithgow) — who have been together 39 years. The men marry in the opening moments, but spend most of the rest of the film apart. When the […]

An Upper West Side Liberal Living Legend

An Upper West Side Liberal Living Legend

BY DAVID NOH | Living for years on the Upper West Side where she was born is a woman who is something of a living legend. Lee Grant’s life has encompassed so incredibly many facets, spanning her own New York Jewish roots, a debut with the Metropolitan Opera at the age of four, and a […]

Nellie’s Billy

Nellie’s Billy

BY DAVID NOH | One of the great enigmas in the music world, William Lee “Billy” Tipton (1914 – 1989) was an American jazz musician and bandleader, who, it was discovered after his death, was born a woman. Named Dorothy Louise Tipton at birth in Oklahoma, he took his father’s name, “Billy,” when he started his […]

Insult Comedy… Without the Laughs

Insult Comedy… Without the Laughs

BY GARY M. KRAMER | The title of out gay writer and director Drew Tobia’s frustration comedy “See You Next Tuesday” is a play on a particular word that causes women to bristle. In one exchange in the film, a friendly co-worker drops the c-word in front of Mona (Eleanore Pienta) and quickly apologizes. Mona responds […]

Young Adults Get to Grow Up

Young Adults Get to Grow Up

BY STEVE ERICKSON | Over the past 10 years, French director Philippe Garrel’s work has finally achieved steady, even if marginal US distribution. He made his first short 50 years ago, but it took him decades to get any kind of serious recognition outside France. To some extent, that can be explained by the non-narrative […]

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