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Women Getting Political

Women Getting Political

BY STEVE ERICKSON | Swiss director Petra Volpe’s “The Divine Order” arrives in American theaters at an opportune time. The extent of sexism in our film industry and culture finally seems to be coming to light, although it’s obvious there must be dozens of men who act as badly as Harvey Weinstein did, if not on […]

A Time of Urgency and Connection

A Time of Urgency and Connection

BY GARY M. KRAMER | “BPM (Beats Per Minute)” is co-writer and director Robin Campillo’s urgent, cogent film about ACT UP in 1989 France. This absorbing and moving drama opens with an action by the group at a medical convention that is recounted in one of its talky weekly meetings. It is an effective approach to […]

Queer World on Film

Queer World on Film

BY GARY M. KRAMER | This year’s edition of NewFest: New York’s LBGT Film Festival features more than 100 shorts, features, and documentaries that showcase international perspectives on queer life. The festival opens October 19 (7 p.m. at SVA Theatre) with the New York premiere of “Susanne Bartsch: On Top,” a documentary about the “Queen of […]

Becoming Tom of Finland

Becoming Tom of Finland

BY GARY M. KRAMER | Director Dome Karukoski’s classy, enthralling biopic of the gay pornographic illustrator known as Tom of Finland is more conventional that than one might expect given its subject. But this approach works in the film’s favor; viewers get to know and understand the man behind the homoerotic images. Touko Laaksonen (Pekka Strang) […]

Auteur for the Underclass

Auteur for the Underclass

BY STEVE ERICKSON | A PSA used to air on New York cable stations showing a child witnessing domestic violence and ending with the words, “If this were a movie, you wouldn’t let them watch it.” This came back to mind while seeing Sean Baker’s “The Florida Project,” a film essentially told from a poor six-year-old girl’s […]

Frankness Without Exploitation

Frankness Without Exploitation

BY STEVE ERICKSON | Dan Sickles and Antonio Santini’s “Dina” shows a rare attention to form for a documentary about a couple with Asperger’s Syndrome that could easily have become a pity party. For a 10-minute stretch, it never leaves a bench, although the camera is placed in different set-ups, the time of day changes, and […]

Hollywood MIA at Lincoln Center

Hollywood MIA at Lincoln Center

BY STEVE ERICKSON | There’s something new about the 55th edition of the New York Film Festival that may not be apparent at first glance. There’s basically no participation from conventional Hollywood studios. The festival has not given up on showing mainstream cinema, such as the opening night film (Richard Linklater’s “Last Flag Flying”; Sep. 28, 6 […]

The Mouse that Roared

The Mouse that Roared

BY GARY M. KRAMER | Coinciding with the publication of “Logical Family,” a memoir by the San Francisco-based author best known for “Tales of the City,” is Jennifer M. Kroot’s adulatory documentary “The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin.” The film offers extended interviews with the author as well as his celebrity friends, including Laura Linney and […]

Divas and Tough Guys

Divas and Tough Guys

BY DAVID NOH | I don’t think I am alone in regretting that I was not in New York in 1962 to catch Judy Garland’s much-lauded Carnegie Hall concert. I am able to say, however, that I was at the Nederlander Theatre this past Sunday, September 24, to see Patti LuPone at the Broadway Cares/ Equity […]

The Year of Living Precariously

The Year of Living Precariously

BY GARY M. KRAMER | Gay writer and director Vincent Sabella’s feature debut, “Elizabeth Blue” is an intimate and intense drama about the title character (Anna Schafer), who suffers from schizophrenia. At the opening of the film, Elizabeth tells her mother, Carol (Kathleen Quinlan), that she is being released from a mental institution and moving in […]