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Original Sin

Original Sin

BY STEVE ERICKSON | In a statement in the press kit of “Vazante,” Brazilian director Daniela Thomas describes her country as “perhaps, the most miscegenated people on the planet.” Fifty percent of Brazilians have some African blood, and official versions of its history often claim it has achieved some kind of “post-racial” harmony. But slavery ended […]

Uncivil Society

Uncivil Society

BY STEVE ERICKSON | “I wish Ariel Sharon had wiped you all out.” That sentence, initially delivered in anger by a Lebanese Christian man, Tony (Adel Karam), to a Palestinian refugee, Yasser (Kamel El Basha, who is also a director and playwright), gets repeated at least two dozen times in Ziad Doueiri’s film “The Insult.” The hatred […]

Navigating Spaces Off the Map

Navigating Spaces Off the Map

BY GARY M. KRAMER | The terrific queer-themed Israeli film “In Between” is writer/ director Maysaloun Hamoud’s absorbing drama about three Palestinian women living together in Tel Aviv. Leila (Mouna Hawa) is a lawyer. Her roommate Salma (Sana Jammelieh) is a closeted lesbian who slowly acts on her attraction to Dunya (Ahlam Canaan). These women like […]

Under the Lens and Now Under Fire

Under the Lens and Now Under Fire

BY GARY M. KRAMER |  “Anatomy of a Male Ballet Dancer” goes on stage, in the dressing rooms, and on tour with Marcelo Gomes, the out gay, Brazilian-born ballet dancer. Several days after this interview was conducted, Gomes resigned from American Ballet Theatre following an allegation of sexual misconduct that the company said took place […]

How Philly Became Lower East Side Queen

How Philly Became Lower East Side Queen

BY GARY M. KRAMER | For two decades, Philly (aka Philly Abe) has been a muse for independent queer filmmaker Todd Verow. The performance artist and actress is an engaging presence on screen, often vibrantly costumed and spouting philosophies in an abrasive syle that makes viewers hang on every word. On January 7, Anthology Film Archives […]

A Memorable Year for Queer Cinema

A Memorable Year for Queer Cinema

BY GARY M. KRAMER | Queer actors this year had highs, with Lebanese-American actor Haaz Sleiman coming out as “a total bottom” in a Facebook video he posted in August, and lows, especially Kevin Spacey coming out as gay when he apologized to Anthony Rapp, who said Spacey sexually abused him years ago when Rapp was […]

The Year in Film: 2017

The Year in Film: 2017

BY STEVE ERICKSON | It is common to read Baby Boomer critics writing about how their entire generation of college students went to see Bergman, Buñuel, and Godard films in the ‘60s and then spent two hours debating them over a cappuccino. I find that my experiences as a college student in the early ‘90s going […]

The Nuances of Male Privilege

The Nuances of Male Privilege

BY STEVE ERICKSON | Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Phantom Thread” is set in the 1950s and it could have been made then — aside from the handful of F-bombs Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis) drops with great force — and it borrows from the most perverse fantasies classical Hollywood was allowed to express. It’s the kind of film […]

Heterosexuality’s Phantom Stalking

Heterosexuality’s Phantom Stalking

BY DAVID EHRENSTEIN | Back in the day (1969 to be exact), in his book “The Season: A Candid Look at Broadway,” arch-homophobe William Goldman declared, “The three leading experts on heterosexual married life during the past 20 years have been Williams, Albee, and Inge, all three of them — at least to my knowledge […]

An Abiding Contempt for Young Women

An Abiding Contempt for Young Women

BY STEVE ERICKSON | Austrian director Michael Haneke’s films leave no one cold. He frequently pops up in lists of the greatest living European directors and more personal social media posts about “filmmakers I can’t stand.” For me, he’s capable of masterpieces (“Code Unknown,” “Caché”) and utter crap (“Benny’s Video,” the American remake of his […]