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Gay Sex in 1980

Perspectives

Gay Sex in 1980

Unseen for decades, Francis Savel’s remarkable 1980 French gay porn film “Equation to an Unknown” — rediscovered by out gay director Yann Gonzalez — offers connoisseurs of the genre a real eyeful during its week-long release at Anthology Film Archives. Comment
Arts

Imagine There’s No Countries

Arts

Imagine There’s No Countries

“Synonyms,” shot in France by director Nadav Lapid, is about a young Israeli man, Yoav (Tom Mercier), who tries to exile himself not just from his birth country but from his native language, as well. The film gets its name from Yoav’s habit of walking down Paris streets muttering lists of French synonyms, trying to polish his knowledge of the tongue. Comment
In her upbeat documentary, “Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound,” out lesbian director Midge Costin pays loving tribute to the unsung heroes of cinema: the sound designers. Comment
NewFest, New York’s leading LGBTQ film festival, returns October 23-29 for its 31st edition. The festival, which includes more than 150 shorts, features, and documentaries, opens with a whimper but ends with a bang. Comment
Arts

Apocalypse Now

Arts

Apocalypse Now

The fascination that dystopias and apocalypses hold for filmmakers and writers has long been apparent. If period pieces are really about the times in which they were made, stories about the future are either about the world we’re experiencing now or our fears about what it could become. Comment
Arts

Couturier From a Bygone Era

Arts

Couturier From a Bygone Era

“Celebration” is out gay director Olivier Meyrou’s beguiling documentary about the late Yves Saint Laurent and his business partner and lover, Pierre Bergé. The film was shot over three years, starting in 1998, when Saint Laurent was the last living original fashion house couturier. Comment
Billy Porter made history all over again. Comment
The New York Film Festival has settled comfortably into late middle age as a collection of the greatest hits from the year’s earlier major festivals. Comment
Arts

2019: A Filial Odyssey

Arts

2019: A Filial Odyssey

For science fiction, James Gray’s “Ad Astra” has little interest in “world-building” as it’s usually thought about. It takes place in a nebulous “near-future” whose details are faintly sketched in. Comment
It’s far from unusual for filmmakers to deliver multiple drafts of their films for public circulation, although the original cuts that no one but their inner circle has a chance to watch are usually too long for feature-length release. But Seth Price’s “Redistribution,” essentially a video art project getting a week-long run at a movie theater, is unusual in that the current version is its eighth incarnation. Comment
Arts

For A Long, Long Time

Arts

For A Long, Long Time

Linda Ronstadt was for a time the most successful female vocalist in America. In their fabulous documentary “Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice,” out gay filmmakers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman trace the singer’s life and career from her childhood in Tucson, Arizona, to playing stadiums around the world. Comments (2)
Rachel (Hannah Pearl Utt), a lesbian who is the stage manager of her father’s theater in the Village, has a life right out of a situation comedy. Her date with Celia (Ayden Mayeri) ends abruptly because she needs to care for her wacky family. Comment
Arts

Safety in Numbness

Arts

Safety in Numbness

Serbian director Ognjen Glavonic’s “The Load” constantly gets compared to Henri-Georges Clouzot’s classic “The Wages of Fear” and William Friedkin’s remake “Sorcerer.” But unlike those movies, it’s not concerned with action, prioritizing mood instead. Comment
I didn’t want to write about “After the Wedding,” the reboot of Susanne Bier’s 2006 Danish film, newly brought to life with an American director and cast, its gender roles flipped, and its settings and plot altered, though not betrayed. Comments (1)
Arts

Minnelli at Large

Arts

Minnelli at Large

Lerner and Loewe’s “My Fair Lady,” possibly the greatest Broadway musical, sucked as a film. There I said it. Beyond the notoriety of Audrey Hepburn’s voice being dubbed in the lead role of Cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle — when she could have sung the entire score charmingly — by the proficiently bland-sounding go-to movie ghost singer, Marni Nixon, the whole project suffers from an over-reverence to the smash hit show, for which producer Jack Warner paid a unprecedented $5 million. Stagy in the extreme and entirely filmed on the Warner Brothers lot, the wonderful music and lavish Cecil Beaton its real entertainment value. Comment
Arts

Alone on Brazil’s Mean Streets

Arts

Alone on Brazil’s Mean Streets

The title character (Christian Malheiros) of out gay director/ co-writer Alexandre Moratto’s intimate, affecting Brazilian drama “Sócrates” is a gay 15-year-old facing homelessness. As this intense film opens, Sócrates’ mother has died and he is trying to live on his own. Comment
Arts

Love and Freedom

Arts

Love and Freedom

Out gay Argentine writer/ director Lucio Castro’s wistful, seductive bromance “End of the Century” is one of the year’s best queer films — an elegant drama that opens with Ocho (Juan Barberini) arriving in Barcelona, lonely and horny. Comment
Arts

The Fire This Time

Arts

The Fire This Time

The title of Roberto Minervini’s “What You Gonna Do When the World’s On Fire?” applies to everyone alive today as climate change threatens to make the planet uninhabitable. But Minervini zooms in a small, specific African-American community in Louisiana and Mississippi. Comment
Arts

Innervisions

Arts

Innervisions

What does it mean to work as a blind artist? This question prompted out gay filmmaker Rodney Evans (“Brother to Brother”) to create his thoughtful, probing documentary “Vision Portraits.” Comment
Arts

Where Punk Was the Soundtrack

Arts

Where Punk Was the Soundtrack

“This Is Not Berlin” is a compelling queer coming-of-age drama, set in 1986 Mexico City. Comment
Arts

A Hard-Edged Revenge

Australian director Jennifer Kent’s second film, “The Nightingale,” tries hard to be as bleak as possible, depicting Australia’s colonial period as an orgy of rape and murder committed by white men as casually as they put their clothes on. Comment
Arts

The Day the Starlet Died

Arts

The Day the Starlet Died

When Quentin Tarantino announced in the summer of 2017 that he was planning a film about Sharon Tate and the Manson family, speculation immediately mounted that it’d be tasteless exploitation. Sony publicists have consistently warned critics not to give away spoilers or surprises... Comment
From July 19-26, the Quad Cinema presents a program of six newly restored giallo films from the 1960s and 1970s. This distinctive genre of Italian cinema often features a combination of elements raging from horror to mystery to sexploitation. The highly stylized entries in this program consist of pulpy and even campy films that sometimes feature lesbianism for titillation and the occasional homoerotic undercurrent. Here is a rundown of the six films in this fun, sexy, and bloody series. Comment
Several out LGBTQ stars earned Emmy nominations on July 16, with Billy Porter of “Pose” and Kate McKinnon from “Saturday Night Live” making two of the biggest splashes. Comment
Arts

The Listless Road to Tyranny

Arts

The Listless Road to Tyranny

Having seen two of Argentine director Benjamin Naishtat’s three films, it’s clear that his main preoccupation is the seductive nature of fascism. Comment
Arts

Inside a Family’s Disintegration

Arts

Inside a Family’s Disintegration

Insects crawl through Richard Billingham’s “Ray & Liz.” The British director films squalor lovingly. He returns to the concept of kitchen-sink realism with an eye toward restaging his own UK childhood in Birmingham. Comment
Arts

Clean Sheets Daily

Arts

Clean Sheets Daily

The hotel where Mexican director Lila Avilés’ “The Chambermaid” takes place is shot as if it had no exit. Although the film’s title character, Eve (Gabriela Cartol), works there willingly, Avilés makes some choices that emphasize her confinement. Comment
As part of the Quad Cinema’s WorldPride Month programming, filmmaker Wieland Speck has curated “Queer Kino,” a program — with support from the Goethe-Institut — of nine classic queer German films from the 1970s and 1980s. Here is a rundown of some key films to seek out during this week-long engagement. Comment
Arts

A Look Back at a Look Back

Arts

A Look Back at a Look Back

As we look back on history this month and mark Stonewall’s 50th anniversary, the newly restored 1984 documentary, “Before Stonewall” chronicles “the making of the gay and lesbian community.” The film, directed by Greta Schiller, co-directed by Robert Rosenberg, and executive produced by John Scagliotti, traces LGBTQ visibility and identity as well as homophobia in America up to the landmark riots. Comment
The newly restored “A Bigger Splash” is an intimate portrait of David Hockney and his friends and lovers in the early 1970s, almost each frame a vibrant picture of a time, place, and sensibility in the arts. The Swinging Sixties had just washed over into the second wave of liberation in London and New York and in Hockney himself — opening the way to explicit depictions of gay life and love. Comments (1)
Trans, non-binary actor Garcia makes an auspicious acting debut in “Tales of the City,” premiering June 7 on Netflix. This reboot of the popular series based on Armistead Maupin’s popular books, opens with Anna Madrigal (Olympia Dukakis) celebrating her 90th birthday. However, the party does not last long — she is soon being blackmailed and must sell 28 Barbary Lane. Comment
“Rocketman,” the lavish Elton John biopic, has opened with the kind of ballyhoo not seen in quite some time. An entire event space focusing on the film has been set up at Soho Dolby, where you can wander through rooms that resemble the various sets in the film... Comment
Josh Howard’s powerful documentary “The Lavender Scare” uses David K. Johnson’s 2006 book of the same name to explore the stories of gay men and lesbians who were fired from their government jobs during the Cold War era because of their sexuality. Comment
Arts

Knowing Which Way the Wind Blows

Arts

Knowing Which Way the Wind Blows

“Papi Chulo,” the affable new comedy-drama by out gay writer/ director John Butler, chronicles the charming, tender bromance that develops between Sean (Matt Bomer), a gay weatherman in Los Angeles, and Ernesto (Alejandro Patiño), a married-with-kids day laborer he hires to paint his deck. Comment
Arts

Provocation, But No Bites

Arts

Provocation, But No Bites

In 1973, Mexican anthropologist Santiago Genovés set out to test the human race’s capacity for violence when he placed six women and five men in the pressure-cooker quarters of a large raft and set them on a journey across the Atlantic. Comment
Arts

Misadventures in Cloning

Arts

Misadventures in Cloning

The incredibly inventive Portuguese film “Diamantino” opens with a disclaimer that “the story, all names, characters, and incidents seen here are fictitious,” including “actual […] Comment
Pride

Doubling Down

Pride

Doubling Down

Most of the great films about doppelgangers are about women: “Vertigo,” “Persona,” “Mulholland Drive.” Japanese director Ryûsuke Hamaguchi’s “Asako […] Comment
Arts

After Infamy, Then What?

Arts

After Infamy, Then What?

For a film about the Manson family, the most surprising thing about Mary Harron’s “Charlie Says” is that it’s actually pretty bland. Comments (1)
Arts

Who Are You?... And, Who Am I?

Arts

Who Are You?... And, Who Am I?

The twisted queer thriller “The Skin of the Teeth” opens with John (Donal Brophy), who is white, preparing for a date with Josef (Pascal Arquimedes), a younger, cute, and slightly insecure African-American man. Comment
Arts

It’s All Haiku to Me

Arts

It’s All Haiku to Me

French director Olivier Assayas’ “Non-Fiction” is more illustrated think-piece than cinema. Half of its dialogue is about the impact of the Internet and social media on our lives, much […] Comment
Arts

Unmasked Again

Arts

Unmasked Again

Out gay writer/ director Justin Kelly makes fascinating biographical dramas about complicated, intriguing people. Kelly’s latest film, “JT Leroy,” tackles the thorny literary hoax perpetrated by Laura Albert, who wrote “Sarah” and “The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things” as JT (Jeremiah Terminator) Leroy. She had her sister-in-law, Savannah Knoop, appear in public as the author. Comment
Arts

Directing Mary Kay Place

Arts

Directing Mary Kay Place

Kent Jones, critic, documentarian, and director of the New York Film Festival, is one ballsy dude. He has gone out on that most precarious of limbs and made his own first feature film, “Diane.” And, most gratifyingly, this beautiful, delicately wrought, searingly honest, and deeply humane work is much more in the tradition of critics-turned-moviemakers Truffaut and Godard than of Rex Reed, who notoriously starred in “Myra Breckenridge.” Comment
Arts

When Film Busts Down Barriers

Arts

When Film Busts Down Barriers

The marvelous queer romance “Rafiki,” (“Friend”) — the first Kenyan film to screen at Cannes — was banned last year in its native country. Though the Kenya Film Classification Board objected to the film for “promoting lesbianism,” the ban was eventually lifted and “Rafiki” screened to crowds in Nairobi. The film’s temporary censoring, however, made it ineligible to be submitted as Kenya’s foreign film entry for the Academy Awards. Comment
Arts

The Great Awokening

Arts

The Great Awokening

In its six years of existence, the Satanic Temple has managed something remarkable: rebranding Satanism as enlightened and politically progressive. Penny Lane’s documentary “Hail Satan?” makes no attempt to hide the fact that it’s on their side, and the Christians here come across as hateful and dangerous, not the Satanists. Comment
Arts

The Angle of Approach

Arts

The Angle of Approach

At 66 minutes, Korean director Hong Sang-soo’s “Grass” barely qualifies as feature length. It works within a confined space, restricting its setting, apart from a few scenes, to a café. […] Comment
Arts

The Body as Your Tool Kit

Arts

The Body as Your Tool Kit

Félix Maritaud ignites the screen as Léo, an attractive 22-year-old gay male prostitute in writer/ director Camille Vidal-Naquet’s blistering drama “Sauvage/ Wild.” Léo is seen plying his trade with various customers when not taking drugs or sleeping wherever he can (often in the street itself). Léo is not well; he has a bad cough and he’s got it bad — that is, is in love with — Ahd (Eric Bernard), a sexy gay-for-pay hustler pal who looks out for him but doesn’t love Léo back. Comment
Arts

Terrors of the Body

Arts

Terrors of the Body

In space, no one can hear your existential terror. Sorry for the Dad joke, but French director Claire Denis’ “High Life” returns to a mode of arthouse sci-fi that flourished briefly in the wake of “2001: A Space Odyssey” but has been commercially marginal after “Star Wars” let the geeky boys take back the genre. Denis creates a more palatable version of the misanthropy expressed in her horror film “Trouble Every Day” and incest drama “Bastards.” As she has said, “ ‘High Life’ speaks only of desire and fluids.” Comment
Arts

Our Worse Selves

Arts

Our Worse Selves

Jordan Peele’s directorial debut, “Get Out,” is one of the most acclaimed American films of this decade. Needless to say, his second film “Us” arrives in theaters with a lot of baggage, particularly because the reception of “Get Out” felt like a political event as much as a cultural one. Comment
The Belgian drama “Girl,” directed by out gay Flemish filmmaker Lukas Dhont, is a character study depicting the true story of Lara (Victor Polster), a 15-year-old born biologically as a boy who wants to be a ballerina. Comment
Arts

Murders She Wrote

Arts

Murders She Wrote

Out gay actor Nicolas Maury steals his every scene in director Yann Gonzalez’s audacious thriller, “Knife+Heart,” set in the gay adult film industry in Paris, 1979. Comment
Arts

Art Made from Gangsters

Arts

Art Made from Gangsters

Chinese director Jia Zhangke is now 48 and is in the unusual position of being the leading representative of Chinese cinema at North American and European festivals and arthouses while having found a comfortable place at home. I don’t think he wanted his image as a dissident in the eyes of Western cinephiles. Comment
Arts

Transcendence in the Stillness

Arts

Transcendence in the Stillness

Making a very long film says “this story warrants more than a casual two hours in a movie theater or, especially, in front of a TV set.” Comment
Arts

Art Supplanting Life

Arts

Art Supplanting Life

Ondi Timoner’s canny, episodic biopic “Mapplethorpe” chronicles significant moments in the last 20 years of the famed gay photographer’s life. It also features dozens of the artist’s indelible images. Robert (Matt Smith) is first seen in his dorm room at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn in 1969. He soon meets Patti Smith (Marianne Rendón), and they become friends, supporting each other and moving into the Chelsea Hotel. At the hotel, a neighbor encourages Robert to take photographs. Comment
LGBTQ stars and those playing queer on screen arrived at the Oscars Sunday night well-dressed and left well-decorated, capping off an historic year of queer representation in the film industry. Comment
Arts

Foreign Cinema’s Survivor

Arts

Foreign Cinema’s Survivor

Francophilia and cinephilia have long gone hand in hand. While the market for subtitled films in the US has changed greatly, we still get to see more films from France than any other country outside the multiplex circuit for mainstream cinema from India and China. Comment
Arts

Trade and Tradition

Arts

Trade and Tradition

The gangster film is based in a mythology that has proved remarkably malleable across history. If it started in the US, filmmakers in France, Italy, Japan, South Korea, and Hong Kong (just to begin with) have put their own stamp on it. An international conversation has always taken place through the genre, reflecting the history and values of each nation that has adopted it. Comment
Lean into the offbeat rhythms of out gay writer/ director Christophe Honoré’s sophisticated new film “Sorry Angel” and absorb all its romantic splendor. This intimate, affecting drama, set in 1993, alternates between Jacques (Pierre Deladonchamps), an HIV-positive writer in Paris, and Arthur (Vincent Lacoste), a Breton. Comment
Arts

Fraught Thriller Too Far Afield

Arts

Fraught Thriller Too Far Afield

The concept of the “elevated genre film” has recently become fashionable. Critic Bilge Ebiri wrote an essay about it for Vulture last year, which offered a provisional definition: “The demands of genre — the jump scares, the spectacle, the pulse-pounding suspense, etc. — become secondary to the movies’ emotional undercurrents and the filmmakers’ aesthetic and thematic obsessions.” Comment
Arts

Playing With Passions, Not Fire

Arts

Playing With Passions, Not Fire

“The Gospel of Eureka” is out gay filmmakers Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher’s engaging and even-handed documentary about Eureka Springs, Arkansas, which narrator Mx. Justin Vivian Bond describes as, “a place where stories come to life.” Comments (1)
Arts

Dreams and Their Demise

Arts

Dreams and Their Demise

In “The Wild Pear Tree,” Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan creates his own time and space to relate a period in the life of Sinan (Dogu Demirkol), a young man who aspires to be a novelist. […] Comment
On the heels of high visibility LGBTQ representation at the Golden Globes, queer actors, characters, and filmmakers made another splash in the Academy Award nominations on Tuesday. Comments (1)
Jean-Luc Godard’s “The Image Book” is a demonstration of thinking through and about images and sounds that makes most other films now playing New York look awfully basic. A much condensed follow-up to Godard’s four-hour “Histoire(s) du Cinéma,” it shows the uselessness of labels like “documentary,” “avant-garde film,” and “essay-film” or even “post-cinema,” when faced with something that spans all four. Comment
Doubtless you’ve been reading a lot about Kevin Spacey lately. The chickens — or in this case chickenhawks — have come home to roost for the two-time Academy Award-winning actor whose penchant for “barely legal” youths has been well-known for decades and completely tolerated by an entertainment industry that will stand for anything insofar as the person responsible has “market value.” Comments (6)
Arts

The Oppression Within

Arts

The Oppression Within

“The Heiresses,” Paraguay’s official Oscar submission, is a subtle and moving character study about Chela (Ana Brun), whose lover, Chiquita (Margarita Irun), is sent to prison for bank fraud. Alone and adrift, Chela drives her neighbor Pituca (María Martins) around to card games. Eventually, she meets Angy (Ana Ivanova), a beautiful young woman who also employs Chela’s taxi service. Comments (1)
Arts

Liberating the Body

Arts

Liberating the Body

When Romanian director Adina Pintilie’s “Touch Me Not” won the top prize at the 2018 Berlin Film Festival, it wasn’t a typical consensus favorite. The scenes at a BDSM club have made some spectators and critics uneasy. But “Touch Me Not” isn’t softcore porn; if anything, it’s painfully earnest. Pintilie’s film is a hybrid of fiction and documentary elements whose premise evokes Steven Soderbergh’s “sex, lies and videotape.” Pinitilie depicts herself on a quest to show subjects searching for intimacy and trying to find sex and love in a world with very narrow beauty standards. Comment

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