I’m getting pretty excited about the upcoming festivities. Last year we didn’t see any of the movies in the Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, so this year I made sure we were going to a few of them. We have tickets to see Outing Riley. Here is the description:
This coming-out comedy is also a poignant look at one family’s struggle to come to terms with a long buried secret. Outing Riley is most remarkable for its generous spirit: rather than demonize or make fun of its heterosexist characters, it treats their emotions and opinions as valid, if initially misguided.
Bobby Riley — played by writer/director Pete Jones, whose film Stolen Summer won the first Project Green-light competition — is a good Irish Catholic guy from Chicago. He has a great job as an architect, is devoted to his family, loves beer, worships the Cubs and is in a monogamous relationship. Where Bobby deviates from the narrow Irish Catholic norm — and, thus, that of the entire Riley family— is in his homosexual orientation.
Afraid of the consequences of coming out, he remains closeted to all but his partner Andy (Michael McDonald of “MAD TV”) and his no-B.S. sister Maggie. When his father dies, Bobby sees an opportunity to open up to his brothers, who include a by-the-book priest and a pair of hard-drinking, babe-loving dudes. When the time comes, however, Bobby can’t find the words and opts to maintain his straight facade. But Maggie has other plans…
Buoyed by a smart, funny script, Outing Riley attacks intolerance head-on and finds light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes the bonds of family can overcome the ignorance of tradition.
First, a young man reveals his true feelings for his estranged running buddy in Run to Me.
— JONATHAN L. KNAPP
We’re also seeing a few more:
A year out of high school, Zach is stuck in San Pedro, California working as a fry cook, skateboarding and stenciling guerrilla artwork on abandoned buildings. His bedroom is his oasis — he draws on the walls, in his notebook, in sketches piled up on the floor. But he’s squashed his dream of attending Cal Arts in order to help his sister, Jeannie, raise her five-year-old son.
Enter Shaun, the gay older brother of Zach’s best friend and a writer taking a break from Hollywood to recover from a bad relationship. Zach and Shaun start hanging out, surfing and drinking too much beer, much to Jeannie’s concern. “You’re not a fag,” she tells Zach. Wishful thinking! It isn’t long before Zach and Shaun are falling asleep in each other’s arms.
Zach’s slow awakening to desire is at the heart of this gritty, romantic debut from talented writer/director Jonah Markowitz. A sensitive performance by handsome newcomer Trevor Wright anchors the classic story of a young man forced by responsibility to grow up fast —with strong support from Tina Holmes (“Six Feet Under”) and Brad Rowe (Billy’s Hollywood Screen Kiss). With a pitch-perfect emo soundtrack and plenty of guys in wetsuits riding waves under gorgeous sunsets, Shelter is a sensory treat.
The first film from a new independent production initiative at here! Networks, Shelter proves that the premium cable network is definitely hitting its stride and fulfilling its commitment to bringing authentic stories to the LGBT community.
When new kid in town Brady arrives in the California coastal community of Rock Haven, he’s astounded by the sense of peace that the noble seascapes offer. Devout Christians, the eighteen-year-old and his mother have come seeking a new life and hoping to share new life with others — all through the word of the Lord.
Everything seems perfect until Brady befriends his neighbor Clifford. Handsome, athletic and uninhibited, Clifford is a far cry from the introverted Brady, whose Bible is always close at hand for quick reference. Brady recognizes something else about his new friend: the deep desires he awakens in him, which Brady has felt before but suppressed until now. When it becomes clear that Clifford is attracted to him — and is all too ready to make a move — Brady’s journey through fear, surrender and recrimination is fast and furious, as are his alternating impulses to reject, embrace and save Clifford. Clifford, in turn, is bruised, charmed and undeniably changed by his encounter with the conflicted Brady.
In this disarming first feature, director David Lewis crafts a sensitive portrait of warring passions and convictions, charting both the impasses and surprising points of intersection in an uncommon human drama. Provocative, romantic and generous to all of its characters, Rock Haven is an affecting story about two souls, each looking for an experience of grace — and finding it in the most unexpected places. — SHANNON KELLEY
There are two movies that are playing during the day, so I am off to see them without Doug (and the one on Fred Phelps he definitely didn’t want to see!):
Fall from Grace exposes the twisted, insular world of Baptist preacher Fred Phelps and his aggressive crusade to stamp out homosexuality. Along with his extended brood, which includes dozens of children, grandchildren and great grandchildren who speak just like him, Phelps travels from his Topeka, Kansas headquarters across the U.S. to spread his message and wreak havoc. First-time documentary filmmaker K. Ryan Jones spent 12 months following the man who’s gained national attention picketing the funerals of AIDS victims and the funerals of servicemen killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. To Phelps, these casualties of war are God’s punishment on a country that accepts homosexuality as “normal.”
Jones gets behind the scenes at Sunday sermons, picketing sessions and Phelps family gatherings to shed light on what motivates the preacher and his followers. Interviews with two of his children who abandoned “the cause” several years ago provide intriguing insight into what might fuel Phelps’ fire of hate. Jones doesn’t have to look far to find people from the anti-Phelps contingent who are willing to talk, including the mayor of Topeka and theologians who provide fascinating passage-by-passage analysis of the scripture from which Phelps and his clan claim to derive their truths. Like a gruesome car wreck that catches and keeps your eye, is difficult, disturbing and fascinating all at once. — BRENDAN PETERSON
The Aussies are back in this program of eclectic gay shorts from down under.
At 6:00 am Jeremy is leaving; Mark is staying. Over one hot night, they wait it out…fucking, drinking and fighting their way around each other in My Last Ten Hours with You. In The Manual, eight-year-old Sonny is sent away from home by his father, who believes his son could be turning gay. After 24 years of treatment and psychiatric institutions, Sonny returns home and attempts to save his young niece from a similar fate. A retelling of the classic city mouse/country mouse tale, Stray follows the story of a teenager who leaves his home in the country in search of his place in the world.
Like any good couple, Peter and Marcus do everything together, including going to the gym. So where exactly does gym bunny Jeremy fit in? Working It Out may not be that easy. What’s a girl to do when a rare hair-loss condition leaves her with an obsession for zany wigs and make-up? Become a drag queen, of course! A young woman finds her niche when she lands a job at a kooky drag bar and assumes the new identity of Prada Handbag. Muriel’s Wedding meets Priscilla, Queen of the Desert in this glitzy, glam cinematic extravaganza, which ravishes the eye and warms the heart.
I also have a gay blogger’s conference on the Friday before the parade; on Saturday morning we have been invited to a Gay Pride Weekend Brunch; on Saturday night we are going to a party; and Sunday, the big day, is the parade.
Speaking of the parade, Doug is part of GLEAM, the gay and lesbian group at Microsoft. They just had their lunch the other day and they are thinking about marching in the parade! Of course, I’ll be there too. I always thought it would be fun to do. Anyway, there is no decision yet…
Regardless, it is starting to feel like a holiday is coming up.