SF Lesbian and Gay Film Fest Announces Lineup, Stretched
to 11 Days; "High Art" opens fest June 18, "Relax" closes June 28
by Carl Russo
Echoing the gargantuan campaign for Hollywood’s latest monster movie,
Frameline’s Executive Director Michael Lumpkin declared, “Size does indeed
Lumpkin appeared before the press yesterday morning to introduce the 22nd San
Francisco International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, this year expanding
to an eleven day run from June 18-28. A record 281 films (including 51
features) from 24 countries will screen at the Castro, Roxie, and Victoria
theaters here in San Francisco.
Opening night kicks off on the eve of the city’s Pride Celebration with the
local premiere of Lisa Cholodenko’s debut feature, “High Art.” The drama,
starring Ally Sheedy and Radha Mitchell, examines the budding and awkward
relationship of a rising magazine editor and a famous photographer in early
retirement. Director and cast will be on hand at a pre-film reception.
Jennifer Tilly joins co-stars Lori Petty and Mitchell Anderson at the Castro
to close the fest June 28 with the premiere of “Relax It’s Just Sex.”
Director P. J. Castellanetaís second feature is a “pan-sexual comedy/drama”
about a gay writer in search of a boyfriend who agrees to father a straight
Controversy has followed two of the fest’s eagerly anticipated debuts.
Mohamed Camara’s “Dakan” is considered to be the first West African film to
depict homosexuality. Shot secretly in urban Guinea, the story concerns two
young men who come out in a society that does not recognize sexual
difference. Similar attitudes at home affected Ferzan Ozpetek’s
bisexually-themed “Steam” when the Turkish government retracted its Best
Foreign-Language Film nomination for an Oscar last year.
Just added to the fest’s lineup is a preview screening June 26 of the latest
docudrama by Mark Rappaport (“Rock Hudson’s Home Movies,” “From the Journals
of Jean Seberg“). “The Silver Screen: Color Me Lavender,” starring Dan
Butler of TVís “Frasier,” surveys studio treatment of gay issues during
Hollywood’s Golden Age.
Other independent features highlighting the schedule include Tim Kirkman’s
“Dear Jesse” (US), Zhang Yuan’s “East Palace, West Palace” (China/France),
Angelina Maccarone’s “Everything Will Be Fine” (Germany), Paul Oremland’s
“Like It Is” (UK), Lydia Dean Pilcherís “Reno Finds Her Mom” (US), Kevin
DiNovis’ “Surrender Dorothy” (US), Bernard Salzman’s “The Unknown Cyclist“
(US) and Will Gould’s “The Wolves of Kromer” (UK).
The 1998 Frameline Award for outstanding contributions to lesbian and gay
media arts will be given to independent producer Dolly Hall. Hall produced
Ang Lee’s Oscar-nominated “The Wedding Banquet,” “The Incredibly True
Adventure of Two Girls in Love,” “All Over Me,” and this year’s festival
opener, “High Art.”
Two panel discussions are slotted free of charge to the public: “Why Are
There So Few Lesbian Features?,” moderated by Film Finders‘ president Sydney
Levine on June 19, and “Tranny Boyz Talk Sex, Porn and Videotape,” with film
clips, chaired by photographer Del LaGrace Volcano on June 26.
The San Francisco Cinematheque will co-present a six-part series entitled
“Queer Innovators,” which honors “the contributions experimental lesbian and
gay filmmakers have made to the history of cinema.” Features and shorts
from such stellar experimentalists as Jean Genet, Chantal Ackerman, Kenneth
Anger, Jack Smith, George Kuchar and Ulrike Ottinger fill the program.
Frameline is the festival’s parent non-profit organization which funds and
distributes gay films and video projects, many of which are being featured
[Tickets for the 22nd San Francisco International Lesbian and Gay Film
Festival go on sale May 28, 1998. For information call (415) 703-8663 or
visit their website at www.frameline.org]