Saturday, January 9, 2010

Queer Film Festival Next Weekend in Williamstown

A whole new generation is about to rediscover the fun of taking part in The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

With plummeting temperatures, there is no better time to be inside with your LBGTQ friends than January. The Queer Film Festival at Images Cinema is just the ticket. Organized by the Williams College Dively Committee for Human Sexuality and Diversity with the support of the Berkshire Stonewall Community Coalition and the Rainbow Times, it will provide a full weekend of fun, film and friends.

Each of the three days offers something special too. On Friday, at midnight, there will be a fun-filled audience participation midnight showing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show with the Come Again Players . If you have not been part of one of these midnight showings, a staple a decade or two ago, then you are considered a RHPS virgin. If you’re planning to be part of the fun for the first time, you should check out What every virgin should know. Friday also features two other good films Outrage and Travel Queeries. Schedule and running times are below.

Saturday's matinee has a double feature, The Aggressives and Mom's Apple Pie, to be followed by a discussion and receiption. Late afternoon will host a showing of Hannah Free and the main event in the evening is Bandaged.

Jennie Livingston broke the ground for a lot of independent film makers.

Sunday, Director Jennie Livingston will be on hand to talk about not only her groundbreaking film, but the others that have followed in a similar vei, The Amazing Truth About Queen Raquela which is shown at noon, a documentary at 4 and Paris is Burning, her cult classic at 7.

Ticket prices are as follows (Williams College students have their own special)

General Admission: $9 with Matinees at $6
Members: $5
Bennington College Students: $5
Children : $5 (12 years and younger)
Other Students: $6
Seniors (62 years and older): $6


*Friday, January 15, 2010*

7:00 pm Outrage (90 min) Nominated for a Dorian Award as the best LGBT of the year (see previous blog entry) it stars Massachusetts own Barney Frank and former governor of New Jersey, Jim McGreevey who was outed by an ex-lover. Outrage is a searing indictment of the hypocrisy of closeted politicians with appalling gay rights voting records who actively campaign against the LGBT community they covertly belong to.

Boldly revealing the hidden lives of some of the United States' most powerful policymakers, Outrage takes a comprehensive look at the harm they've inflicted on millions of Americans, and examines the media's complicity in keeping their secrets. With analysis from prominent members of the gay community such as Congressman Barney Frank, former NJ Governor Jim McGreevey, activist Larry Kramer, radio personality Michelangelo Signorile, and openly gay congresswoman Tammy Baldwin.

9:00 pm Travel Queeries (67 min) Travel Queeries examines the culture, art and activism of radical queers in contemporary Europe. Through personal interviews and documentation of performances, festivals, multi-media visual arts and spaces, Travel Queeries puts an exciting international lens on queer fringe culture. With the aim of building bridges and awareness, Travel Queeries considers the word "queer" and explores the complexities, innovative values and spirit of queer within a progressive social change movement.

"Chatting to punk faggots in Berlin, capturing live acts in Copenhagen, quizzing the Pornflakes art collective in Italy, stopping off in Poland, Serbia and well, Leeds – there’s a whole European-wide network of dirty queers, and Travel Queeries has been on the road recording their stories."

BH- Gay Times London (April 2009)

A properly done RHPS is a mix of film and live action.

Midnight Rocky Horror Picture Show With the Come Again Players of South Hadley, MA. A newly engaged couple have a breakdown in an isolated area and must pay a call to the bizarre residence of Dr. Frank-N-Furter on the same night the doctor unveils his latest creation.

*Saturday, January 16, 2010*

2:00 (Double Feature!) The Aggressives (75 min) A documentary look at women who prefer to dress and act as men and who participate in NYC's predominantly African-American lesbian drag balls.

Also, Mom’s Apple Pie (60 min), While the beginnings of the LGBT Civil Rights movement was gaining momentum, the 1970s witnessed horrific custody battles for lesbian mothers. Mom's Apple Pie: The Heart of the Lesbian Mothers' Custody Movement revisits the early tumultuous years of the lesbian custody movement through the stories of five lesbian mothers and their four children.

Discussion and reception directly after Mom’s Apple Pie.

Hannah Free follows two lesbians as they grow from children to adults, and grow together. Until late in life, the two only need each other, but when Rachel falls ill, family jealousy keeps them apart."

5:00 Hannah Free (86 min). Hannah and Rachel grew up as little girls in the same small Midwest town, where traditional gender expectations eventually challenge their deep love for one another. Hannah becomes an adventurous, unapologetic lesbian and Rachel a strong but quiet homemaker. Weaving back and forth between past and present, the film reveals how the women maintained their love affair despite a marriage, a world war, infidelities, and family denial.

9:00 Bandaged (92 min). Since his wife's death, Arthur, a peculiar and severe surgeon, cloisters his teen daughter Lucille inside a strange mansion. Desperate, Lucille tries to commit suicide and ends up with her face completely burned and bandaged. Arthur, with the assistance of his aunt, prepares a weird skin graft in order to give back Lucille a face, a face that resembles his beloved and deceased wife. To take care of her, the father then hires Joan, an attractive nurse with a somber past. Lucille and Joan start a forbidden and passionate love affair.

*Sunday, January 17, 2010*

(an afternoon with director Jennie Livingston)

12:00 The Amazing Truth About Queen Raquela (80 min).Raquela is a transsexual-or "ladyboy"-from the Philippines who dreams of escaping the streets of Cebu City for a fairy tale life in Paris. In order to make her dreams come true, she turns from prostitution toward the more lucrative business of Internet porn. Her success as a porn star brings new friends, including Valerie, a ladyboy in Iceland, and Michael, the owner of the website Raquela works for. Valerie helps Raquela get as far as Iceland. From there, Michael offers her a rendezvous in Paris. Will Paris be everything she dreamed of? And will Michael turn out to be her Prince Charming?

Who's the Top is an all too brief but insightful look at queers and movies.

4:00 Jennie Livingston, Who's the Top? short documentary; conversation with the director. WHO’S THE TOP is a fantastical S/M musical comedy, complete with Busby Berkeley-like dance sequences. One writer finds her true self by determining who’s the bottom. Premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival.

Who knew what "voguing" was until Is Paris Burning opened our eyes?

7:00 Paris is Burningfollowed by a conversation with the director. Jennie Livingston. Livingston helped launch both the American Independent film movement and New Queer Cinema with her documentary PARIS IS BURNING, which won the 1991 Sundance Grand Jury Prize.

The film is an unblinking behind the scenes story of fashion obsessed New Yorkers who created "voguing" and drag balls , and turned these raucous celebrations into a powerful expression of personal pride. The world within a world is instantly familiar, filled with ambitions, desires and yearnings that reflect America itself. PARIS IS BURNING is an intimate portrait of one urban community, a world in which the allure of high fashion, status and wealth becomes an affirmation of love, acceptance and joy.

Tickets for these showing are available now by visiting the Images website and clicking on Calendar. If you love film, you shouldn't miss these wonderful and unusual films at the Berkshire's most welcoming and friendly cinema for not only the LGBT community, but all residents. Unlike the mall and North Adams multiplexes, or even the new Beacon, here you will find the films that speak to us, our community, and are consistently a cut above the usual Hollywood formulaic products.

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