We live to love &
we love us an olive
by Roberto Friedman
The Right to Love: An American Family, a feature-length documentary directed by Bay Area filmmaker Cassie Jaye, will have its world premiere at the Castro Theatre on Mon., Feb. 6, with screenings at 11:30 a.m., 4 p.m. (free to students), and a red-carpet event starting at 6:30 p.m. The film follows Jay and Bryan Leffew , a legally married gay couple living in Santa Rosa, and their two adopted kids, Daniel and Selena. After Proposition 8 passed in 2008, the Leffew family began posting their home videos on a YouTube channel called Gay Family Values to show how normal and loving a gay family could be. As they pursue their American dream, the opposing political, social and religious opinions that pervade society attempt to strip it from them. Can a loving commitment last if everything surrounding them is trying to tear them apart? The director, producers, the Leffew family and others involved in the film will be in the house. Tickets and more info can be found at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/221824.
We hear tell that the next offering from gay filmmakers Jeffrey Friedman and Rob Epstein , currently in production, is titled Lovelace, based on the true story of classic sex-film star Linda Lovelace . The film boasts a knock-out cast: besides Amanda Seyfried as Linda, they've got James Franco signed on as Hugh Hefner , Sharon Stone, Chloe Sevigny, Eric Roberts, Wes Bentley , Hank Azaria, Bobby Cannavale, Chris Noth, Adam Brody , and until her recent alleged epic bout with a canister of whip-its, Demi Moore. Now Moore is out on her ass, and the Fried/Ep team has replaced her with the great Mary Louise Parker in the role of feminist icon Gloria Steinem. Anyway, a little birdie told us that the filmmaking team of Jeff and Rob felt a little out of their depth when it came to portraying straight sex, so a research trip to the San Francisco Armory headquarters of Kink.com was very first on the agenda. Look for the film, if not the kink, to be released next year.
Out There attended the AIDS Emergency Fund 's 30th anniversary campaign launch in the upstairs rooms of that self-same SF Armory last week, a swank cocktail affair. Funny, OT always thought our first experience at Kink HQ would involve us getting tied up in Japanese bondage. We made this observation to a fellow partygoer, and he gestured to a corner of the room: "Well, there's a St. Andrew 's Cross right there."
"Thanks, but my people have suffered enough."
Queer film lit
Three years ago, Arsenal Pulp Press in Vancouver launched its Queer Film Classics series, edited by queer film critics Thomas Waugh and Matthew Hays . This is a series of books filled with critical essays about important and influential films by and about LGBTQ people, produced in eight countries between 1950 and 2005. Previously released were books on Gods and Monsters (dir. Bill Condon , USA, 1998); Law of Desire (dir. Pedro Almodovar, Spain, 1987); Trash (dir. Paul Morrissey, 1970, USA), Farewell My Concubine (dir. Chen Kaige, China, 1993); Fire (dir. Deepa Mehta , Canada/India, 1996); and Montreal Main (dir. Frank Vitale, Canada, 1974). This year's installments in the series are Death in Venice, on director Luchino Visconti's 1971 film adaptation of the Thomas Mann novel, by Will Aitken; Zero Patience, on director John Greyson's film musical about AIDS from 1993, by Susan Knabe and Wendy Gay Pearson ; and Word Is Out, on the groundbreaking 1977 documentary about gay men and lesbians, by Greg Youmans .
Still to come in the series, to be published over the following four years, are critical studies on: Arabian Nights (dir. Pier Paolo Pasolini, Italy, 1974); Before Stonewall/After Stonewall (dir. Greta Schiller, USA, 1985/89); C.R.A.Z.Y. (dir. Jean-Marc Vallee, Canada, 2005); Female Trouble (dir. John Waters, USA, 1974); Forbidden Love: The Unashamed Stories of Lesbian Lives (dir. Lynn Fernie and Aerlyn Weissman, Canada, 1992); I've Heard the Mermaids Singing (dir. Patricia Rozema, Canada, 1987); L.A. Plays Itself (dir. Fred Halsted , USA, 1972); Ma vie en rose (dir. Alain Berliner, Belgium, 1997); Manila by Night (dir. Ishmael Bernal, Philippines, 1980); Paris Is Burning (dir. Jennie Livingston , USA, 1990); Scorpio Rising (dir. Kenneth Anger, USA, 1963); and Strangers on a Train (dir. Alfred Hitchcock, USA, 1951). Whew, what an exhaustive list; we look forward to the whole series.
Speaking in passing of John Waters, the 15th annual Sonoma International Film Festival, coming up on April 11-15, will pay tribute to the American director, author, actor and art photographer during a special evening on Sat., April 14, at the Sonoma Veteran's Memorial Building. The night's events will include Waters' one-man "vaudeville" act that celebrates the film career, tastes and obsessions of the man William Burroughs once called "the Pope of Trash." More info is at www.sonomafilmfest.org.
Last Saturday night found Out There happily tableside at the Sonoma Valley olive season's 11th annual Feast of the Olive Dinner held in the Ramekins Culinary School in Sonoma. Olives are the Valley's second-largest crop, and the feast was a multi-course olive-inspired dinner prepared by 18 top-shelf chefs such as John Toulze of the girl & the fig, Bruno Tison of the Michelin-starred Sante, Jeffrey Lloyd of Cafe La Haye, and Jason Rose of the new Carneros hotspot Ram's Gate Winery .
We ate creations like braised Duroc pork cheeks, Taggiasca olive risotto and olive-orange gremolata (by the Depot Hotel's Antonio Ghilarducci), Principe Parma Prosciutto, heirloom beets, olive pesto, warm goat cheese and blood orange salad (by Carlo Cavallo of Sonoma-Meritage Martini Oyster Bar & Grille), a Delice de la Vallee cheese course with honey pomegranate molasses olives (from the Epicurean Connection's Sheana Davis ) and a pot du creme with lemongrass, Castelventrano olives and an olive oil Madeleine (by Saddles Steakhouse's Dana Jaffe ) while getting to know Sonoma magazine society editor Manuel R. Merjil and other Valley socialites. If Napa County is the more famous destination, Sonoma County struck us as a close-knit community, with an unexpectedly vibrant gay presence. It's definitely not the olive pits.