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Frameline 43 wraps with heart & soul

by David Lamble

Scene from director David Charles Rodrigues' documentary "Gay Chorus Deep South." Photo: Courtesy Frameline
Scene from director David Charles Rodrigues' documentary "Gay Chorus Deep South." Photo: Courtesy Frameline  

Frameline 43's final four days feature some truly amazing material, much of which is certain not to appear on Public TV. Screenings will be at the Castro, Roxie and Victoria Theatres in San Francisco, the Shattuck in Berkeley, and the Piedmont in Oakland.

"Gay Chorus Deep South" David Charles Rodrigues' film, inspired by a wave of anti-LGBTQ laws and hate crimes, tells the story of a Southern U.S. tour by the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus. Fueled by fantastic choral music, this dynamic documentary captures the heart and soul of a contemporary civil rights movement. (Castro, Closing Night, 6/30)


In You Don't Nomi, director Jeffrey McHale rekindles Showgirls queer spirit with the help of Peaches Christ. Photo: Courtesy Frameline  

"You Don't Nomi" To fully grasp this program, it helps to have seen Paul Verhoeven's "misunderstood" classic satire-mashup of over-the-top exploitation flicks, 1995's "Showgirls." Dismissed by stuffy middle-brow critics like Leonard Maltin, "Showgirls" flowed from the X-rated imagination of popular Dutch screen artist Paul Verhoeven. Verhoeven had won an American art-house following with a couple of punkish, low-budget, gay-friendly flicks like the 1980 Dutch-teens-on-motorbikes action melodrama "Spetters" and 1983's "The Fourth Man," where a sexy blonde, Renee Soutendijk, ensnares a gay writer, Jerome Ktabbe, in her plot to bump off inconvenient husbands. "You Don't Nomi" is director Jeffrey McHale's attempt to rekindle "Showgirls"' queer spirit with the help of local icon Peaches Christ. McHale gets a collection of critics, writers, and fans to give the film an enlightening and entertaining reassessment. Is it a misunderstood masterwork, misogynist trash, unintentional camp, or a combination of all three? (Castro, 6/27)


Scene from director Lara Jean Gallaghers lesbian love melodrama Clementine. Photo: Courtesy Frameline  

"Clementine" Lara Jean Gallagher's lesbian love melodrama finds a blonde and brunette doing each other's hair in the rural lakeside cabin of an ex-lover. A gun in the drawer plus a constantly ringing phone rack up the tension in this film fresh from NY's Tribeca Film Festival. (Castro, 6/28)

"This Close: Season Two" Directors Stephen Cone & Jordan Firstman explore the world of deaf queer people. The program includes episodes 1-3 of the Sundance Channel series' Second Season. (Victoria, 6/29)

"A Luv Tale: The Series" Director Kay Oyegun, with writer Sidra Smith, provides a modern remake of the classic 1990s film "Love Jones." This Harlem-set story follows four beautiful queer women of color as they navigate their friendships, love lives, and artistic careers. (Castro, 6/27)

"Thanks to Hank" Like Harvey Milk, the late Hank Wilson can best be described as a man who made today's contemporary LGBTQ scene politically possible. A one-time San Francisco public school teacher, Wilson was involved in the teacher's union movement. Bob Ostertag's bio-doc focuses on Wilson's drive to aid homeless queer youth by buying and renovating Tenderloin hotels. These facilities became the backbone for the early-80s drive to protect queer kids from the ravages of AIDS and life on the street. An emotional knockout. (Castro, 6/27)

"Worldly Affairs" The annual survey of the best in international short queer cinema this year features entries from Sweden (Isabella Carbonell's "Brother"), Brazil (Fabio Leal's "Renovation"), Hong Kong (Hugo Kenzo Hirosawa's "Delivery Boy"), Britain (Tim Courtney's "My Loneliness Is Killing Me," Christopher Manning's "Isha") and Greece (Thanasis Neofotistos' "Sparkling Candles"). (Castro, 6/28)

"State of Pride" Rob Epstein & Jeffrey Friedman, Oscar winners for their 1984 bio-doc "The Times of Harvey Milk," return with a contemporary assessment of how the Gay Pride movement has evolved in such diverse places as Alabama, Utah & San Francisco. This 71-minute doc is on the same program as Ro Haber's 21-minute short doc "Stonewall Forever." (Castro, 6/28)

"Marlon Riggs: No Regrets" This 80-minute tribute to the brilliant African American filmmaker whose auto-bio masterpiece "Tongues Untied" virtually invented the candid-language, unsparing view of American racism, includes the rarely seen "Anthem," "Affirmations," "The Creative Mind" & the 38-minute title-piece, "Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien" ("No Regret"). (Castro, 6/27)

"To the Stars" Martha Stephens provides an adolescent girl's view of small-town 60s Oklahoma, where same-sex relations were beyond taboo. (Castro, 6/29)

"Guest Artist" Jeff Daniels is the whole show in this tour de force portrait of an alcoholic, misanthropic gay playwright. Daniels, known to the world for such big-screen projects as playing a cranky novelist in 2006's "The Squid & the Whale," allows Timothy Busfield to direct him through this piece originally written for his Michigan stage theater. (Castro, 6/29)


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