Been There, Done That, Back for More 

Expect the unexpected at Outfest 2004

Thursday, Jul 8 2004

BEGIN BY OPENING the Outfest program and circling the movies whose listings are accompanied by a blurry black-and-white photo of entwined, nude lovers — boy-on-boy, girl-on-girl (depending on your bent). Later, to be well-rounded, go back and circle a few documentaries, or even a few of the movies that seem to defy categorization. If you’re partnered up, silently curse always being the one to arrange these things. If you’re single, wardrobe prep begins now. Here are a few we circled:

Cowboys & Angels — In this thoroughly engaging Irish film, Michael Legge, who played the teenage Frank McCourt in Angela’s Ashes, is superb as Shane, a shy, straight young civil servant new to the big city of Limerick, Ireland. Following a makeover by his gay fashion-student roommate, Vincent (Alan Leech), Shane is soon caught up with the drug dealers downstairs, although he’d rather be wooing Vincent’s beautiful gal pal. Writer-director David Gleeson puts Shane in one clichéd situation after another, only to neatly sidestep our expectations every time. He may be weirdly brave too, for making, in this day and age, a coming-of-age film about the straight roommate, not the gay one. Fri., July 9, 7:45 p.m., at the Showcase.

e Chereau (Intimacy, Those
Who Love Me Can Take the
) picked up a Best
Director award at last year’s
Berlin Film Festival for His
Brother (Son Frère)
, a story
of estranged siblings, one of
whom is — you guessed it
— gay. Screens Tues., July 13,
9:30 p.m., at DGA 2.

Superstar in a Housedress — Were he still alive, avant-garde playwright and Andy Warhol superstar Jackie Curtis would wear a purposefully shredded Halston gown to Outfest, and he’d instantly own the room. The brainy one of the mighty Women in Revolt triumvirate that also included Candy Darling and Holly Woodlawn finally gets his due in this documentary by Craig Highberger. Woodlawn, Paul Morrissey, Harvey Fierstein and the fabulously attired Alexis del Lago, among others, tell juicy stories, but what’s likely to stop the hearts of many is priceless archival footage of Curtis’ infamous La Mama and Playhouse of the Ridiculous extravaganzas. Sat., July 10, 2:30 p.m., at DGA 1.

Related Stories

When Ocean Meets Sky — White Party, T-Dances, AIDS activism — so many of the silly and profound cornerstones of contemporary gay life were born on the narrow beaches of New York’s Fire Island, or so states this fine documentary by Crayton Robey. It’s the post-Stonewall, early AIDS years that dominate Island history and this film — from the wild abandon of outdoor sex in the Pines, to the summer Larry Kramer stood on the ferry landing handing out fliers warning of a new “gay cancer.” As Kramer and his lifelong neighbors share vivid memories of wilder times, nearly all of them, at one point or another, shrug and slowly shake their heads, as if they still can’t fathom how, and certainly not why, they lived to tell the tale. Sun., July 11, 7 p.m., at DGA 1.

Maverick queer filmmaker Bruce
LaBruce (Hustler White, Skinflick)
returns to Outfest with The
Raspberry Reich
, about “a cell
of cute, hunky extremists who
pledge death to fascism.”
Yessssss! Fri., July 16, midnight,
at the Vista Theater.

Brother to Brother — In writer-director Rodney Evans’ excellent (if occasionally didactic) debut feature, a young New York artist (Anthony Mackie) is troubled by his white boyfriend’s apparent racism as well as the homophobia of his fellow black classmates. For perspective, he turns to writer Bruce Nugent (Roger Robinson), a surviving artist of the 1930s Harlem Renaissance. In superbly photographed black-and-white flashbacks, a gifted cast brings to vibrant, sexy life the likes of Langston Hughes, Zora Neal Hurston, James Baldwin and Eldridge Cleaver, and in the process conjures the neatest hat trick of all — making the loves and woes of the past resonate with those of the present. Tues., July 13, 7 p.m., at DGA 1.

On the Downlow— Southside Chicago Latino gangbangers Isaac (Tony Sancho) and Angel (Michael Cortez) are secret lovers. They drive around a lot, talking cartoons and gangster flicks, and some days they drive out to the suburbs and just sit in the car for a while, absorbing the silence. Director Tadeo Garcia and screenwriter Roger B. Domain, making their feature debuts, don’t find a way around a predictably violent finale, but what lingers in the mind isn’t the gunplay but the gentle, sexy ease between Isaac and Angel, and our fervent desire for them to get in that car and drive themselves right out of town. Wed., July 14, 8 p.m., at the Showcase.


Queer eye for the teen Zeitgeist: In the panel “If They Only Knew: Gay Directors and Teen Comedy,” Jamie Babbit (Gilmore Girls) hosts a discussion with Brian Dannelly (Saved!), Todd Holland (Malcolm in the Middle), Jim Fall (The Lizzie McGuire Movie) and Angela Robinson (D.E.B.S. and the soon-to-be-released love-bug movie Herbie: Fully Reloaded) about queer movie and television directors’ special relationship to adolescent identity crises. Sat., July 10, 2:30 p.m., at DGA 2; D.E.B.S. screens at Outfest’s Opening Night Gala, Thurs., July 8, at the Orpheum Theater.

“Homo Horror: Adding Frills to the Chills” — This festival sidebar includes three new slasher and/or supernatural features ( Hellbent , The Sisterhood, Make a Wish), a “Horrorific” program of six new shorts, a “Queer for Fear” panel hosted by Monsters in the Closet author Harry M. Benshoff, and a special screening at the John Anson Ford Theater of Tony Scott’s The Hunger (1983). For times and venues, see online catalog at www.outfest.org.

Outfest 2004: The 22nd L.A. Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, Thurs., July 8, through Mon., July 19, at several different venues throughout Hollywood. For information and schedule, call (213) 480-7065, or visit www.outfest.org.

Related Content

Now Showing

  1. Wed 20
  2. Thu 21
  3. Fri 22
  4. Sat 23
  5. Sun 24
  6. Mon 25
  7. Tue 26

    Find capsule reviews, showtimes & tickets for all films in town.

    Sponsored by Fandor

Box Office Report

Scores provided by Rotten Tomatoes

Join My Voice Nation for free stuff, concert and dining info & more!


  • 20 Neo-Noir Films You Have to See
    The Voice's J. Hoberman was more mixed than most on Sin City when he reviewed it in 2005, but his description of the film as "hyper-noir" helps explain why this week's release of Sin City: A Dame to Kill For has us thinking back on the neo-noir genre. Broadly speaking, neo-noir encompasses those films made outside of film noir's classic period -- the 1940s and '50s -- that nevertheless engage with the standard trappings of the genre. As with most generic labels, there isn't some universal yardstick that measures what constitutes a neo-noir film: Where the genre might begin in the '60s with films like Le Samourai and Point Blank for one person, another might argue that the genre didn't find its roots until 1974's Chinatown. Our list falls closer to the latter stance, mainly featuring works from the '80s, '90s, and 2000s. Though a number of the films mentioned here will no doubt be familiar to readers, it's our hope that we've also highlighted several titles that have been under-represented on lists of this nature. --Danny King

    See also:
    35 Music Documentaries Worth Seeing

    15 Documentaries That Help You Understand the World Right Now
  • Emmy-Nominated Costumes on Display
    On Saturday, the Television Academy and FIDM Museum and Galleries kicked off the Eighth Annual exhibition of "The Outstanding Art of Television Costume Design" with an exclusive preview and reception party. 100 costumes are featured from over 20 shows representing the nominees of the 66th Emmy Awards. The free to the public exhibition is located downtown at FIDM and runs from today through Saturday, September 20th. All photos by Nanette Gonzales.
  • Cowabunga! 30 Years of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
    The COWABUNGA! - 30 Years of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles tribute show opened Friday night at Iam8bit. Guests donned their beloved turtle graphic tees, onesies and a couple April O'Neils were there to report on all the mean, green, fighting machine action. Artist included Jude Buffum, Tony Mora, Nan Lawson, leesasaur, Jim Rucc, Mitch Ansara, Guin Thompson, Stratman, Gabe Swarr, Joseph Harmon, Alex Solis, Allison Hoffman, Jose Emroca Flores, Jack Teagle and more. All photos by Shannon Cottrell.

Now Trending