Film

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‘Heartbeats’ is latest from young gay director

Xavier Dolan releases new film 'Heartbeats'

Xavier Dolan was only 19 when he made his first film, the startlingly original, semi-autobiographical “I Killed My Mother,” about a gay teen’s love-hate relationship with his mom during his coming-out process. It’s had countless showings in festivals (including last year’s Out on Film) and museums (Atlanta’s High Museum of Art for one) but has yet to have a proper American theatrical release.

Dolan turned 22 on March 20 as his second film, “Heartbeats” started playing around the country. Cinephiles can make a drinking game of spotting Dolan’s influences in “Heartbeats,” but don’t expect a film on the level of “I Killed My Mother.”

The bones of the plot have potential. Francis (Dolan) and his best friend Marie (Monia Chokri) meet “blond Adonis” Nicolas (Niels Schneider), who has just moved to Montreal.

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Gregg Araki’s ‘Kaboom’ is a comedy thriller with eye candy for all

Kaboom at Landmark Theatres

The sex-obsessed college students in Gregg Araki’s “Kaboom” all seem to be working toward an STD degree. As Smith (Thomas Dekker) says, “I’m 18 and perpetually horny.” This being the 21st century his lust knows no gender boundaries. His best friend Stella (Haley Bennett) says he’s “probably a 3 or 4 on the Kinsey Scale,” while he describes himself as “undeclared.”

Araki himself has become more bisexual, both in his films and his private life, since his days as one of the poster boys for the New Queer Cinema of the early ‘90s. While it’s unquestionably gay-positive, “Kaboom” would score no higher on Kinsey than its protagonist.

Indeed, Smith’s only repeat sexual partner is a woman, London (Juno Temple), although he fantasizes about his “excruciatingly hot straight roommate” Thor (Chris Zylka), “a surfer, dumb as a box of rocks”; flirts with Oliver (Brennan Mejia), hooks up with Hunter (Jason Olive) at a nude beach and gets a surprise “gift” from London on his 19th birthday.

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Gay-themed ‘Red State’ based on ‘God Hates Fags’ church

Kevin Smith's Red State

One of the most controversial features at the recent Sundance Film Festival was the gay-themed thriller “Red State.” The film’s director, Kevin Smith, brings his “Red State, U.S.A.” tour to the Cobb Energy Centre for a March 29 screening and question-and-answer session.

In the film, which follows a traditional horror movie plot, three teenagers discover an ad on the Internet from an older woman looking for sex and decide to answer it. What they find, instead, in the woods where they agree to meet is a family using various techniques to lure in unsuspecting young men they believe to be sinners; they often target gays as part of their crusading.

Jonathan Gordon, the film’s producer, says “Red State” is inspired loosely by Pastor Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church, the type of people who “say God’s word is the only word and picket funerals.”

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Oscars tonight

Atlanta bars host watch parties for 83rd annual Academy Awards

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Jewish Film Festival offers plenty for gay audiences

2011 Atlanta Jewish Film Festival offers plenty of LGBT attractions

Despite the name, the 11th annual Atlanta Jewish Film Festival is no more restricted to Jews than it is to Atlantans. The diverse programming offers something for everyone, including LGBT viewers.

There are many fine films among the 57 features and nine shorts in this year’s festival, unspooling Feb. 8-27 at six venues, primarily the Regal Atlantic Station and Lefont Sandy Springs.

Documentaries in the festival reveal that famous children’s story writer Maurice Sendak (“Tell Them Anything You Want”) is gay but the world’s most famous hairdresser (“Vidal Sassoon: The Movie”) isn’t.

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Jim Carrey’s gay film finally comes out, while ‘Black Swan’ dances around lesbianism

Now that “Burlesque” is a Thanksgiving leftover, there are still cinematic holiday treats for LGBT audiences. As usual Santa has more for gay men than lesbians (Hey, y’all had “The Kids Are All Right” and “Chloe” this year!), but that’s just because he’s gay.

“Black Swan” raised gay women’s anticipation with its trailer showing groping and a liplock between Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis, and Portman alone under the covers. Is she…?

Yes, she is, and yes, they are, but if context matters to you, “Black Swan” is not a lesbian movie. A paranoid thriller set in the ballet world (which makes it of interest to some gay men, although it’s even less gay than “Mao’s Last Dancer,” if that’s possible), it’s a mash-up of “The Red Shoes,” “The Turning Point” and “All about Eve,” but with a twist.