Annual film fest packed with Tuesday offerings
In choosing the opening show of Actor’s Express’ 25th anniversary season, Freddie Ashley knew he wanted a production that would register, a large scale show with “some heft.” He has chosen the gay-themed musical “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” opening Aug. 22.
Manuel Puig’s 1976 novel is about two cellmates in a Buenos Aires prison: Luis Molina and Valentín Arregui, who are polar opposites. Valentin is a revolutionary trying to overthrow the government, while Molina is openly gay and effeminate, in jail for sexual relations with a minor.
The novel was turned into a 1983 play, then a 1985 film which won William Hurt a Best Actor Oscar as Molina.
With a book by Terrence McNally and music and lyrics by John Kander and Fred Ebb (“Cabaret,” “Chicago”), a musical version of “Spider Woman” opened on Broadway in 1993 and won a slew of Tony Awards, including one for gay icon Chita Rivera, who starred as the infamous titular character.
Closing out the three-play summer season next week for Serenbe Playhouse is the gayest show of the bunch, the musical “Time Between Us,” featuring Serenbe founder and director Brian Clowdus and actress Laura Floyd sharing the stage the entire time.
Making its regional theater premiere, “Time Between Us” was written by Tess Barker and openly gay Brett Schrier and is directed here by Justin Anderson. It focuses on Matthew (Clowdus), who is gay, and Morgan (Floyd), who become best friends in art school and vow to move to New York after they graduate and became famous, he as a photographer and she as a fashion designer.
But as the years pass, their plans and lives change. He moves to New York and becomes a world class photographer, while she marries after school and does not move to the Big Apple.
As she proved with 2009’s “Humpday,” director Lynn Shelton is a talented filmmaker not afraid to include LGBT themes in her work. Her latest is “Your Sister’s Sister,” which has a prominent lesbian theme, and — like “Humpday” — is worth seeing even if the gay angle is a bit problematic.
As the film opens, Jack (Mark Duplass) is mourning the death of his brother Tom, a year later. After a friend waxes eloquently about Tom at a gathering, Jack stands and speaks the warts-and-all truth about the deceased and it’s clear Jack is still a wreck. His best friend is Iris (Emily Blunt), who was Tom’s lover. Seeing Jack is an emotional mess, she suggests he go to her family cabin on an island in the Pacific Northwest that is supposedly empty. “It has no internet, no TV… maybe a few forks,” she promises.
When he arrives he discovers he is not alone after all. Iris’ half-sister, Hannah (Rosemarie DeWitt), is there. She is a lesbian who has just broken up with her girlfriend after seven years. She is also a vegan whose food choices (such as dehydrated banana pieces) provide some of the film’s funnier moments. The two share a drunken late night and reveal some truths.
A number of LGBT movies, including two screwball farces and an acclaimed documentary about a bisexual author, highlight the annual Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, which kicks off next week.
Established in 2000, the festival has grown to become not just the largest film festival in the city but the second biggest Jewish film festival in the country. The offerings for the 12th annual event, set for Feb. 8-29, are typically broad and plentiful.
More than 70 films will be shown over the three week period and screenings take place all over the city, including the Fox Theatre, Regal Cinemas Atlantic Station Stadium 16, Lefont Sandy Springs, Georgia Theatre Company Merchants Walk and new venues at United Artists Tara Cinemas 4 and United Artists North Point Market 8.
Film debuts at Atlanta's Jewish Film Festival
Pro-gay silent black & white film screens at Woodruff Arts Center for 10th anniversary
Out on Film, Atlanta's LGBT film festival, announced this morning a double-feature opening when the festival kicks off on Sept. 29. This year, “The Sleeping Beauty of East Finchley” and “Going Down in La-La Land” will open the week-long festival while “Judas Kiss” will be the final film shown.
“We are very excited about opening Out on Film with a first – a film for the ladies and then a film for the men, although anyone can enjoy either one of our opening night films,” said Jim Farmer, festival director of Out On Film, in a press release issued today.
Casper Andreas, director of “Going down in La-La Land,” has shown films at Out on Film before, including “The Big Gay Musical” and last year's Audience Award winner for Best comedy “Violet Tendencies.”