Something deviant for everyone! That's what this year's SLGFF is all about, featuring sodomarvelous films, events, celebrity meet-and-greets, West Side Story sing-alongs (naturally), a gala or four, a Mink Stole look-alike contest, and even some very, very good films (some of the best of the fest!) which depart entirely from the tried-and-tired Gay Film Fest formula (victims + "coming of age" + tortured gym shower scenes + lisping queens x disco / hate crime = movie) entirely and seem rather, well, not so all that gay, comparatively speaking. (A groundbreaking trend in this year's fest: Moments of same-sex passion cropping up in largely heterosexual contexts, with no techno or body waxing! Imagine!) The festival runs October 16 to 25, takes place at venues across town (Egyptian, Central Cinema, Cinerama, Northwest Film Forum, and the old Admiral in West Seattle), tickets-per-show will set you back $10, and galas and evens run from $15 to $30. Follow my highly selective suggestions below, and you can pack your fudge AND your film-fest calendar nicely. We begin, of course, with...
Opening Night Gala!
Film: An Englishman in New York
Fri Oct 16, 7:30 pm, Egyptian/Sodo Park
SLGFF's opening-night offering is a winning and delightful film called An Englishman in New York. It's a charming, insightful, and (dare I say it?) inspirational (sob!) biopic about the life and times of famous gay raconteur Quentin Crisp as played brilliantly by John Hurt. (Moments of Hurt's Quentin Crisp hark back to his performance as the gender-confused feminine-hygiene-product salesman the Countess in the very bad movie Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, but who's complaining?) It details the most pertinent parts of Mr. Crisp's gay and very well-spoken life—from age 70 on up—beginning with his arrival in New York City in the mid 1970s, his rise to gay idol-hood, his tragic almost-downfall by way of his great big mouth in the AIDSy '80s, his triumphant return to public life, his completely unapologetic and heavily make-upped existence in general. The gala follows the film at Sodo Park (3200 First Ave) with a free shuttle from the Egyptian after the movie, featuring foods, boozes, and dancing.
A Touch of Mink!
Sat Oct 17, 10:45 pm, Egyptian
Meet the legendary star of every John Waters film ever made: Mink Stole! Mink and a very famous drag queen called Peaches Christ will be discussing her weird and sometimes disgusting career, do a little Q and A-ing, host a fan meet-and-greet and a Mink Stole look-alike contest before screening one of the most depraved films ever made, Desperate Living by John Waters!
The Centerpiece Gala!
Thurs Oct 22, 7:15 pm, Egyptian/Chapel
Film: The Big Gay Musical
This is one of the only films I haven't screened yet, and that's because it looks dreadful: lisping, helium-heeled, shirtless gym/theater fags performing "Adam and Adam—Just the Way God Made 'Em," a musical and very gay retelling of the Christian creation myth. (Now do you know why I haven't seen it?) The after party is at Chapel.
The Centerpiece Gala II!
Fri Oct 23, 7:45 pm, Cinerama/Top Pot Doughnuts Belltown
Do you think they were being ironic? Throwing a party for a movie about doughnut rubbers at a doughnut shop? I ask you.
Satur-gay Morning Cartoons!
Sat Oct 24, 11 am, Central Cinema
Gay cartoons? Honestly? Dirty!
Closing Night Gala!
Sun Oct 25, 6:30 pm, Cinerama/Pan Pacific Hotel
Film: Hannah Free
Hannah Free is a touching and tear-jerking movie based on a play based on the life-long romance between two lesbians, staring Cagney from Cagney & Lacey. The gala after the film takes place at the Pan Pacific Hotel (2125 Terry Ave).
Sat Oct 17, 4:30 pm, Northwest Film Forum
A series of short films detailing the singular experiences of the trans community.
Queen of Brazil/Queens at Heart!
Sun Oct 18, 4:30 pm, Northwest Film Forum
This is a draggy double feature—colorful and touching and crazy and grand!—the first, Queen of Brazil, is a dragumentary following one contestant's journey to become Miss Gay Brazil. The second film, Queens at Heart is about transwomen pre-Stonewall—a new, fully restored 35 mm print!
Girl Seeks Girl!
Tues Oct 20, 7:30 pm, Egyptian
Is a synopsis really necessary?
And Then Came Lola!
Sat Oct 17, 7:30 pm, Egyptian
Lola came, all right. My, yes.
Swimming with Lesbians!
Wed Oct 21, 6 pm, Northwest Film Forum
This is a funny and fascinating documentary about an old lesbian who made history—and not just with her hairstyles.
Mon Oct 19, 7:30 pm, Egyptian
The socio-civic value of strange men dressing like dirty women and taking their clothes off in public is explored in this freak-rich documentary, featuring performances and interviews conducted in bubble baths. It's gay... it's local... it's a performance-packed, filmed-in-Seattle documentary all about the strange artistic journey of Waxie Moon—aka Marc Kenison—our own towering, fan-dancing, strip-teasing, deeply-mustachioed, and gender-bending burlesque sensation, as told through interviews with Seattle's most colorful and fearless performance artists including Sylvia O'Stayformore and Miss Indigo Blue.
We Are the Mods!
Sat Oct 24, 7 pm, Admiral
This is, yes, something of a "coming of age story," but don't panic! There are no tortured gym-shower moments, no schoolyard bashings, no mean fathers tossing anybody out of the house, etc. It is a simple, engaging story about two girls who will do anything for a Vespa, their haircuts, a monster foot, some smoldering lesbian tendencies, some really awesome clothes, and a dirty game of "Truth or Dare" in a hot tub that is crazy/filthy/hot and gives me a powerful and inexplicable sense of déjà vu.
Sun Oct 25, 2:30 pm, Admiral
This is a dark, moody and very well-acted coming-of-middle-age story about betrayal, secrets, lies, hot adult sons, the awful military, whoring, and the terrible consequences of running from one's self—starring that guy who played The Dark Man in Stephen King's made-for-TV version of The Stand and Steve Buscemi. Yes, Steve Buscemi. (Has anyone very publicly noted his uncanny resemblance to Ren of Ren and Stimpy? Allow me to go on record.)
The Man Who Loved Yngve!
Fri Oct 23, 9:30 pm, Cinerama
I'm really glad this movie had subtitles, because I don't understand Norwegian at all. This is the story of a young redheaded Norwegian man, his girlfriend, lingering glances, his terrible Norwegian garage band, some nifty sweaters, and a blond hottie who fills his heart with strange echoes and his loins with peculiar yearnings. At one point, he smokes birth-control pills and gets a little nutty. Have I given away too much? Whatever: This film features the sweetest, loveliest on-screen gay kiss since... well, ever. Kill me now.