Sunday, March 29, 2009

Monsters vs Aliens

Hang with me here, I do think this movie is ImageOut related...

After seeing so many heavy (and long) movies this year already, it was fun to watch a kid-focused bit of lively animation with a premise that neither explains too much nor apologizes for its silliness. The origins of each monster are very briefly mentioned, but none at length. They just are and that's it. And there are enough grown-up jokes (that won't offend the kiddies) to keep all ages interested. Seth Rogen is easily recognizable as B.O.B. the Blob, and Will Arnett (Arrested Development) as the Missing Link (who in this incarnation is a slightly ape-looking fish monster) is pretty funny as well.

The main lesson of the movie is about unconditional acceptance: acceptance of one's self and of differences in others. (see, I told you it was relevant!). at just over 90 minutes, it is a tough message to get across, but Monsters vs. Aliens does it fairly well without laying it on too thick.

I didn't get to see the 3D version though. Does anyone else with glasses have problems with wearing that extra pair?

Friday, March 27, 2009


Another early favorite of mine among the films I've already screened for this year's festival is AN ENGLISHMAN IN NEW YORK based on the last few years in the life of the flamboyant writer, actor, and gay icon Quentin Crisp who emigrated from the UK to the Bowery in New York City in 1981 when he was already in his 70s. The Manhattan scene just quickly embraced the quick-witted Crisp! But his outspoken dismissal of the early AIDS epidemic as just another fad threatened his new-found celebrity.

While the film's not-so-polished production leaves something to be desired, ENGLISHMAN is a more-than-satisfying bio pic that is expectedly smart and funny, complete with Crisp's famous one-liners and zinging remarks. John Hurt, winning a Special Jury Prize from Berlinale's Teddy Awards, is simply fabulous as the aging Crisp. You might recall Hurt playing Crisp earlier in the 1975 ground-breaking British television drama THE NAKED CIVIL SERVANT.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this film will be available to us in October.

After screening at the Berlin International Film Festival, ENGLISHMAN comes home to New York in April at the Tribeca Film Festival.
Trivia: The Sting song of the same title is indeed about Quentin Crisp, who "looked forward to receiving his naturalization papers so that he could commit a crime and not be deported."

Call For Work

ImageOut is seeking films for our 2009 festival in October. If you have films with strong LGBT themes and/or characters (shorts, features, documentaries) that you want to submit for our consideration, you can download the Call for Work submission form from our website for all the information. We'd love for you to be part of our fabulous event this fall.

Of course, one of the highlights of the festival is our showcase of talented area filmmakers. So if you are, or know of, a filmmaker from the Western New York region (or originally from the area), please let us celebrate you! Check out our Flower City Flicks submission form.

Hurry! Deadline for film submission is July 1. And please forward this information to your friends.

If you have questions or want to recommend LGBT films for the festival, feel free to leave a comment anywhere in this blog (we will find it!) or email us at


Let the Right Subtitles In

Did you hear about the recent uproar regarding the English subtitles of the just-released US DVD version of the fabulous Swedish vampire film LET THE RIGHT ONE IN? Apparently, the DVD version loses a lot of the darkly funny and edgy nuance that the original subtitles has. Read more here.

Lucky are we who have seen the original version. I knew that something will just go terribly wrong with a Hollywood remake but wasn't expecting it with regards to the DVD release. Now do I have to buy the Swedish version too? Ugh.

UPDATE: The distributor listened to the angry fans and now plans to restore the original subtitles. Read more at indiewire.

THE FISH CHILD by Lucía Puenzo

Definitely one of my favorite lesbian dramas this year, THE FISH CHILD (El Nino Pez) reunites filmmaker Lucía Puenzo and young actress Inés Efron (XXY) to bring us the emotionally charged drama/thriller about an Argentine teenager, Lala, who falls in love with the family's sulty Paraguayan house maid, Guayi. But their plan to elope to a seaside town back in Paraguay is thwarted by the murder of Lala's influential father.

Based on the filmmaker's first novel, Puenzo crafts a captivating teen romance story that is shrouded in mystery and sometimes evokes the magical realism of the great stories of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. This is definitely one that I would hope to include in this year's ImageOut lineup and I'm even thinking of giving it a shot at being part of the ImageOut There! Series. Stay tuned!

Fresh from its successful stints at Sundance and Berlin earlier this year, THE FISH CHILD makes its New York debut in April at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Is anyone else excited about the HBO movie GREY GARDENS premiering on April 18? Well I for one can't wait to see it. Loved the documentary. Loved the musical. And I must say that I am suddenly very optimistic about the HBO movie after watching the trailer. What brilliant casting it has! Drew Barrymore, especially, channels the fab and crazy Little Edie. Do we see a lot of Emmys and Golden Globes in the future for the cast and the movie a la JOHN ADAMS from last year?

Check out the trailer and let me know what you think. And let's regroup here after April 18 to discuss.

Friday, March 20, 2009

LET THE RIGHT ONE IN at the Dryden

My favorite vampire film (of all time?) is coming back to Rochester. The Dryden at George Eastman House is showing LET THE RIGHT ONE IN on Fri, March 20 and Sat, March 21. Don't miss it this time around. See my previous review here. Check the Dryden schedule here.

Oh and since my review, I've realized that it is indeed uber-homoerotic ... but more LOST BOYS with even younger teens kind of way rather than the mature eroticism and sex appeal of INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Rochester's Gay History

Are you aware that there is an important project currently being undertaken in our community? A group of dedicated volunteers are putting their energies and talents together to document the rich history of the gay community here in Rochester on film. Just like any other big undertakings, we will need all the help we can get from our community -- stories that you can share, possible leads to contacts who could be interviewed on film, and, of course, your generous donations. This video history project is called SHOULDERS TO STAND ON. Visit our blog site for more information.

Of course, we hope to feature the final product in an ImageOut Festival in the near future.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


The 2007 ImageOut Spotlight Feature OUT AT THE WEDDING is now available on DVD. It was one of our record-breaking sold out shows that year, almost winning our Audience Award. If you missed it then, this is your chance to see what everyone was raving about. And it would also be fun to revisit it with good friends.

Purchase the DVD for 20% off using the code WEDDING1 from Logo.

Check out the trailer from this charmingly witty film.

Out At The Wedding. Alex’s little white lies are spinning out of control! After telling her new fiancé that her family is dead, Alex attends her sister’s wedding. A rumor spreads at the wedding that Alex is gay and when her family is surprisingly supportive, Alex decides to play along. It’s easier than telling the truth about her engagement to a Jewish African-American man, right? But when her sister visits and Alex has to prove that she’s a lesbian, things start to get out of the hand. Out At The Wedding explores the sometimes comical way in which we come out to the people we love, whether as gay or straight.

Monday, March 16, 2009

LGBT Health Awareness Week

In case you are not aware yet, the 2009 LGBT Health Awareness Week was launched last Saturday. I encourage everyone to participate in the many activities scheduled for this week (until this Saturday, March 21). Click on the fancy logo at the top of this post for more information. I think our community is very lucky to have such an educational and fun event right here in Rochester. Kudos to the organizers and the Rochester Health Coalition.

Just like last year, ImageOut is offering free screenings during the week. They are scheduled for this Thursday, March 19 at the Cinema. Click on the images below for more information.

I hope to see you at the Cinema this Thursday. And feel free to ask about our membership and volunteer opportunities. Or just talk about movies and the preparations for our October festival.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

L-Word Series Finale (Spoiler Warning!)

And you thought we only watched movies...

Well, it's finally over. The show that for six years we either loved, or loved to hate, has come to an end. Or has it? We don't know for sure who killed Jenny Schecter, but take solace in one thing: Jennifer Beals, Laurel Holloman, Leisha Hailey, Pan Grier, Erin Daniels, Kate Moenning, Rachel Shelley, Daniela Sea, and co. portrayed some of the hottest queers ever to hit the small screen. Maybe they will reunite on the big screen too?

Personally, I thought the last mini-season left much to be desired. Don't get me wrong, I was hooked on the series from the start and did not miss a single episode, but I am still lesbo-processing the last 8 weeks.

Things I loved: Alice, Tasha and Jamie's "Push-It" number, Kit being seduced by a straight drag queen, Elizabeth Berkley...

Things I am still up in the air about: Tom leaving Max pregnant and confused, Shane+Jenny, Elizabeth Berkely...

How about you? Who do YOU think killed Jenny? Will we find out in the "Interrogation Tapes" series? And speaking of those; what did you think of the first "Tina Tape"?

Let's keep this conversation going until Investigator Xena fingers the perp!


Have you heard of the World Television Premiere Event coming to your living rooms in a little over two weeks? On Wednesday, April 1 at 8pm, MTV's family of networks including Logo will launch the new film PEDRO based on the life story of Pedro Zamora who made his mark by being the first gay HIV+ reality star when he was cast as one of the housemates in MTV's THE REAL WORLD (San Francisco). I was fortunate to see this film in Berlin in February and it is heartbreaking. I was hoping we could show it at the festival. But I understand why MTV is launching it on cable TV so soon. I hope it accomplishes its mission of reaching out to as many people especially the younger generation to educate them on HIV and AIDS. Click here for more information on this special TV event.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Admit it. You knew it was inevitable. The fab Allan Brocka (BOY CULTURE) and company are already busy with pre-production and casting of the first gay three-quel EATING OUT 3: ALL YOU CAN EAT. Whether you hate or love the first two installments, you have to admit that filmmaker Brocka, one of our visiting filmmakers from a couple of years ago, is one talented cookie and ImageOut is one of his supporters having shown all of his short and feature GLBT films in the festival.

So what are expecting from this third film? Are you as excited as I am? Oh c'mon, at least these films never pretend to be dramatic contenders. And they do manage to find the sexiest (albeit sometimes acting challenged) new stars. But you also have to realize that they don't have the budget to pay for the "big" stars.

Oh and wait. Maybe the ANOTHER GAY MOVIE franchise will beat it for the gay three-quel bragging rights. Remember the promise of outer space craziness in the last one? Let the race begin!

Friday, March 6, 2009


I imagine Jim Carrey's latest film I LOVE YOU PHILLIP MORRIS will be the talk among the LGBT (and, maybe, quite a few mainstream) cineastes in the coming weeks/months. It is a high-profile movie with Carrey playing an uncharacteristically very gay role based on an actual gay con artist, Steven Russell, who tried many times to escape imprisonment to be with the man he loves.
The film premiered at Sundance in January but remains without a distribution deal in North America. (I don't think the distributors know what to do with it since it is not the fare that typical Jim Carrey fans would go for.) Even though it has since been picked up by a handful of European distributors, I wonder if it will be able to keep its Summer 2009 release schedule. I personally wish it will not so it can be shown in the fall film festivals. Selfish, I know. But I have been giddy since seeing the film at the European Film Market in Berlin last February and PHILLIP MORRIS (yes, that's Phillip with two "l"s ... the cigarette maker uses only one) is the perfect gala event for ImageOut -- very funny, very appealing, interesting story and characters, very well-made, and did I tell you Ewan McGregor plays the lover?
McGregor never looked so good on the big screen with his big blue eyes and bleached blonde hair. Too bad the movie is without his signature full frontal nudity. But in all seriousness, McGregor played the Phillip Morris role with restrained flamboyance and tons of effective loving glances. You too would fall in love with him.

Of course, the highlight of the film is the crazy antics of Carrey. Though I'm not usually a big fan, I totally enjoyed him in this film. PHILLIP MORRIS is from the same writers that brought us Billy Bob Thornton's BAD SANTA (and who did not enjoy that silly film?).

I'm hoping we'll have a spot for it in our October lineup.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

ImageOut Free Screenings

ImageOut teams up with the Rochester LGBT Health Coalition to bring you free screenings during the LGBT Health Awareness Week (March 14 - 21). Click on the picture for more information.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

MULLIGANS dvd pre-order

Wolfe is now taking pre-orders for the MULLIGANS DVD scheduled for release on April 21. Click here for more information and to enter your order. Once again, ordering from this site is a good way to beef up your DVD collection while helping out ImageOut.