Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just as you are excited about consuming lots of turkey, gravy, stuffing, and pies, I am very glad to have Thursday off to catch some movies at the cinema. I actually started my Thanksgiving moviethon early with a preview screening of The Fantastic Mr. Fox last Tuesday. This animated gem from filmmaker Wes Anderson is (freely?) adapted from the 1970 children's book of the same title by Roald Dahl. I actually had second thoughts about watching the film but the rave reviews were hard to ignore. And I'm glad I went. It was a fantastic animated movie indeed (but second only to Pixar's Up this year) and the stop-motion technique employed in the film is a refreshing departure from the computer-generated images popular nowadays. Plus the film has lots of charm, wit, and heart with great talents like George Clooney, Meryl Streep, and Bill Murray providing the voices. I have to say though that this fairy tale about a sly fox who declares a stand off against the three richest and meanest farmers in the land is more for adults than it is for kids. After all, it is a movie that glorifies stealing.

Though what I am most excited about from this weekend's new films is Ninja Assassin! I know, I know. Who would have thought that a gentle soul like me would prefer a bloody and violent martial arts film for Thanksgiving, no? But I grew up watching Kung Fu movies on Sunday mornings. Haha. The trailer for this film looks amazing! Plus I cannot wait to see Asian heartthrob and Korean pop sensation and matinee idol, Rain, on the big screen. Oh, but no sticky rice tendencies just yet.

Any film plans for the long weekend?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Censorship at the Canadian Border

Inside Out, Toronto's LGBT Film Festival, ran into some issues with the Canadian border for three films that they were scheduled to screen at their satellite film festival in Ottawa this past weekend. Initially, the border guards were flagged by the R-Rated film Clapham Junction (an audience favorite from ImageOut 2008) but ended up holding prints for Patrik, Age 1.5 and I Can't Think Straight as well. It's a good thing Montreal did not have the same problems since I sent several films their way right after our Festival in October.

Click here for the full story. Thanks Paul for the link!

Monday, November 23, 2009

THE WOLF'S MOUTH wins in Turin

Italy's own Pietro Marcello won the top prize at the recently concluded 27th Torino Film Festival with his docudrama, La bocca del lupo (The Wolf's Mouth). Aside from the fact that this is the first time an Italian is taking home the festival's big award, it is also interesting to note that Marcello's film is a daring love story about two male ex-cons. Wow. This is the second Italian mainstream festival which gave its top prize to a gay-themed film this year, following Sweden's Brotherhood win in Rome. Now I know why I love those Italians. And it's not just for the clothes.

My best bet to see this film will probably be in Berlin. But I'm emailing my friend Davide right now just in case (he's a programmer for the festival).

Friday, November 20, 2009

Congratulations, Pandora!

Well, Rochester's Favorite Drag Queen (as voted by readers of City Newspaper) Pandora Boxx is going to be a Reality Show Star! Pandora has just announced in her Facebook page that she is part of RuPaul's Drag Race Season 2. This is exciting news for the Rochester community and local drag fans -- as if we don't have enough reasons to watch the show already! Congratulations, Pandora! We're all proud of you! And we will see you on the boob tube in February.
P.S. Season 1's Nina Flowers is an acquaintance when she was still a hardworking drag queen/DJ in San Juan, Puerto Rico. =)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

At the Movies this Weekend

It seems to me that there's quite a few good movies opening in Rochester this weekend. Is your schedule filling up with movie dates yet? Or are you still debating on which ones to see first? Well at the top of my film list this weekend are two international film festival favorites and definite Oscar Award contenders, Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire and An Education, both showing at the Little.

I feel that Precious has been talked about and recommended by many folks already so I don't think I need to convince anyone to go see it. I do have to say though that it was in my list of films to look out for ImageOut at the end of 2008, since one of the key supporting players is a lesbian character. The film was known then as Push: Based on the Novel by Sapphire. That was before it won both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at Sundance. After that, I knew that the film would just take off and probably won't be playing the LGBT film festival circuit. {sigh}

An Education stars GLBT-friendly Peter Sarsgaard and the sensational Carey Mulligan, already considered to be a strong contender for the Best Actress award this season. It's a coming-out story about a 16-year old girl who falls for a man nearly twice her age and their ensuing romance. This film is a good alternative while everyone is lining up for either The Twilight Saga: New Moon or Precious.

Speaking of New Moon, what about that Taylor Lautner, eh? OMG. My heart skipped a beat just typing his name. Obviously, I'm on Team Jacob. But I still cannot understand the appeal that Robert Pattinson is generating. Please explain! Okay so maybe New Moon is a good Sunday night screening when everyone else who wanted to see it already went and I don't have to stand in line longer than I have to.

Don't forget that the Dryden at George Eastman House is also screening two note-worthy films this weekend: Austria's entry to Oscar's Best Foreign Language Film Award, Revanche, and The Yes Men Fix the World.

Hope to bump into you at the movies this weekend!

Friday, November 13, 2009


Well if you have three hours to spare (oh lordy!) this weekend, go see The Lipstick Massacre, a riotous new mystery play from the wicked mind of Michael Steck a.k.a. Pandora Boxx (one of our regular Flower City Flicks contributors) having its last weekend run at the Multi-use Community Cultural Center (MuCCC) at 142 Atlantic Ave. The Friday and Saturday shows start at 8pm. I've only heard very positive and enthusiastic recommendations from friends who have seen it. So I'm very excited to see what the fuss is about myself on Saturday.

Then there's Miss Gay Rochester on Sunday. It's going to be a busy weekend!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

HUMPDAY this Friday at the Dryden!

Yes, the hilarious comedy Humpday is finally coming to Rochester this Friday (11/13), courtesy of the Dryden at George Eastman House! I've been waiting for this film on the big screen since early this year after debuting (and winning a special Jury Prize!) at the Sundance Film Festival in January. I thought it was maybe even something I could consider for the ImageOut There! Series. Luckily for the film but not so great for us, it got picked up for distribution right away and got a summer theatrical release instead. And now, it's finally here. So I'm just way excited to see it. Come join me at 8pm at the Dryden for a fun Friday evening. But before you go, make sure to check out the synopsis to make sure that the topic and crude humor are not offensive to you. Oh and it's not really gay per se (it's beyond gay!) but still very enjoyable just the same.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

2012: Mega Disaster Movie

Just got out of the preview screening for 2012 and I'm a little miffed that no one told me the darn thing is 2.5 hours long. And I didn't have 2.5 hours to spare tonight! But I must admit that all the fantastic special effects made the length tolerable. Still, all the attempts at human drama could have used some major editing.

Basically, some cataclysmic phenomenon is brewing beneath us and the core of the earth is destined to melt away by 2012. The world as we know it would end -- with land masses shifting by thousands of miles, if not sinking at all. Water will once again cover most of the earth. But a chosen group of people will survive in order to preserve humanity ... along with some animals and arts and cultural artifacts and treasures. It's like the story of Noah's Ark but with super cool ships.

You won't have to burn too much brain cells watching this one. It's a disaster movie, people ... the mother of all disaster movies! So just be prepared to take it for what it is -- lots of destructions, lots of deaths, lots of overblown dramatic moments. But it truly is a showcase of amazing CGI effects. So just sit back and enjoy it.

It's just very tiring.

BROTHERHOOD: A Gay Neo-Nazi Film

A couple of weeks ago, the 4th International Rome Film Festival awarded its top prize to Denmark's Brotherhood (Broderskab), an astonishing film debut by Danish/Italian filmmaker Nicolo Donato (read the reviews from Variety and ScreenDaily). It's a story about two members of a violent neo-Nazi organization targeting the existence of Muslims in Denmark who, much to their surprise, fall in love with each other. Sweet! We've definitely seen gay neo-Nazis in action at ImageOut before, courtesy of Bruce LaBruce. But Brotherhood seems to be a cut above anything we've screened from that genre. How exciting!

As I've mentioned many times before, programming for the next ImageOut lineup begins as soon as the program guide for the current year goes to the printer in August. Yes, it's that early, as crazy as that sounds. So I'm all about noting down any films that I should be on the look out for. But this may very well be a title that could be picked up for mainstream distribution, or definitely end up in arthouse and indie cinemas. If not, then I hope it is something we can consider for ImageOut 18.

But wait ... it's from Denmark! Notice that we rarely have Danish movies in our film offerings? Festival participation of most films from Denmark is usually arranged through the Danish Film Institute and they are a snob when it comes to screening their films at "smaller" film festivals including ImageOut. For a few years now, the DFI claims that they go by a short exclusive (read prestigious ... in their minds, at least) list of film festivals that they are willing to work with. I could not even get screeners from those folks! So I've always been very resourceful when it comes to seeing Danish films just so I know whether I should be upset about missing a great title or what. Anyway, here's hoping that whatever happens, Brotherhood gets picked up by a US distributor for ImageOut to even stand a chance.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Buy your DVDs from Wolfe

Do you know that ImageOut gets a small commission when you buy your DVDs from the Wolfe website? Through Wolfe's festival affiliation program, ImageOut gets a percentage of sale when the buyer connects to Wolfe via the link provided on our website. Click here for more information.

A few of the titles from our 2009 Festival lineup are already available for DVD pre-order. Both Eating Out 3 and Make the Yuletide Gay are being released on DVD on 11/10.

Expand your DVD collection and help ImageOut at the same time! Make your DVD purchases from Wolfe through ImageOut.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Employment Opportunity at ImageOut

We only have one paid part-time staff at ImageOut to help run the office during the week. Maryjane Reina has been doing a wonderful job for us for the past couple of years and it will be tough to find someone to fill her big shoes. It would be great if you could help us find the perfect fit for this job. Click here for more information.


ImageOut is Seeking Applicants for Office Manager Position

ImageOut is looking for a new office manager to join our team on or about December 14th. As you know, ImageOut is a volunteer run organization but we do employ one part-time (25 hours per week) office manager who is essential to the daily operations of the Festival. If you or someone you know would be interested in exploring this opportunity please submit your resume and letter of interest to the ImageOut Board of Directors Co-Chairs, Deanna Baker and Jim Biebel at the ImageOut office, 274 N. Goodman Street, Rochester, NY 14607.

Christine Chew Receives IO Prize

It's not very often that I get to hand the prize in person to any winner of ImageOut's Audience Awards. So I was very excited when I could arrange a meeting with Toronto filmmaker Christine Chew whose film Falling for Caroline was recently voted as the audience favorite for Best Short at our 2009 Festival. Christine was just as excited as I was -- this win is the first one for her debut film! I'm glad ImageOut could be part of this historic achievement.
Christine wins a check for $500, courtesy of the ImageOut Board of Directors, and a Certificate of Recognition. Best of luck in your next projects and I hope we'll see you at ImageOut soon!