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Seattle Gay and Lesbian Film Festival highlights
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Seattle Gay and Lesbian Film Festival highlights

by Sara Michelle Fetters - SGN Contributing Writer

American Primitive
Thursday, October 22, 7:30 p.m., Northwest Film Forum When teenager Madeline (Danielle Savre) moves in with her father Harry (Tate Donovan) hoping to fit in, she quickly realizes that's going to be difficult when she discovers dad has a live-in boyfriend. Set in 1973, director and co-writer Gwen Wynne's debut is strongly acted by a veteran cast of character actors (including Josh Peck, James Sikking and Stacey Dash) but goes off the rails during a slightly ponderous and extremely preachy third act. Originally played SIFF 2009.
Rating: 2.5 (out of 4)

And Then Came Lola

Saturday, October 17, 6:30 p.m., Egyptian Theatre San Francisco photographer Lola (Ashleigh Sumner) races against time (thrice) to deliver her girlfriend Casey (Jill Bennett) a collection of prints. This inspired Lesbian-driven homage to director Tom Tykwer's 1998 cult classic Run Lola Run is both utter nonsense and one hell of great time. Directors Ellen Seidler and Megan Siler keep a breakneck pace and while the film falls to pieces the more you think about it, though while it was playing I was having so much fun I didn't particularly care.
Rating: 3

The Butch Factor

Sunday, October 18, 2:15 p.m., Northwest Film Forum Informative and entertaining documentary about how Gay men have defined masculinity over the decades. Director Christopher Hines' first feature doesn't push any boundaries or ask particularly difficult questions, yet still manages to fascinate. The interview subjects are suitably diverse, while the scholars and mental health professionals mostly talk in simple English and don't come across as didactic know-it-alls.
Rating: 2.5

City of Borders

Tuesday, October 20, 6:00 p.m., Egyptian Theatre Superb documentary chronicling the Shushan Gay bar situated at the very heart of Jerusalem, where Israelis and Palestinians alike risk brutal reprisals to come and express their sexual orientation and dance the night away in harmony. Director Yun Suh does a great job asking the tough questions yet still is able to illuminate how this safe haven of peace is an emotionally cleansing lesson the rest of the Jewish and Arab worlds would be wise to learn from. Originally played SIFF 2009.
Rating: 3.5

Desperate Living

Saturday, October 17, 10:45 p.m., Egyptian Theatre Flat-out crazy John Waters trash cult classic with Mink Stole (who will be in attendance) and Edith Massey about an unhappy wife who convinces her 400-pound maid to assist her in murdering her wealthy husband and then finds sanctuary in a village full of fellow criminals ruled by an insane queen. What happens here is absolutely indescribable, but fans of the director consider this to be one of his finest achievements. Made in 1977, film has lost none of its power to horrify and disgust, remaining one of the most shocking cinematic achievements (right up there with Waters' Pink Flamingos and Wes Craven's original The Last House on the Left) I have ever seen. (The film plays as part of the tribute to Mink Stole "A Touch of Mink," and will be hosted by the indomitable Peaches Christ.)
Rating: 3

Eating Out 3: All You Can Eat

Saturday, October 17, 8:30 p.m., Egyptian Theatre New guy in town Casey (Daniel Skelton) is convinced by new friend Tiffani (Rebekah Kochan) to create a fake online profile to snare sensitive hottie Zack (Chris Salvatore). Highly unsatisfying comedy is even worse than this series' bizarrely popular previous two installments, and not even the presence of John Waters' icon Mink Stole enough to make any of it palatable. A true waste of time that forced me to lose my appetite.
Rating: 1

Edie & Thea: A Very Long Engagement

Sunday, October 18, 4:30 p.m., Egyptian Theatre Beautiful and touching documentary chronicling the 43-year engagement of Edie Windsor and Thea Spyer, two New Yorkers who have seen and done close to it all. Directors Gréta Olafsdóttir and Susan Muska follow up their 1998 masterwork The Brandon Teena Story with another winner, this blissful love affair a timeless tale of commitment that truly warmed my heart.
Rating: 3.5

Ghosted

Sunday, October 18, 7:00 p.m., Northwest Film Forum A disappointing return to narrative filmmaking for veteran German auteur Monika Treut (Gendernauts, Female Misbehavior) after a decade of documentary work, Ghosted is a three-part love story that switches back and forth between Hamburg and Taipei. Beautifully shot, very well-acted but unfortunately dramatically inert, this supernatural mystery asks more questions then it can answer, leaving the viewer exhausted and annoyed.
Rating: 2

Misconceptions

Sunday, October 18, 12:00 p.m., Egyptian Theatre Surprisingly solid high-concept comedy about a religiously conservative Southern woman named Miranda (A.J. Cooke) who imagines herself ordered by God to be a surrogate parent to two Gay men (David Moscow, Orlando Jones) living in Boston. Things go a bit haywire when the more flamboyant of the couple moves into Miranda's home to help micromanage the pregnancy. Broad and over-the-top, veteran television director Ron Satlof's feature offers up plenty of laughs, all in the service of a warmhearted message that's difficult to dislike. Far from perfect, the film still proves to be much funnier than it probably has any real right to be.
Rating: 2.5

The Naked Civil Servant

Saturday, October 17, 12:00 p.m., Egyptian Theatre Groundbreaking BBC television movie chronicling the early life and times of noted Gay icon and writer Quentin Crisp (John Hurt). The film documents Crisp's rise to fame (and infamy), starting in the 1930s, when homosexuality was against the law in Great Britain. Hurt's work won him a 1976 BAFTA TV award for Best Actor and is arguably one of the two-time Oscar nominee's greatest performances. He reprises his role as Crisp in SLGFF's opening-night attraction An Englishman in New York.
Rating: 3.5

Valentino: The Last Emperor

Wednesday, October 21, 9:45 p.m., Egyptian Theatre An engaging and humorous documentary chronicles a two-year period between 2005 and 2007 in the life of legendary Italian designer Valentino Garavani, culminating in his lavish 45th celebration held in Rome. Director Matt Tyrnauer does a yeoman's job cutting to the heart of the matter with pinpoint precision so exact it borders on the miraculous. Extremely entertaining and filled with a positively breathtaking series of evening gowns and dresses, film also has a thought-provoking emotional element that ultimately broke my heart.
Rating: 3.5

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