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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, May 23 2014 - Volume 42 Issue 21
SIFF 2014: Synopsis & Recommendations
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
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SIFF 2014: Synopsis & Recommendations

by Herb Krohn - SGN A&E Writer

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Films listed without dates have already been shown.]

CASE AGAINST 8
USA
Rating: Excellent
Genre: Documentary

This film is a solid comprehensive documentary about the political and legal battle to fight and overturn California's Proposition 8, which limited marriage to heterosexual couples. The filmmakers obtained nearly complete access to the attorneys and plaintiffs as the effort to win marriage equality progressed through the courts. Additionally, the lives and families of the plaintiffs are profiled as is the unlikely alliance of the leading attorneys who were on opposite sides in the Bush v Gore election litigation. It's a remarkable inside view of how marriage equality was achieved in California.

DIOR AND I
France - Subtitled
Rating: Good
Genre: Documentary

A profile of designer Raf Simon's debut fashion presentation for the House of Christian Dior, this is a film that will be greatly appreciated by those into the world of fashion. It provides a rare inside glimpse into this world of high-end design from conception to the display on the runway, and the people who are instrumental in making it all come together.

THE DUNE
France/Israel - Subtitled
Rating: Excellent
Genre: Drama
FRI MAY 23 | 11:00 AM | PACIFIC PLACE
WED MAY 28 | 9:30 PM | SIFF CINEMA UPTOWN

An aging openly Gay police officer who specializes in missing person cases finds himself in the middle of what may be his last case before retirement, that of a bicycle mechanic who seems to have amnesia and cannot or will not speak. Is the officer seemingly being stalked by the mechanic? Everything about this case peaks the interest of the office, including the location where the unidentified cyclist was found. This is a beautiful and engaging film that holds the viewer's attention and interest while revealing the mystery.

EASTERN BOYS
France - Subtitled
Rating: Above Average
Genre: Suspense/Romance
SUN MAY 25 | 9:00 PM | HARVARD EXIT
TUE MAY 27 | 3:30 PM | SIFF CINEMA UPTOWN

A businessman solicits sex from a young man at the Paris Nord train station and they set a date to trick for the following day at the john's apartment. However, when a young boy shows up and forces his way in, followed by a group of thugs and thieves, the businessman finds himself a hostage at his own unwilling house party, while they rob him of everything of value. Eventually the young man shows up at the party, and then returns a day or two afterwards, alone and seeking to make the money in exchange for the originally promised sex. Slowly over time it becomes a regular thing, and emotions become involved. This is a story of an exploitation con turned romance as well as a glimpse into the lives of unfortunate young men from Eastern Europe, who move to Western Europe in an attempt to improve their lives. They often end up coalescing as gang members to survive.

FIGHT CHURCH
USA
Rating: Good
Genre: Documentary
MON MAY 26 | 12:30 PM
RENTON IKEA PERFORMING ARTS CENTER

"Turn the other cheek" as the Bible says? Not so for many Christian churches who are forming fight clubs to develop camaraderie among their male members. This interesting and provocative SIFF documentary explores this phenomena and how these religious Christian leaders reconcile their beliefs with the idea of fighting and injuring others for the fun of it. While it delves into the American Christian controversy, the film actually avoids yet provokes the global issue of religious fanaticism and extremism by those who pervert their interpretations of religious doctrine to suit their personal ideals and fulfill their need to engage in and perpetuate violence. This is a film for thought as there are so many issues left untouched by the filmmakers that need to be examined.

LAND OF STORMS
NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
Hungary/Germany - Subtitled
Rating: Average
Genre: Coming of Age, Romance & Coming out Conflicts

A young closeted German soccer player returns to his home in Hungary after a falling out with other teammates. He sets out to live in the deteriorating home of his grandparents, while his father continues to push him to rejoin his team. One night he catches a thief trying to steal his motorbike. They end up as friends and work together to fix the house. Of course, the sexual tension is too much; add in a visit from a teammate and sex partner and things get quite complicated. However, hostile heterosexist social pressure intervenes to hinder their relationships. What makes this film interesting is that it is one of the first Hungarian films to deal with Gay male sexual relationships, and the viewer can plainly see the parallels to an earlier era of Gay cinema in America especially with the ending. SKELETON TWINS
USA
Rating: Average
Genre: Family Drama

Estranged suicidal twins who are brother and sister reunite after the Gay brother's attempt fails. He goes back to upstate New York to visit for a while with his sister and her fiancé. Of course, all of their old skeletons come flying out of the closet, exposing them both for their faults, poor life choices. And why they were estranged is finally exposed. TO BE TAKEI
USA
Rating: Excellent
Genre: Bio-Documentary
FRI JUN 6 | 7:00 PM | EGYPTIAN
SAT JUN 7 | 4:00 PM | SIFF CINEMA UPTOWN

A great biographical profile of actor George Takei whose most famous role as Sulu in the original "Star Trek" series is only one small role in this remarkable man's life as an actor and recent Gay rights activist. As a child he was interned in the Japanese-American camps with his family, and he went on to become an icon for modern Asian American actors, even though he once had to play stereotypical characters to earn his living. He faced having to choose to live in the closet to maintain his profession, until finally he could no longer reconcile it when California Measure 8 passed. This well-made production is a perfect example of expert documentary filmmaking, conveying to the audience who this brave and famous person really is and what influenced his life and success.

TOM AT THE FARM
Canada (Quebec)/France - Subtitled
Rating: Average
Genre: Psychological Suspense

Tom, an advertising executive, travels to the country for the funeral of his former lover. However, once he arrives at the family farm, he finds himself involved in a depraved family situation, where the delusional mother knows nothing of her deceased son's sexuality, and his violent brother, who has identity issues of his own, seeks to prevent his mother from knowing the truth. Things go from awkward to strange to perverse, and border on extreme violence in this interesting tale. However, once it ends, too many questions are left unanswered. The culmination doesn't really make sense, leaving the audience hanging and wondering what was the purpose in this screenplay?

ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW
United Kingdom/USA
Rating: Excellent
Genre: Cult Classic

What is there left to say about this most famous of cult classic films? We can mention this screening included subtitles prompting the audience to respond verbally as well as when to utilize the props contained in the goodie bag everyone received when entering the theatre. In 39 years and arguably one of the most viewed late night films in American history, Rocky has not lost any of its audience appeal and in fact has only become even more satisfying with age.

REGARDING SUSAN SONTAG
USA
Rating: Excellent
Genre: Bio-Documentary

A brilliant influential writer, thinker and cultural icon who began writing at 15, Sontag's experiences and provocative perceptions had a significant impact on the fledging LGBT movement. This well researched and put together documentary film examines her rich life from childhood to her passing, exploring what experiences made her into such an intellectual force in our culture.

VENUS IN FUR
France - Subtitled
Rating: Excellent
Genre: Updated Classic Sexual Drama

Leopold von Sacher-Masoch was an Austrian writer (1836-1895) whose writings on human sexuality resulted in his name being adopted as the term for masochism. Venus in Furs is a novella he wrote, and this film is a modernized version of this written work. A contemporary playwright/director is seeking an actress to star in his production of this story. He finds himself completely immersed as a lengthy audition with an unlikely perspective performer becomes increasingly intimate and personal. This Roman Polanski film is a remarkable work of art, sometimes funny, often provocative, and occasionally disturbing it crosses the line between intellectualism and sexual fetish and perversion.

Other upcoming SIFF Films of LGBT Interest:

GAY-LA FILM PRESENTATION:
HELICOPTER MOM
WORLD PREMIERE
USA
Genre: Comedy
WED JUN 4 | 7:00 PM | EGYPTIAN
Followed by Gay-La Party at Q Nightclub

Sponsored in part by Three Dollar Bill Cinema, Greater Seattle Business Association, The Stranger, Poquitos, Q Nightclub Regular screening without the party: THU JUN 5 | 4:00 PM | EGYPTIAN

BOYS
Netherlands
Genre: Coming of Age
MON JUN 2 | 9:30 PM | EGYPTIAN
TUE JUN 3 | 4:00 PM | EGYPTIAN

THE CIRCLE
Switzerland
Genre: Documentary Narrative
TUE JUN 3 | 9:30 PM | HARVARD EXIT
SUN JUN 8 | 12:00 PM | SIFF CINEMA UPTOWN

FIFI HOWLS FROM HAPPINESS
Iran-USA-Italy
Genre: Bio-Documentary
THU MAY 22 | 9:30 PM | HARVARD EXIT
FRI MAY 23 | 3:00 PM | SIFF CINEMA UPTOWN

THE FOXY MERKINS
USA
Genre: Comedy
FRI MAY 23 | 9:30 PM | HARVARD EXIT
SUN MAY 25 | 4:00 PM | HARVARD EXIT

FUTURO BEACH
Brazil/Germany
Genre: Romance
FRI JUN 6 | 9:30 PM | SIFF CINEMA UPTOWN
SAT JUN 7 | 11:00 AM | EGYPTIAN

GERONTOPHILIA
Canada
Genre: Coming of Age & Aging
SAT MAY 24 | 9:00 PM | SIFF CINEMA UPTOWN
SUN MAY 25 | 11:00 AM | HARVARD EXIT

LILTING
United Kingdom
Genre: Family Drama
FRI MAY 30 | 7:00 PM | HARVARD EXIT
SAT MAY 31 | 2:00 PM | EGYPTIAN

ME, MYSELF AND MUM
NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
Belgium/France/Spain
Genre: Coming Out & Gender Identity
THU MAY 22 | 9:30 PM | LINCOLN SQUARE
THU MAY 29 | 7:00 PM | EGYPTIAN
SUN JUN 1 | 1:30 PM | SIFF CINEMA UPTOWN

PIERROT LUNAIRE
Germany/Canada
Genre: Experimental
SAT MAY 24 | 10:00 PM | SIFF CINEMA UPTOWN
THU MAY 29 | 10:00 PM | SIFF CINEMA UPTOWN

SALVATION ARMY
Morocco/France
Genre: Coming of Age/Coming Out
TUE MAY 27 | 6:00 PM | SIFF CINEMA UPTOWN
FRI MAY 30 | 2:00 PM | SIFF CINEMA UPTOWN

THE WAY HE LOOKS
Brazil
Genre: Coming of Age
FRI MAY 30 | 9:30 PM | HARVARD EXIT
WED JUN 4 | 4:00 PM | EGYPTIAN

YVES SAINT LAURENT
France
Genre: Biopic Drama
FRI MAY 30 | 8:30 PM | KIRKLAND PC
SAT MAY 31 | 6:30 PM | PACIFIC PLACE

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SIFF 2014: Synopsis & Recommendations
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2014 Summer Preview - May & June
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