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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, June 10, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 24
Movie Reviews
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
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Brides to Be World Premiere to be held at Twist of Pride Film Festival June 17 @ 10pm
Honeyglue also opens at SIFF Film Center June 17
Twist of Pride Film Festival (June 15-19) is proud to present the theatrical World Premiere of Brides to Be, a film by Kris and Lindy Boustedt, on Friday, June 17, at 10 p.m. at the SIFF Cinema Egyptian (805 E. Pine St.). Tickets: $10.

Robin & Jenna are getting married. Robin is excited beyond words; Jenna is plagued by panic attacks and struggles to write her vows. But when they arrive at their secluded fairy-tale venue sinister forces besiege them, threatening to tear them apart.

Brides to Be is both a love story and a psychological thriller, a timeless romance and a haunted house. Skillfully mixing genres, it explores how doubt and fear can be imposed upon us and infect us from within, but only if we let it.



We (Kris & Lindy Boustedt) strive to tell fascinating, entertaining stories about compelling women. Brides To Be is no exception. With the successes of our short films Practical Things and Together Forever (dozens of festival screenings, awards and over 3M views on YouTube as of this writing), we knew we wanted to return to positive-representation Queer 2.0 storytelling - stories about great characters who are also Gay.

First and foremost, Brides to Be is a character study of Jenna as she embarks on a journey of self-discovery. On the eve of her nuptials, something is tearing at her and she's unable to write her vows. She loves Robin, she wants to marry her, but she's also unsure of her own identity and place in the world - she's worried about losing her sense of self when the ampersand becomes permanent in Robin & Jenna.

It's also a supernatural drama, a classic haunted house film - shot in an actual haunted mansion. In the style of films like Ti West's The Innkeepers or Roman Polanski's Repulsion, Brides to Be is about the creeping dread of our own insecurities, doubts and anxieties writ large through supernatural - and terrifying - activity. But we want to buck a trend of the genre by having the main characters be women with their own stories, strengths and vulnerabilities (instead of being props or screams) and feature non-exploited, non-marginalized, non-fetishized Lesbian characters.

And it's an allegory for the way hatred and fear infect our lives, zeroing in on homophobia and the continued resistance to marriage equality. Our favorite horror films are those that offer social commentary, that make us question the status quo of existence. After all, as Ryan Levin says, good horror provides a 'satisfying catharsis for the constraints, expectations and falsified desires that society imposes on its members (or that its members happily take upon themselves). Horror done right has an underlying social metaphor' (Ryan Levin, The Man in the Movie Hat).

The engine of it all is simple: the relationships between Jenna and Robin and Jenna and Nate, the friend she's had since childhood. Relationships that allow the audience to explore fundamental questions of the human condition: who are we, what do we want, are we alone?

But above all, it's a story about the power of love.

Our Film Family
We (Kris & Lindy Boustedt) have been making films together since we met 13 years ago and this is our third feature film as a team under our company First Sight Productions. Our goals are simple. Create quality, exportable, audience-centric experiences with great characters that inspire. We strive to create films that expose constructive truths, truths hidden just beneath the surface of entertainment - engrossing, emotional and engaging experiences.

We live and dream cinema. If we could, we'd eat, drink and breathe it. We have devoted our lives to this art form, its study and creation, and we're not stopping anytime soon. Since filmmaking is our life, we've spent the past 13 years building our film family. They've been with us on many of our films and it's because of them and their immense talent that we've been successful.

THE FIRST PART OF OUR FAMILY is the talent you see on the screen - our actors: Carollani Sandberg - Jenna; Angela DiMarco - Robin; Jesse Lee Keeter - Nate; Linas Phillips - Bob.

THE SECOND PART OF OUR FAMILY is the talent behind the camera. - our crew: Jonathan Houser - Director of Photography; Marisa Brown - UPM/Assistant Director; Kit Boyer - 1st AC; Nathan Beykovsky - Gaffer; Chris Tomkins - DIT/Grip/Colorist; Jon Goff - Sound Recordist/Sound Designer; Eric Goetz - Boom Operator/Composer; Kristen Bonnalie-Hooberman - Production Design/Wardrobe; Jonelle Cornwell & Cherelle Ashby - Hair/Makeup/SFX; Amy Goetz - Catering.

THE THIRD AND MOST IMPORTANT PART OF OUR FAMILY IS YOU.
We wouldn't be here without our audience of supporters. We craft these stories for you and together we can make this film one we can all be proud of.

Courtesy of First Sight Productions

HONEYGLUE

After learning that she has three months left to live, Morgan turns her protected middle class life upside down. That's when she meets Jordan, a rebellious, gender-defying artist, and together they embark on an adventure of a lifetime. With a hand-held camera, the pair document their time together, creating a lasting record of what - and who - really matters in life.

With superb and fearless performances by newcomers Adriana Mather and Zach Villa, and a stellar supporting cast that includes Booboo Stewart and Amanda Plummer, Honeyglue is a thoroughly modern love story without labels. Zombot Pictures and writer/director James Bird take a raw look at mortality, but the result is a celebration of life, leaving the viewer with a finer appreciation of the excitement, compassion, and powerful love that are available to those brave enough to claim them.

Opens June 17th at SIFF Film Center in the Northwest Rooms north of Key Arena (near the corner of Republican St. & Warren Ave. N., down the stairs, next to The Vera Project). www.siff.net

Writer/Director James Bird, Producer/Actress Adriana Mather and Producer/Composer Anya Remizova in attendance opening night!

'A hopeful, messy, touching film about certain death.' - Patton Oswalt

Courtesy of SIFF Cinema


PRIDE MONTH EVENTS WITH THREE DOLLAR BILL CINEMA
More to see in Seattle this June than ever before!
For complete information, visit http://www.threedollarbillcinema.org/

QUEER FAN NIGHTS!
We've teamed up with the Northwest Film Forum (1511 12th Ave) for a Pride month series will make you cheer with delight! It's an eclectic mix of fan favorites, hosted by avid queer fans ready to share (and defend) their picks.

Thursday nights at 8pm. Kick off each night with a pre-show happy hour in the theatre lobby starting at 7pm.

June 9 - Horror Night: A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 (Hosted by Scott & Lance); June 16 - Anna Nicole Smith Night: To the Limit (Hosted by John Criscitello); June 23 - Melodrama Night: Imitation of Life (Hosted by The Lady B)l June 30 - Eurovision Night: Iconic song performances (Hosted by Richard & Kevin).

Tickets: $11 general; $8 student/senior; $6 NWFF and Three Dollar Bill Cinema members.

TWIST OF PRIDE FILM FESTIVAL
The second annual TWIST of Pride Film Festival runs June 15-19.

A part of Seattle PrideFest, this festival features some of the best films and award winners from Three Dollar Bill Cinema's past year as well as new Seattle and World premieres!

June 15 @ Central Cinema (1411 21st Ave), June 16 @ Northwest Film Forum (1515 12th Ave), and June 17-19 @ SIFF Cinema Egyptian Theatre (805 E Pine St).

June 15 (CC) - Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars @ 8pm; June 16 (NWFF) - To The Limit @ 8pm; June 17 (Egyptian) - Crocodile Tears @ 7:30pm; Brides to Be (World Premiere) @ 10pm; June 18 (Egyptian) - Best Shorts (Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival/Twist 2015 and Translations Festival faves) @ 12pm; Naz and Maalik (Top Feature Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival/Twist 2015) @ 2pm; Portrait of a Serial Monogamist @ 4:30pm; Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures @ 8pm; Rocky Horror Picture Show @ midnight ($12); June 19 (Egyptian) - Major (Top Documentary Translations Festival 2016) @ 1pm; Last Men Standing (Seattle Premiere) at 4pm; (Robbie) Turner Classic Movies at 7pm.

Festival Pass: $75. Single tickets: $10, except $11 for To The Limit $11 and $12 for Rocky Horror Picture Show. http://www.seattlepridefest.org/twistofpride/

THE GAYZER LASER LIGHT SHOW RETURNS!
After a popular debut in 2015, the Pacific Science Center & Three Dollar Bill Cinema are bringing back the Gayzer Laser Light Show to the Pacific Science Center Laser Dome at Seattle Center!

Start your Saturday night right on June 25, or chill out after Sunday's Pride festivities. It's a collection of hit songs by LGBT artists and icons with a stunning visual display. Fun for all ages!

Saturday, June 25 and Sunday, June 26 @ 6pm. Tickets available at (800) 664-8775 or via https://www.pacificsciencecenter.org/

AND THAT'S NOT ALL...
THE FIERCE AWAKENS

Summer Movies in Cal Anderson Park - Presented by Alaska Airlines

August 5 - Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same; August 12 - Spaceballs; August 19 - Barbarella; August 26 - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Mark your calendar for the fiercest Outdoor Cinema series in Seattle! Free admission. Movies begin at dusk.

Courtesy of Three Dollar Bill Cinema


Hubris and narcissism run amok in captivating Weiner
by Sara Michelle Fetters - SGN A&E Writer

WEINER
Now playing


At a certain point in the illuminating, uncomfortably honest documentary Weiner, director Josh Kriegman is overheard asking his subject, former U.S. Congressman and 2013 New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner, why it is he ever allowed Kriegman and his co-director Elyse Steinberg to document his campaign. The look on Weiner's face is devastating, filled with anguish and heartbreak, all of it brought on by his own actions, speaking volumes, the answer to the question painfully obvious and incontrovertibly perplexing both at the exact same time.

The congressman's initial fall from grace is the stuff of legend. His 2011 sexting scandal along with his bizarre, clueless attempts at covering it up, first by saying his Twitter account was hacked, next by lying about the images being sent, then saying he wouldn't resign, then saying he would, then going back and forth who knows how many more times before ultimately stepping down from office, it was political suicide broadcast live for all to see. Yet, two years later it appeared as if Weiner had somehow put it all behind him, saving his marriage to Hillary Clinton confidant Huma Abedin while at the same time making it appear as if he were a viable Democratic candidate for New York City mayor.

It was a given his sexting scandal would end up becoming a part of the campaign. What wasn't was that Weiner would find himself embroiled in a whole different version of it, more women, texts and pictures coming into the light of day just as it appears he had redeemed himself in the public eye. Yet it is what happens next that truly throws Kriegman and Steinberg's documentary into the land of the surreal. Allowed unprecedented access to the candidate, his staff and, most of all, his family, the meltdown that happens in the campaign is positively massive, Weiner become a prime example of truth being stranger than fiction on an almost unimaginable scale.

Did Weiner break any laws? No. Did anything he do rise to the same level as what Dennis Hastert or John Edwards were caught doing? No. Did he run off to Central America with a mistress and then lie about it to his constituency? No. Were any of his actual political points made less valid by his indiscretions? No. Even so, Weiner was, maybe still is, his own worst enemy, his inability to talk coherently about his problems, get professional help for addictions and, most of all, just stop texting images of himself to women from the waist down who were not his wife unsurprisingly leading directly to his downfall.

Weiner works best as political theater, not as an incisive, thought-provoking analysis of modern campaigns. In other words, The War Room this is not. Granted, the chances that it could have been are derailed the moment a new round of texts and images come to light and the candidate and his staff fumble about trying to figure out what to do. As such, Kriegman and Steinberg end up with a bird's eye view of hubris and narcissism run amok, their subject melting down so completely those around him, including his wife Abedin, a woman who likes to run things from the sidelines and not be caught standing in the center of the spotlight herself, are in virtual awe that he can be this enormously clueless.

And so that moment comes, a brief little aside when reality appears to be finally dawning on Weiner; and Kriegman can't help but ask why he was allowed to keep shooting, he and Steinberg given an unprecedented level of access even as the campaign itself had disintegrated into a laughingstock. The candidate can't answer, doesn't know how to answer, his inability to put two thoughts together and come up with a coherent response speaking volumes. Weiner shows, without embellishment, without cinematic sleight of hand, that a person's worst enemy remains themselves; and no matter how good the ideas might be or how righteous the convictions to help those in need undeniably are, all of that and more can be made instantaneously irrelevant just by the push of a cell phone button.




Naughty Popstar an uneven, if funny, music industry satire
by Sara Michelle Fetters - SGN A&E Writer

POPSTAR:
NEVER STOP NEVER STOPPING
Now playing


There's not a lot I can say about Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping. A rambunctious satire of the music business and the nature and pursuit of celebrity in a social media age, this is the type of comedy where you either find what it's doing to be amusing or you scan around the theatre perplexed wondering what all the fuss is about. The film is a 'Saturday Night Live' endeavor in that it often feels like a never-ending series of extended skits tethered together one after the other, the hit-to-miss ratio entirely dependent on how one responds to each gag individually.

The film is the brainchild of Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone (both of whom also direct) and Andy Samberg, a.k.a. The Lonely Island, the three collaborators drawing inspiration from mock documentaries like This is Spinal Tap and Waiting for Guffman in the chronicling of Justin Bieber-like superstar Conner4Real and his fall from grace. As portrayed by Samberg, Conner is the ultimate dimwitted man-child, an egotistical know-nothing who believes there's nothing at all offensive about crafting a rousing protest song supporting Gay marriage and LGBT rights even if every other lyric reminds the listener he's as straight as they come. He also sees nothing wrong with composing a love song that compares sleeping with a beautiful woman to SEAL Team Six's raid on Osama Bin Laden's compound, and as such seems genuinely stunned when sales of his latest album go straight into the toilet.

Schaffer, Taccone and Samberg were responsible for some of the best musical-comedy moments 'Saturday Night Live' has ever seen, songs like 'I'm on a Boat' and 'Dick in a Box' unquestionably hysterical. As such, the musical numbers are close to extraordinary, that Macklemore and Ryan Lewis send-up piece borderline brilliant. There is also a terrific Beastie Boys-sounding riff at the beginning of the film, Conner making a name for himself alongside his two best friends Owen (Taccone) and Lawrence (Schaffer) in a group called The Style Boyz before selfishly going off on a solo career after he becomes a sex symbol and they do not.

But all of the music, as ribald, vulgar and blatantly offensive as it might be, is wonderful, each song and performance a witty, rib-tickling assault on the senses that had me laughing out loud. The final massive number is a sensational affair featuring cameos from a pair of pop music titans, a Left Shark jab at Katy Perry and enough manic energy from Samberg, Taccone and Schaffer to fuel seven faux documentaries, not just one of them. It sent me out of the theatre on a massive high, initially making me forget about all the dull spots and dry spells as I couldn't help but keep giggling thinking about what it was I had just seen and heard.

Yet, there are a lot of dull spots. Additionally, there potentially might be even more dry spells. Like a lot of scattershot comedies, especially ones with even a passing connection to 'Saturday Night Live,' some gags go on far past their expiration date, overstaying their welcome long after the laughs have come to an end. Then there are the jokes that just fall flat on their face, ones where you can see the seeds have been planted to grow something humorous but for whatever reason the gosh darn flower just refuses to blossom.

As such, it comes as no surprise that some of the numerous cameos or guest appearances are sublime (the look on Pink's face during the Gay marriage number had me in stitches, and Usher's reaction to taking the stage to do The Style Boyz's signature dance move is just about priceless), but others barely register to the point why those involved even took the gig in the first place is a question I couldn't find a decent answer for (Joan Cusack, as Conner's mother, is particularly wasted in a throwaway role). It's almost as if Samberg, Taccone and Schaffer were making some of this stuff up as they were shooting it; and while this gives things a loosey-goosey ambiance that's sometimes endearing, it isn't enough so to mask the obvious imperfections muddying up their comedy mirror.

There isn't a lot in the way of consistency as far as Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping is concerned, and when the characters stop singing, the lull between numbers is rather immense. But Samberg, Taccone and Schaffer are smart, talented guys, and while they don't rise to Christopher Guest-like heights they do get just close enough to make me think this Lonely Island trio might get there sooner rather than later. There's just enough that's glorious here to make giving this satirical send-up a worthwhile look, and whether that happens at the theatre for a matinee or at home via a rental I think I'll just have to leave up to those reading this review to decide on their own.


Edmonds Center for the Arts presents Mandy Patinkin on June 22
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PNB's 'American Stories' stay airborne all evening
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Stick Fly launches Intiman's celebration of African-American women playwrights
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ACT Theatre presents The Mystery of Love and Sex
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WHITE PARTY SEATTLE 2016 - June 24, 2016
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CORRECTION:
John Carpenter's 'Lost Themes' concert coming to the Paramount June 14

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Tulip Festival seeks poster artists
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OUTBOUND: New flights to Guadalajara and Shenzen out of Sea-Tac launching soon
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Seattle Pride is an expression of our Constitutional rights
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Band of Horses, Azealia Banks coming this summer to Seattle
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Brides to Be World Premiere to be held at Twist of Pride Film Festival June 17 @ 10pm
Honeyglue also opens at SIFF Film Center June 17

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PRIDE MONTH EVENTS WITH THREE DOLLAR BILL CINEMA
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Hubris and narcissism run amok in captivating Weiner
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