Anna Karina in Pierre le Fou


Diana Rigg at the Old Vic

Is there anything Diana Rigg can't do? From James Bond's wife to a veteran stage actor in love with a lesbian drug addict, this actor has proven her versatility and extraordinary acting craft time after time. At the London Old Vic through November 24th, All About My Mother is a dramatic rendition of Pedro Almodóvar's cult film about a mother who loses her son in an accident, fathered by the transsexual Lola.
And just to prove that the attempt to dramatize the film on stage was approved, Aldmodóvar was on hand at the opening nite in London with Penelope Cruz and Cecilia Roth on September 4th, along with quite a few queer folks. Listen to upcoming review of play on October 24th for Movie Magazine International, San Francisco.

Jeanne Moreau in Stockholm

Jeanne Moreau was guest at the Swedish Film Institute on October 6th to honor Ingmar Bergman. She revealed a story about letters to Bergman sent after an unhappy love affair with Louis Malle. They planned on making a film called Monstrous Love, but when Bergman was arrested for a tax violation the film never came to be. Upcoming review of Long Live Bergman Weekend in Stockholm and interview with Jeanne Moreau on Movie Magazine International, San Francisco on October 17.


Farewell Rita Chan!

September 21, 2007

Dear Sister!

There is no one that I have met that so much embodies the North American spirit than you: fun-loving and compassionate, generous and hard-working, courageous and outrageous. You had all these wonderful qualities in spades. And your light never went out. You were a constant fountain of vitality giving to Sweden your gifts, and wherever you went in the world. As you became more and more Swedish, you gave the culture a polish and shine that we will all miss. A wonderful and enchanting light has gone out, but your radiance will always be here in this country.

I am so honored to have you as a friend since the 1980’s and to keep in touch with you through the years on our journeys. I know we missed our roots in the States but we both loved Sweden and Swedish women and that is pretty close to heaven, I think we both agreed. We made this wonderful journey to Stockholm at almost the same time and stuck together through the years. You made it a point to remember my birthday and were there for many of my important life rituals.

So sister countrywoman from Sweden, I salute you, and will always. Thanks for all your networking and brainstorming and support through the years. Thanks for promoting lesbian culture, bringing Holly Near to Sweden, and all your activism for immigrant women in Sweden and the LGBT world. Our film made ten years ago is a living testimony of your humor, your vitality, and your compassion for women. I have it waiting to show you, as you requested last time we met.
You will be deeply missed Rainy. I am so grateful for our time together and in light years, I am moments behind you.

Moira, San Francisco, CALIFORNIA

My thoughts and prayers to Rita’s family: Petra and family, Kicki and Mette and Yvonne.
Tribute to Rita "Rainy" Creighton, September 21, 2007 at Nalen, Stockholm, SWEDEN.


Jodie Foster is Back!

The Brave One directed by Neil Jordan stars Jodie Foster and its her best performance since Silence of the Lambs, 15 years ago. Truly this film puts her out there again, conjuring up memories of the tough girl in Taxi Driver who walks the streets of New York as a precocious preteen. Only this time she is cleaning up the streets of New York, instead of Robert De Niro's "You talking to me?"- Well she doesn’t say that exactly. But when a pimp calls her a Super -"Expletive", she lets him know that he has just met his own private hell.

Erika Bain and her boyfriend Naveen Andrews played by David Kirmani --- take their dog for a walk in the park at night. What’s the harm? There are people sitting on park benches. Well, three street thugs decide to take their dog, brutally assaulting Erika and beating her boyfriend to death. As they assault the young couple the men film the attack. Erika wakes up in intensive care after spending weeks in a coma, thereby missing the funeral of her boyfriend. She works as a radio correspondent and she does a “different” kind of show—socially relevant programs. Her special reports bring her to the attention of Detective Mercer (Terence Howard) who remembers her assault and who is investigating a parallel murder. Erika suffers post-traumatic stress disorder and takes pills for her nerves. But one day she decides she can’t live in fear. And she decides she can’t wait 30 days to get a handgun. She needs it now and badly and in a serious of random crimes she personally observes, she is let into an existence as a vigilante.

The Brave One is a female revenge vehicle and no one is more qualified than Foster. She been pimped out in Taxi Driver, sexually assaulted in The Accused , set up to weasel out information from Hannibal Lector in Silence of the Lambs and go mano e mano with a serial murderer. But after all that, it all gets kind of tame for Foster in pictures. She’s in a western with Richard Geer and a period piece in Siam, but starts up her own production company.

Then the engines seem to roar again with the kind of visceral raw toughness that Foster has in spades. One project is with Mathieu Kassovitz to present La Haine (Hatred) about gang violence in the Parisian suburbs with yet another reference to Travis Bickle and Taxi Driver; she’s locked in a safe house in Panic Room; her daughter is abducted in Flight Plan. The woman has had it all happen to her. It’s all about defending her integrity and her right to be safe. The message of this film comes from post 9/11 New York, and it’s a grim tale about payback and justice. Erika manages to elude the police and everything thinks she’s a guy, but soon the picture starts to flesh itself out.

Death comes unexpectedly and leaves a hole in her heart. Erika needs to reinvent herself she has become another person shaken by senseless violence. Her vengeance becomes a way out and the message is not pretty.

Neil Jordan has directed The Crying Game and Interview with a Vampire. He is fascinated with American violence, as many Europeans who live in relatively safe ethnically homogenous cultures with social welfare programs seem to be. It’s a fascinating subject for the movies, and New York violence is easy to sell. The style for The Brave One is over the top: Both the camerawork and editing convey the confusion and disorder of chaos. Sarah McLaughlin is not a good choice to deliver the film theme, but the song does make it into a love story and tempers the violence. Ironically the Dixie Chicks come up in the film as being too tame for this city. But certainly not Jodie Foster.

Go to "Listening Room" started September 22, 2007 at Movie Magazine International for a broadcast based on this review.


Rita Chan Creighton

Rita (Rainy) Chan Creighton, 1951- 2007

Thanks for the energy, the activism, the support, the friendship through so many years in Stockholm , Rainy. We were the few dual nationals in Stockholm since the 70's and it was always fun to meet you. Thanks for the Holly Near concert, and bringing women's culture to Sweden through the years. Thanks for your motorcycle - your travels in Japan and Europe were truly inspirational.
You touched so many people's lives. Thanks for being active with immigrant women's issues and the first Feminist Party in Sweden F! You caught the flowers at my wedding and were blessed in love many times over all over the world. You were humble and never held a grudge and stood by me all through the years. You will be sorely missed.

"Is That You Hortense?", our film from 1997, will forever immortalize your humor and joy for life.


Jamie Babbit Closes Frameline; Andrea Sperling Receives Frameline 2007 Award

Frameline went out in grand queer cinema style after eleven days of screenings and at the end of San Francisco Pride. Andrea Sperling received the Frameline 2007 Award, citing her influences including Maya Deren. Sperling has produced several award winning gay and lesbian films such as But She's a Cheerleader, and works with Power Up, a LA lesbian entertainment film organization for writers, directors, and producers. Her partner Jamie Babbit closed the festival with her new feature Itty Bitty Titty Committee, also produced by Sperling and aptly named for a young radical feminist group that spray paints institutions and billboards to get women to resist the media campaigns for silicon implants. And a few other things. Like demonstrating against gay marriage - because "marriage is fundamentally a patriarchal institution", earmarking historic town statues that celebrate racists or to create new statues of women who changed the world, like Angela Davis. On hand were the actors of the film and crew such as screenwriter Abigail Shafran. Babbitt referred to the character of Sadie - one of the leads - as a troublemaker, but actress Nicole Vicius countered with good humor, "she's not a troublemaker, she's got holes". The film premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and was nominated for a Teddy Award. Vicius remarked that someone from that festival audience made a similar remark and just hadn't read the character right. I do agree. The film has an LA aura of Born in Flames, though certainly not as radical as its predecessor. There is great possibility in the script however though the director doesn't claim to live according to the radical ideals of her film, the ones which made the audience roar . Babbitt underlined that she is "not a radical feminist". The festival closed with a party at the Swedish American Hall bearing a dark rustic country wholesomeness. I have never seen a building like this ever in Sweden. In attendance was Babbit, Sperling, Vicius and Go Fish and L Word writer and actor Guinivere Turner, who wanted a bigger part in Babbit's world, but "had to settle with a minor role she said since she is no longer in her 20's". Also on hand was French filmmaker Catherine Corringer who presented her film This is the Girl, and the programmer from the Paris Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, Florence Fradelizi, who starred in the film and made a hit with the San Francisco public.


Frameline All Told

Frameline has earned its reputation as a vital festival for queer film. In recent years the agenda has grown to incorporate not only lesbian, gay and bisexual films but transgender subjects. Still the strongest and most economically viable venues are for gays and lesbian, the films that are most heavily attended. Its a huge population out there, and films like Starrbooty (Mike Ruiz) starring Ru Paul, and Nina's Heavenly Delight (Pratibha Parmar , UK) were some of the the biggest heavy hitters at the festival. Ruiz wacky blaxploitation film puts supermodel Starrbooty (Ru Paul) on the trail of an evil woman selling body parts. Parmar who has turned towards features after a successful oeuvre of documentaries tells the story of love between a woman from Glasgow who becomes an Indian restauranteer and one of the staff.
Programmers from festivals all over the world such as Sweden (Göteborg), France (Cineffable and Paris Gay and Lesbian Film Festival and Brazil (Mix Brasil Fest), attend to bring the films to international communities. The festival features 250 films in 11 days with about 200 filmmakers in attendance.

Pride in San Francisco

Its the largest parade of its kind in the world, and over a million spectators and participants lined the streets of San Francisco.The previous day Pride event was no minor event with over 20,000 women in the annual Dyke March walking through the Mission up to the Castro district. The theme of the march was "Health Care for All". Pre-march entertainment was held at Delores Park including the outstanding vocalist Vickie Randle as special guest. In the evening the Castro became a huge block party. Mayor Gavin Newsom was at the head of the June 24th Pride parade, following of course about 400 dykes on bikes, the parade's official starting event. The three and half hour event heralded lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders in all walks of live: teachers, parents, police, firemen and the IT industry and parents and friends of gays and lesbians PFLAG.
Happy PRIDE DAY San Francisco!

Born in Flames Revival at Frameline

Lizzie Borden's Born in Flames from 1983 was shown at Frameline LBGT Festival. Special guest, Hillary Hurst who plays the first captain of the women's army in the film appeared at the screening and spoke about the making of this cult classic. Considered radical already for its time, Born in Flames evokes the spirit of 70's feminism, because it actually began production in 1976, according to Hurst and was seven years in the making. (When more funds became available shooting continued with a second captain - Honey ). The film is set in the future after the socialist revolution in the USA! The socialist party is ineffective however and still unable to provide jobs or stop violence against women. So a women's army is formed, a grass roots movement that patrols on bicycles and intervenes when women are being sexually assaulted or harassed on the subway (Dana Johnson) . The film weaves the connections between of racism, sexism and classicism into a powerful futuristic story that received appreciable recognition by the Frameline public. The film tackles the role of the media, working hand in the hand with the government, in the perpetuation of injustice and an eerie ending which definitely proves to have foreshadowed the future takes place. Eventually the army takes over a TV station to interrupt a Presidential broadcast advocating "wages for housewives". A film is forced under gunpoint with the message that women are in far greater need of equal opportunities in the job market than housework.

See film review of "Born in Flames", by Moira Jean Sullivan


Susan Stryker Said...

Susan Stryker is a well known transsexual activist in San Francisco and is one of the most vocal on the Frameline decision. Stryker has both supported the Frameline decision to pull The Gendercator , that Frameline was not an appropriate venue , and also believed it was important to screen it. This letter appeared in Left in San Francisco.

  1. Susan Stryker Says:

    "I obtained a copy of the film, viewed it, and corresponded with Catherine Crouch before making any comment.

    I decided to support this petition because Frameline, as an LGBT inclusive organization, is not the appropriate venue for this sort of work. The film expresses a long-familiar anti-transgender polemic: the idea that transsexuals are anti-gay, anti-feminist political reactionaries who collude with repressive social and cultural power; furthermore, that transsexuals are complicit in the non-consensual bodily violation of women.

    The ideas in the film echo the rhetoric of Janice Raymond’s Transsexual Empire (1979), which goes so far as to claim that Nazis invented transsexual surgery, that transsexuals are agents of a patriarchal conspiracy to replace biologically female women, to accuse all transsexuals of being rapists (because they represent an “unwanted penetration” of women’s space), and to argue in a eugenic fashion that transsexuals should be “morally mandated out of existence.”

    Raymond’s book, and the film, engage in the paranoid fantasy that what transsexuals do to their own bodies is somehow a threat to the bodies of nontranssexual women, that the very existence of transsexuals will somehow “force” a nontranssexual woman to have her body violated through some sort of compulsory and unwanted transformation–it’s the same structure of fantasy that imagines that all black men want to rape white women, that gays are predatory pedophiles, that communists are secretly infiltrating our government, that terrorists are swarming across our borders, that drug pushers are constantly trying to hook our kids, and so on ad nauseum. The film projects fear onto an “alien other” and then condemns that other for reflecting back that fear to the person who has projected it there in the first place.

    The director’s comments on the website betray a profound ignorance of the on-going, sophisticated conversations among feminist, queer, and trans activists and scholars about medicalization, pathologization, body modification, and other related issues–and frankly, for that matter, about misogyny and sexism within transgender communities and discourse. Her remarks suggest that she assumes she’s knows what best for other people, and that people who have made different choices than her, or felt different needs, or found other ways to be happy, self-fulfilled, productive members of society, are “distorted.” Sadly, that’s a move that liberal feminism has made many times, and it has only and always served to reinforce the privilege of the most advantaged populations of women, and to extend the repressive apparatus of sovereign power to the detriment of those on the margins. I have no qualms about working as actively as possible against such forms of feminism, and refuse to let such forms of feminism claim to represent feminism in its totality.

    But to return to the matter at hand, I personally think that sponsoring a “special screening” of Gendercator in San Francisco, perhaps sponsored by Frameline as part of its public process for dealing with the controversy, contextualized by a moderated panel discussion and presentations on the history of the issues involved, would provide an excellent opportunity to advance discussion on this matter. I guarantee, however, that any discussion in San Francisco would not be the one the filmmaker seems to think she would instigate. She would not be bringing the truth to poor confused transsexuals who would suddenly say, “Gee, it never dawned on me that I was embodying a distorted cultural norm.” She would be further mobilizing an already highly articulate, politically engaged, progressive community of queer/trans people to hold a homocentric GLB(T) to higher standards of accountability on trans issues, and to further isolate an increasingly isolated strand of anti-transsexual lesbian feminism.

    For that reason, while I support Frameline’s decision to pull the film as inappropriate for their mission, I truly regret that the film will not be shown. I hope it finds another venue where it will be subjected to the rigorous critique it so richly deserves.

    Susan Stryker

Frameline31 San Francisco Pulls Lesbian Film from Lineup

For the first time in 31 years, Frameline, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Film Festival in San Francisco (June 14-24), has taken an invited film out of the program. The Gendercator (USA 2007) has been pulled for being "transphobic", originally scheduled for screening on June 15th . Protesters brandishing picket signs stood outside of the Roxie Theater with tape over their mouths. The artistic director of the Frameline festival, Michael Lumpkin, appeared at the opening of the screening to explain that the decision to "OUT" Catherine Crouch's The Gendercator (USA 2007) came about due to pressure from the transgender community and underlined that "the decision to remove it was the correct one". Frameline programmer Jennifer Morris also stands by the decision claiming that the publicity released on the film by director Catherine Crouch and on her own website is "transphobic". Frameline's press release on May 22: "After considerable dialogue with members of the transgender community and after careful consideration of the issues raised by Catherine Crouch’s film The Gendercator, Frameline has decided not to screen The Gendercator in Frameline31. Given the nature of the film, the director’s comments, and the strong community reaction to both, it is clear that this film cannot be used to create a positive and meaningful dialogue within our festival. We are grateful to the many Frameline members, filmmakers and Transgender community leaders who brought this issue to our attention and assisted Frameline’s senior staff in making this important decision." The late night program (10.30 pm) was not sold out ( 30% seating capacity) and its hard to say how much of a factor the controversy over the film had on the screening. In my experience, experimental work at festivals is never sold out and is always about 30% seating capacity.

The protest to yank the film began by an online petition organized by New Left in San Francisco, a popular local internet forum. Prior to the screening about 130 signatures were collected. Only six of the protestors had actually seen the film. In Frameline's press release regarding the removal of The Gendercator they also revealed that they have partnered for screenings with Female to Male International, headed by president Rabi Levi Alter, the largest longest running organization serving the FTM community. There are about twenty films about transgenders featured at Frameline this year. The documentary Gender Redesigner (USA 2007) concerns the sexual reassignment surgery of "fAe", an FTM (female to male) transgender including interviews with the medical establishment that performs his double masectomy and a video journal during and after the procedure . Both the director Jonny Berggman and fAe, who has since relocated to San Francisco, were present at the Q&A. fAe , a transformer who also started a women's band called The Sex Combs spoke of the strong transcommunity in San Franciso.

Support for Crouch's film was visible outside the screening of the pre-empted film. Flyers (see above) were passed out to the perhaps 50 people attending the screening where The Gendercator was originally slated yet without any contact information for a specific action group.

The Gendercator was included in the "OUTer Limits" screening in a program of experimental and visionary filmmakers. The film is no longer searchable on the Frameline website and has disappeared from the radar. But in the program catalogue the film remains:
"In The Gendercator, a woman emerges from a pile of leaves to find her last memory is from 1978. Good acid, or is it 2048"? Four other films were part of the "OUTer Limits" program.
Frameline framed this venue as following. "Tripped-out futuristic lesbians! Sword-wielding S&M nuns! Cannibalism! Trannies in space! Welcome to the outer limits of queer filmmaking in this series of shorts by five visionary filmmakers clearly weaned on sci-fi and fantasy films". With emphasis on "queer filmmaking" and "outer limits", a case can be made that Frameline did know what it was programming.

When Frameline accepted Crouch's film, it was programmed together with: Agnieszka- a Dark Symphony of 2030, Martin Gauvreau 2007 Poland , The Incredible Dyke, Kurt Koehler & James Edward, 2007 USA ( how many dykes look like these dykes?--Frameline category: "Butch/Femme Issues") Transgender Express, Laure Schwarz 2007, Switzerland, Sister Satan, Viva Ruis 2007 USA and Transneptune or the Fall of Pandora, Drag Queen Cosmonaut, Matthew Long 2007. All of the films feature stereotypical iconography such as a huge green lesbian that beats up bad dykes in a bar or floating doped up transgenders.
Film and artistic expression are subjective experiences. Without the opportunity to view a film we are forced to go by the experience of what others "see" and "interpret". Newfest chose to screen The Gendercator despite controversy with this perspective in mind and that an LGBT festival should have room for the perspectives of filmmakers from the spectrum of this community. Because of "descriptions" of imagery and content on Crouch's website, The Gendercator has provoked the transgender community in San Francisco though a screening has yet to take place. Thus, the largest LGBT film festival in the world, Frameline, has made a controversial move.

Catherine Crouch's short The Gendercator (shot in Super 8 and miniDV) features lesbian "Sunshine Sally "(Emily Wood). After celebrating the 1973 victory of Billy Jean King over Bobby Riggs she passes out under a tree. She awakens in 2048 to an era where feminism has failed. Sex roles and gender expression are not only binary, they are enforced by law and convention. Butch women and sissy men are out and Sunshine Sally has to choose a strict gender role. Sexual reassignment surgery works in hand with the government to enforce binary gender choices.
Catherine Crouch describes the piece as a “satire about female body modification and gender.” According to the director, “more and more often, we see young heterosexual women carving their bodies into porno Barbie dolls and lesbian women altering themselves into transmen. Our distorted cultural norms are making women feel compelled to use medical advances to change themselves, instead of working to change the world. This is one story, showing one possible scary future. I am hopeful that this story will foster discussion about female body modification and medical ethics". Crouch says that the films is about lesbians, not transexuals.

The New York Association for Gender Rights Advocacy (NYAGRA) believes that Crouch inaccurately portrays transgenders and was surprised that The Gendercator was screened at the recent New York Newfest. NYAGRA's mission " advocates freedom of gender identity and expression for all". The San Francisco transgender position is that one's artistic freedom in the LGBT context can not be at the expense of another group.

Pulling this invited film has had a negative impact on a productive low budget and independent lesbian filmmaker with nine films previously screened at Frameline.
There is a divided feeling in San Francisco that the film should have been screened. According to Jennifer Morris, "there would be no point in a screening of the film with a discussion since it would so clearly offend half the audience". How is it possible to make a judgment like this without extending the public the opportunity to see the film? Art has historically generated discussion and it is within the nature of art to "offend" through the use of metaphor and personal expression. There are countless examples of artists that have "offended": Charlie Chaplin, Robert Mapelthorpe, Antonin Artaud, and Andres Serrano ("Piss Christ"). Morris pointed out that the film can still be screened and has been screened at other ("transphobic") venues. One of the venues for The Gendercator, she points out, is the "transphobic Michigan Womyn's Festival". Screening a film should not constitute a "transphobic" position or make a festival "transphobic". That is an important question for all future LGBT festivals.

The majority of the people who signed the New Left petition had not seen The Gendercator. Efforts are being made by Ondine Kilker to bring Catherine Crouch and The Gendercator to San Francisco in the fall. Catherine has made herself available to interviews and said she is open to discussion. (Listen to interview by Moira Sullivan with Catherine Crouch on Movie Magazine International, July 11, 9pm , or the national broadcast July 13-20.)

Moira Sullivan
FIPRESCI Federation of International Film Critics


Third Queer Women of Color Film Festival, San Francisco, 2003

The third Queer Women of Color Film Festival kicked off June 8 in San Francisco for a three day run, a festival that amazingly is free of charge. The inaugural night featured a presentation of filmmakers with work on the subject of immigration. And yes we do have our "Dykeback Mountain", (Laurie Koh,"Where's Our Dykeback Mountain? LGBT media at the crossroads", The Magazine of Film Arts Foundation July/August 2006 ). This is it, the films that defy mainstream and are the deep tributaries, according to Jewel Gomez, Village Voice critic, author of The Gilda Stories and guest panelist of the festival.

Which is to say, shorts. But not short by any means. And the executive director of the festival Madeleine Lim and development and events manager T. Kebo Drew made us all feel at home, inviting us to meals in the foajé and a upstairs fundraiser with the filmmakers and sponsors before the evening program. Lim is a Bay Area filmmaker and trains queer women of color on how to make films in the "Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project" supported by grants. The candidates work out a film proposal close to home and the result is this rich and exceptional festival, which in part helps to pay for the education of these talented filmmakers. Lim believes that women have stories to tell, whether about their origins, or their relatives or those ex girlfriends. Letting Go of An Attachment by Joy Lam, 2006 turned out to be a therapeutic film about a relationship that didn't seem to amount to really anything of substance , but it took the filmmaker six years to find out it wasn't "love". It is the beauty of this sharp audience to reinforce that awareness who warmly scrutinized the dialogue between the two women--and were they relieved when the character that plays Lam walked out!

We don't all need to reinvent The L Word. This festival proves there is a vast terrain of subjects out there which are personal to the lives of queer women. That is Lim's aim. While Jamie Babbitt (Itty Bitty Titty Committee, 2007) and Angela Robinson (D.E.B.S. 2006) lead with their left, its just a matter of time till we have more features out there too, and much of the work indicates the potential. Details Magazine published a report, oh, about 14 years ago, that if a film appealed to a lesbian spectator, the box office revenue went up 10 %. That is what landed Rose Troche (Go Fish, 1995) a spot in Hollywood who has since then directed , well, she did make some L-Word segments - and a film selected to the San Sebastian Film Festival, The Safety of Objects ( 2001).

This particular festival of short films and docs is the work of women of color and this year there was a special focus on queer black women's films and filmmakers, over 40 films. Amazingly there was some criticism about that, the kind of logic that defies logic something like, if you only screen queer black women's work not as many will come. 

Well, I don't think so, there wasn't a seat left in the Brava Theater in the Mission for the second day!

These films will also be shown at the Frameline LGBT Film Festival slated for June 14-24 and director Jennifer Morris and Cheryl Dunyé were on hand for this three day fest. 

And the films had a breathtaking array of themes: Ersulie's Tears about the beauty of this loa of the Vodoun spirit religion (Mary Ann Brooks, 2007) talking flowers - Flower Fokes (Belinda Sullivan, 2007) , the tranquility of meditation - Acts of Love (Crystal John, 2007), watch out how you treat your Mammy! - The Saint (Erin Wood, 2007) and self criticism in filmmaking - Wallow (Sarah Beth Harris, 2006).

A panel discussion on queer black women in film featured Watermelon Woman and Stranger Inside herself Cheryl Dunye, back from Amsterdam after three years to make some more films in the JUESSAY, the queer programmer for Sundance Shari Frilot and Tina Mabry - Brooklyn's Bridge to Jordan, and co-writer Itty Bitty Titty Committee.

 The final day of screenings at the Brava Theater included shorts of subjects such as military fashion in Fashion Resistance to Militarism (Kimberly Alvarenga, 2006), corn allergies and a Chinese girl growing up in the midwest Local Grown Corn (Mel Chen, 2007) - I know now why I have always hated Corn Flakes! 
- and a provocative film on female rivalry and women loving women That's Why I Hate Females (Vassilisa Johri, 2007).

One of the most spirited debates occurred after the screening of Against our Better Nature on the subject of the death penalty (Kenya Briggs, 2006). The filmmaker's position is that we just don't have to kill to create justice.
The evening show presented films about love and family, including the poignant It Takes a Village ... (Kiki Zerrudo, 2007) about a queer mom raising a son, required viewing for every lucky boy with such a loving mom and circle of friends as well as a tribute to an 11 year relationship, the philosophical and playful Eleven (Arwyn Moore, 2006). 

Probably every long term relationship would benefit from a screening of Eleven, it makes you proud to have a partner like Moore.
Mel Chen presented a magnifiqué plan for the distribution of queer women's cinema, soon to be in the pipelines: "QTPI Media". If you make it, let's it distributed!
Interviews with some of the directors and a report of the festival is scheduled for Movie Magazine International , broadcast on KUSF San Francisco. June 27 and later on the internet. Stay tuned!

Festival Poster.


National Queer Arts Festival, San Francisco Kicks Off

The National Queer Arts Festival kicks off this weekend with a QBall from 6 to midnite at the at the Queer Cultural Center in San Francisco. Look forward to a month of events from June 1 to 30th and over 300 artists in over 50 venues. Where else but San Francisco can this manifestation occur, the mecca of the LGBT univerise - worldwide. At the ball, Nedra Johnson will launch the release of her newest CD Nedra, a 2006 OUTMUSIC Award winning, mix of R&B, funk, rock and gospel.

Some of the headliners for this year's arts festival are comedian Marga Gomez and graphic artist Alison Bechdel. Gomez will present her latest show on June 30th Marga Gomez & The Boys with special guests Kenny Yun (winner of Russian River Comedy Competition) and Ronn Vigh (a male Joan Rivers, seen on Last Comic Standing.) Gomez will also include a quick study of Pride 2007.

Alison Bechdel, cartoonist/writer of the beloved comic Dykes to Watch Out and Fun Home will do a public reading on June 6th together with other queer writers: Lenelle Moise (Haitian-American performance poet) and Cherry Muhanji (author of the novel Her) and Ariel Schrag (comic artist and L Word writer).
Also slated for June 6th is a dual channel video installation based on Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1972 Sci-Fi mystery, Solaris. Rudy Lemcke is behind the project which has been presented in venues such as Frameline, The Mix Festival (New York), & Festival Nemo (Paris). Lemcke presents a queer reading of this film classic, exploring the tension between technology’s endless quest for utopian dreams versus the frailty and limitations of human love.

The Queer Women of Color Film Festival will take place June 8-10 with 32 new films in 4 film programs in a tableau of queer women of color from queer Asian to Latino women.

Best of the Bay drag king troupe The Transformers have rounded up an eclectic mix of drag kings, queens, and burlesque artists from the Bay Area and beyond. With performances by Landa Lakes, Kentucky Fried Woman, The Citizen Kings, and Jay Walker. MC: Micia Mosely June 13th.

San Francisco Pride has slated a special comedy night hosted by Karen Ripley with Lisa Geduldig and other favorites on June 23, just in time to pre-operations for the 37th magnifiqué and legendary SF Gay Pride Parade, the mother of us all.


Lesbian National Center for Lesbian Rights Celebrates 30 with Martina Navratilova

San Francisco´s most prestigious lesbian rights gala was held on May 12 at Fort Mason with valet parking, black tie and evening gowns. The dinner and dance with rope and trapeze acts was a fundraiser for the National Center for Lesbian Rights with entertainment by Montuno Groove and the Twilight Vixen Ruvue. Emcee Kate Clinton awarded Martina Navratilova the Voice and Visibility Award, for demonstrating extraordinary commitment to strengthening and empowering the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. Also honored at the gala was the gay British NBA player John Amaechi.
The NCLR is a national legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education.


Zoe Cassavetes Makes a Movie

One of the directors in town for the 50th San Francisco International Film Festival is Zoe Cassavetes, daughter of the legendary independent film duo John Cassavetes and Gena Rowlands. Her new feature, Broken English, stars Parker Posey as Nora Wilder, a 30-ish woman in Manhattan who is looking for "the relationship". She is cheered on by Audrey, Drea de Matteo, who is in a "boring" five year marriage. Nora seems to fall fast, confusing attraction with love and has a lot of baggage from her past that requires prescription medication. One day she meets Julienne (Melvil Poupaud whose film Melvil was selected to the 2006 Cannes Fortnight) equally shipwrecked after girlfriend moves into new relationship as soon as they hit NYC. A trip to Paris under the pretext to find the "bon vivant" when he leaves town is made, at least initially, but Cassavetes surprises us all. The 30-ish helmer reveals, " I didn't want to make a romantic comedy, its just turned out that way". She wrote the script and some of the film is improvisational, in part thanks to the wit and acumen of Parker Posey, fabulous in the role. Cassavetes has shown us with this first debut feature that she knows how to make a movie and has struck out on her own. Broken English debuted at Sundance this year and will be released in San Francisco in June. Review upcoming with interview on Movie Magazine International. Stay tuned.