From June 21–24, the Walker Art Center presents
, a series showcasing independent work from international and emerging filmmakers who have crafted bold, audacious, and visually stunning new films. With the success of such films as Brokeback Mountain and Transamerica as well as the emergence of gay cable channels Here! and Logo, there has been much exposure for queer cinema. While these triumphs are notable, many challenging and new works are passing under the radar. Queer Takes opens on Wednesday, June 21, at 7 pm, with Ramon Salazar’s 20 Centimeters, followed at 9:15 pm by Anahí Berneri’s A Year without Love (Un Año sin amor), winner of the 2005 Teddy Award for best gay feature film at the Berlin Film Festival. On Thursday, June 22, at 7 and 9 pm, as part of the Walker’s Target Free Thursday Nights, are two free programs of shorts which provide a light look into queer sexuality across the globe. The series continues on Friday, June 23, at 7 pm, with Time to Leave (Le Temps qui reste), directed by François Ozon, followed by Cam Archer’s Wild Tigers I Have Known, produced by Gus Van Sant, at 9 pm. The final night of the series features Kyle Schickner’s Strange Fruit at 7 pm, followed by Julián Hernández’ Broken Sky (El cielo dividido) at 9 pm.
Unless otherwise noted, all films are $8 ($6 Walker members) and are presented in the Walker Cinema. Tickets are available at walkerart.org/tickets or by calling 612.375.7600.
Wednesday, June 21
20 Centimeters, 7 pm
Directed and written by Ramon Salazar
Marieta is transitioning and squirreling away money through sex work and a night job cleaning a train station to finally afford surgery to rid herself of the inconvenient 20 centimeters between her legs. When she meets a hunky laborer who prefers her the way she is, her life becomes more complicated. With musical sequences that rival ’50s Hollywood productions, this light romp is sure to delight. 2005, Spain, color, 35mm, in Spanish with English subtitles, 113 minutes.
A Year without Love (Un Año sin amor), 9:15 pm
Directed by Anahí Berneri
While the availability of antiviral medicines in the West may mean that one can live with HIV for many years, their diagnosis in developing countries often remains a death sentence. That’s the way Pablo sees it when he’s diagnosed and given a year to live in Buenos Aires. He embarks on a health regimen filled with homeopathic remedies, confronts his distant father, and explores a new form of sexuality that mixes discipline with pain. Winner of the 2005 Teddy Award for best gay feature film at the Berlin Film Festival. 2005, Argentina, color, 35mm, in Spanish with English subtitles, 95 minutes.
Thursday, June 22
These two free programs of shorts provide a light look into queer sexuality across the globe.
Girls Short Shorts, 7 pm
Free, but ticket required; available from 6 pm at the Bazinet Garden Lobby desk
Who’s the Top?, directed by Jennie Livingston (2005, U.S., BW, video,
22 minutes); Hung, directed by Guinevere Turner (2005, U.S., color, video, 13 minutes); Hi Maya, directed by Claudia Lorenz (2004, Switzerland, color, 35mm, 12 minutes); Moustache, directed by Vicki Sugars (2004, Australia, color, video, 14 minutes); Granny Queer, directed by Jacinda Klouwens (2004, Australia, color, video, 7 minutes); Coming Out at Work Is a Hard Thing to Do, directed by Kylie Eddy (2004, Australia, color, video, 4 minutes); Something Else, directed by Shannon Olliffe (2004, Australia, color, video, 3 minutes); You Wash My Skin with Sunshine, directed by Kathleen Mullen (2004, Canada, color, video, 6 minutes).
Boys Short Shorts, 9 pm
Free, but ticket required; available from 8 pm at the Bazinet Garden Lobby desk
Billy’s Dad Is a Fudge-Packer, directed by Jamie Danahue, produced by Power Up (2004, U.S., BW, video, 10 minutes); Katydid, directed by Scott Boswell (2004, U.S., color, video, 13 minutes); Bikini, directed by Lasse Persson (2005, Sweden, color, 35mm, 7 minutes); Hitch Cock, directed by Stuart Vauvert (2005, Australia, BW, video, 10 minutes); Filth, directed by Wrik Mead (2004, Canada, BW, video, 4 minutes).
Friday, June 23
Time to Leave (Le Temps qui reste), 7 pm
Directed by François Ozon
Life will pull punches when you’re on the top of your game. In this case, successful Paris-based fashion photographer Romain is devastated when he finds out he has inoperable cancer. He lashes out at all who are close to him, including his trophy boyfriend and his family, but only opens up to his feisty grandmother (screen legend Jeanne Moreau) and a waitress (Valerie Bruni-Tedeschi), who encourages him to leave a legacy. 2005, France, color, 35mm, in French with English subtitles, 90 minutes.
Wild Tigers I Have Known, 9 pm
Directed by Cam Archer
One of the most visually exciting discoveries at Sundance 2006, Cam Archer’s feature-film debut shows the pains of first love. Socially awkward Logan is a middle-school student who develops a crush on bad boy Rodeo Walker. While Rodeo is drawn to the attention that Logan lavishes on him, he is not attracted to boys. Undaunted, Logan develops an alter ego named Leah to try to seduce him. Produced by Gus Van Sant and costarring Fairuza Balk as Logan’s mother, the film was also featured in New Films/New Directors at Lincoln Center in April. 2005, U.S., color, video, 93 minutes.
Saturday, June 24
Strange Fruit, 7 pm
Directed by Kyle Schickner
William Boyals, a successful, gay, African American attorney in New York, thought he had escaped the racism and homophobia of his childhood in the Louisiana bayou. Drawn back to investigate the brutal lynching of his flamboyant childhood friend, he’s little prepared to deal with the smoldering hostility he experiences. Still, he refuses to back down and demands justice for this violent hate crime. 2004, U.S., color, video, 116 minutes.
Broken Sky (El cielo dividido), 9 pm
Directed by Julián Hernández
A highlight of the Berlin Film Festival, Julián Hernández’s sophomore feature uses very little dialogue to convey the sexual intrigues of a young gay couple. Initially impassioned with one another, they allow temptation and jealousy to rock their relationship. 2005, Mexico, color, 35mm, in Spanish with English subtitles, 140 minutes.