From June 25–29, the Walker Art Center presents
Queer Takes: Visibly Out
, a series showcasing daring films which feature stories of those who oppose homogeneity. Now in its third edition, Queer Takes complements the rich history of LGBT cinema in the Twin Cities. With several programs that focus on titles that have recently been preserved, the series also showcases amazing artists with long-standing relationships with the Walker and new talents who have gained recognition from Sundance and the Oscars.
Queer Takes opens on Wednesday, June 25, 7 pm, with Juan Flahn’s Boystown (Chuecatown), followed by Jacques Nolot’s Before I Forget (Avant que j’oublie) at 9 pm. On Thursday, June 26, at 7 and 8:30 pm, as part of Target Free Thursday Nights, are screenings of short films, including Cynthia Wade’s Oscar-winning short subject documentary Freeheld, copresented with OutFront Minnesota, and Abigail Child’s documentary On the Downlow, preceded by Dee Rees’ Pariah. Queer Takes continues on Friday, June 27, 7 pm, with Lucía Puenzo’s XXY, which won an Ariel Award in 2008 (Mexico’s equivalent to the Oscars) for Best Latin American Film, followed by Angelina Maccarone’s Vivere at 9 pm. Screenings on Saturday, June 28, include Matt Wolf’s Wild Combination: A Portrait of Arthur Russell at 1 pm; Guido Santi and Tina Mascara’s documentary about the relationship between artists Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy, Chris & Don: A Love Story, at 3 pm, copresented by Quatrefoil Library; Lizzie Borden’s 1983 film Born in Flames at 7 pm; and an updated version of Gregg Araki’s 1992 landmark film The Living End: Remixed and Remastered at 8:45 pm. The series concludes on Sunday, June 29, 4 pm, with a screening of the restored print of Bill Sherwood’s Parting Glances at the Heights Theater.
Unless otherwise noted, films are screened in the Cinema and are $8 ($6 Walker mem¬bers). Tickets to free films are available one hour prior to each screening at the Bazinet Garden Lobby desk.
Cinephile’s Special: Buy 3 films and get the 4th free: $24 ($18 Walker members).
Queer Takes is a GLBT Pride/Twin Cities endorsed event
QUEER TAKES: VISIBLY OUT
Wednesday, June 25
Boystown (Chuecatown), 7 pm
Directed by Juan Flahn
Harking back to the early, outrageous films of Pedro Almodóvar, Boystown is adapted from the Spanish comic book about the antics of Leo and Rey, a bearish couple who are at odds with Madrid’s slowly gentrifying, chic, gay neighborhood. An unscrupulous real estate agent snaps up local apartments for his plans to turn the district into an area for upscale gays—and he’ll do anything to get Leo and Rey’s property. 2007, Spain, color, 35mm, in Spanish with English subtitles, 93 minutes.
Before I Forget (Avant que j’oublie), 9 pm
Directed by Jacques Nolot
Fighting the indignities of old age, a former gigolo must endure life without a benefactor. Director Jacques Nolot also stars in this frank film unveiling the difficult twilight years of a man whose values had been bound up in his former beauty and sexual exploits. In a culture that values youth and good looks above all else, he grasps at his last chance to milk funds from his former clients. 2007, 35mm, in French with English subtitles, 108 minutes.
Thursday, June 26
Freeheld, 7 pm
Directed by Cynthia Wade
This Oscar-winning short subject documentary shows a lesbian couple’s legal and emotional battle to have their relationship recognized and to receive the same rights as their straight colleagues. As cancer ravages her body, a venerable New Jersey policewoman seeks piece of mind for decades of service by asking that her partner receive her pension benefits. She is supported by her department, but the decision rests with the freeholders of the county. 2007, video, 38 minutes. A discussion follows the screening. Copresented by OutFront Minnesota.
Pariah, 8:30 pm
Directed by Dee Rees
On the Downlow
Directed by Abigail Child
In this startling documentary, Abigail Child investigates men who don’t identify as gay or bisexual but have sex with other men on the “downlow,” capturing their delicate balancing act to remain masculine and keep up appearances while justifying their desires. (2007, video, 54 minutes). Child’s work has been screened at Women with Vision 2006 and is in the Walker’s Edmond R. Ruben Film and Video Study Collection. The screening is preceded by Pariah, a short focusing on a lesbian teenager in the Bronx who juggles multiple identities to avoid rejection from friends and family (2006, video, 27 minutes). Winner of the Best Short Award at the Los Angeles Film Festival.
Friday, June 27
XXY, 7 pm
Directed by Lucía Puenzo
While the spectrum of genders seems limited, culturally, to the masculine and feminine, the fact that one can have both male and female genitalia can create a great deal of anxiety. While 1.7 percent of human births are intersexed, parents are often conflicted about which gender to assign their child. In her first feature film, director Lucia Puenzo examines these situations with grace, humanity, and candor. 2007, Argentina/Spain/France, 35mm, in Spanish with English subtitles, 91 minutes.
Vivere, 9 pm
Directed by Angelina Maccarone
Brilliantly weaving the stories of three women on a bleak Christmas Eve, this film makes and then unveils connections between the members of different generations. Sent to fetch a runaway sister who has upset the family holiday, a woman stops to rescue an enigmatic older woman (German screen legend Hannelore Elsner) who’s had a car accident. As they drive away from the scene together, an attraction develops that changes both their destinies. 2007, in German with English subtitles, 93 minutes.
Saturday, June 28
Wild Combination: A Portrait of Arthur Russell, 1 pm
Directed by Matt Wolf
While fame eluded him before he died from AIDS in 1992, prolific avant-garde composer, singer-songwriter, cellist, and disco producer Arthur Russell has recently gained a strong following for his music. Raised in Iowa, he escaped to San Francisco and New York in the 1970s and worked with Philip Glass. As music director of the Kitchen, Russell became involved with many musical scenes brewing in the period, yet his concern with process and perfection often hampered his collaborations. Over the past five years, selections from thousands of tapes left in his storage space and overseen by his partner have found a rabid audience on CD and online. 2008. U.S., video, 71 minutes.
Chris & Don: A Love Story, 3 pm
Directed by Guido Santi and Tina Mascara
When one enters into a relationship with someone who is successful and famous, one must find his own identity and fight for respect. This is what happened when a youthful Don Bachardy embarked on a passionate relationship with writer Christopher Isherwood, whose Berlin Stories served as the basis for Cabaret and who was Bachardy’s senior by 30 years. Initially dismissed as a boy toy, Bachardy gained renown as he developed into a successful portrait painter. Using amazing color archival footage, this film recounts a loving relationship that lasted more than 30 years. 2007, video, 90 minutes. Copresented by Quatrefoil Library.
Born in Flames, 7 pm
Directed by Lizzie Borden
Unrelenting in its social critique and just as relevant 20 years after its premiere, Lizzie Borden’s futuristic tale confronts the racial, gender, and sexual divide still evident after a socialist revolution. In her vision, a militant underground army fights for equality by taking over the streets and the airwaves. 1983, 16mm, 80 minutes.
The Living End: Remixed and Remastered, 8:45 pm
Directed by Gregg Araki
Dubbed “a buddy movie gone bad,” Gregg Araki’s unapologetic gay film is as refreshing today as it was when it premiered at the 1992 Sundance Film Festival. While embarking on a road trip after finding out he’s HIV-positive, Jon picks up the reckless hustler Luke, who is determined to “live fast, die young, and make a beautiful corpse.” Refusing to see his similar HIV-positive status as a death sentence, Luke forces Jon to live life to the fullest through shoot-outs, wild spending sprees on stolen credit cards, and steamy sex. Though he originally shot the film in 16mm, Araki has transferred the print to high-definition video and remixed the sound track, creating a true director’s edition of the film. 1992, video, 92 minutes.
Sunday, June 29
Parting Glances, 4 pm
Directed by Bill Sherwood
Introduced by lead actor Richard Ganoung
Heights Theater, 3951 Central Avenue NE, Columbia Heights
When Outfest programmers embarked on an ongoing weekly series of LGBT cinema, they discovered that many classic titles were no longer available due to a lack of funding. Outfest joined forces with the UCLA Film & Television Archive to create the Outfest Legacy Project to preserve and restore LGBT film and video. Heights Theater owner Tom Letness has also donated a print from his personal collection for preservation, and he joins with the Walker to celebrate this initiative. Their first project, the independent classic Parting Glances, follows a couple’s last 24 hours before an extended foreign business trip challenges their relationship. This film defies stereotypes—no one is a victim, including Steve Buscemi as the HIV-positive ex-boyfriend—which was amazing and refreshing for a mid-1980s feature. 1986, newly restored 35mm print, 90 minutes.