Friday, January 04, 2008

2008 Sundance and Slamdance Film Festival News

Still a few days to come for the beginning of this fest, but since I posted the LG interest movies in Palm Springs, I’ll do the same for Sundance and Slamdance where the ratio is more uneven for Lesbian Interest. For the first time I’m including a brief summary, as well as Shorts and Documentaries.

"An American Soldier"
Sergeant First Class Clay Usie is one of the most successful army recruiters in the country; he also acts as a mentor to high-school students training to become soldiers, many of whom will eventually be deployed to Iraq. One of the soldiers he recruits, and whom this film follows closely over a period of nine months, is revealed to be a lesbian.

"Be Like Others" (Documentary-World Cinema)
In Iran, homosexuality is punishable by death, but sex-change operations are legal. This eye-opening documentary looks at young Iranian men undergoing gender-reassignment surgery, exploring some very difficult questions.

"Derek" (Documentary-World Cinema)
Gay British director Isaac Julien ("Young Soul Rebels," "Looking for Langston") pays tribute to the groundbreaking late filmmaker Derek Jarman ("Edward II," "Blue"), who was also gay and British. Narrated by Tilda Swinton.

"Edward II" (From The Collection)
The latest restoration from the Sundance collection at the UCLA film and television archives, Derek Jarman's adaptation of the Christopher Marlowe play about the gay king of Britain had its premiere at Sundance back in 1992.

"The Guitar" (Premieres)
Saffron Burrows stars as a terminally ill bisexual woman in New York.

"Half-Life" (New Frontier)
A futuristic suburban tale of a single mom, her son and daughter. The daughter pines over a young gay man who is trying to convince his conservative parents of his homosexuality.

"The Living End" (From The Collection)
Another 1992 Sundance veteran (along with "Edward II"), and one of the groundbreaking films of the new queer cinema, Greg Araki's "The Living End" follows a pair of HIV-positive gay guys on an impromptu road trip.

"The Mysteries of Pittsburgh" (Dramatic Competition)
Based on the Michael Chabon novel, this '80s period drama stars Peter Sarsgaard, Jon Foster, Mena Suvari and Sienna Miller and includes a significant gay story line.

"Otto; Or, Up With Dead People" (Park City at Midnight)
A gay zombie searches for love in Berlin. From gay bad-boy director Bruce La Bruce.

Savage Grace" (Premieres)
From openly gay director Tom Kalin ("Swoon") comes this much-anticipated true-story drama about Barbara Daly Baekeland (Julianne Moore), a socialite murdered by her gay son.

"Sunshine Cleaning" (Dramatic Competition)
According to early reports, a crime scene cleaner played by Emily Blunt will become sexually obsessed with a bank teller played by Mary Lynn Rajskub. Also stars Amy Adams ("Enchanted") and Steve Zahn.

A girl searches for her identity in this animated short.

"Bend It"
A tribute to gay artists Gilbert and George.

"Lloyd Neck"
A same-sex crush tale.

Director Dee Rees has won scads of best short film awards for this brilliant drama about an African-American lesbian teen in the Bronx. (Note: On January 19 this film is available for FREE viewing on iTunes.)

"Untitled #1" (from the series "Earth People 2507")
The latest from queer experimental filmmaker Nao Bustamante.

Two gay wrestlers must hide their love.

"Broken English" (Short)
A tale of a high-school teen.

"Diva" (Short)
Vincent escapes his small hometown for Paris.

"Felicia" (Short)
A grandmother has a secret past.

"Goodbye Baby" (Narrative Special Screening)
A female standup comic lives with her gay brother and his partner in New York.

"Heiko" (Short)
A 70-year-old man explores his fetishes with young Heiko.

"Hold Out" (Short)
A portrait of New Orleans.

"I Think We're Alone Now" (Documentary Competition)
A revealing portrait of two hardcore fans of '80s pop star Tiffany (Kelly, who is a 30-something intersex person, and Jeff, a 50-year-old slacker in Santa Cruz).

"Karaoke Show" (Short)
A mix between a disco and a sauna.

"Mariquita con Perro (Fag with Dog)" (Short)
A young man moves to the big city of Madrid.

"Pageant" (Documentary Competition)
A candid look behind the scenes at the 34th Miss Gay America competition.

"Serene Hunter" (Short)
A randy Parisian moves in with his new boyfriend just as an old flame from Los Angeles comes back into town.

"Softly" (Short)
Romance in a doll-sized world.

"Woman in Burka" (Short)
Sarita Choudhury stars in this dark comic look at the life of an actress in a post 9/11 culture.

If you want to have more information on LGBT activities during the festival go here.

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