The Most Dangerous Year: A Battle for Trans Rights

The Most Dangerous Year is an important documentary with a focus on families fighting against anti-transgender rights legislation. This documentary is personal for director Vlada Knowlton.  Her youngest daughter was five years old upon coming out but started showing signs of being transgender two years earlier.  The director comments in the film that “it was a terrifying time for us.”  Struggling to accept their child’s gender identity was one thing but the next year proved to…

"The Most Dangerous Year: A Battle for Trans Rights"

Fantasia 2018: Number 37 (Nommer 37)

The comparisons to Rear Window are there but writer-director Nosipho Dumisa makes Number 37 her own. Randal Hendricks (Irshaad Ally) just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.  He found himself in a wheelchair after a deal went terribly wrong.  While he’s stuck in his Cape Town apartment, this film is not the Alfred Hitchcock classic.  While it is an homage, the plot is tremendously different and you don’t have the legendary…

"Fantasia 2018: Number 37 (Nommer 37)"

Fantasia 2018: Bodied

Joseph Kahn’s Bodied, holding its Quebec premiere during Fantasia 2018, is a satire that takes us inside the underground culture of battle rap. Adam Merkin (Calum Worthy) finds himself deeply embedded into the world of battle rapping while researching for a thesis paper.  This only happens after a chance encounter with Behn Grymm (Jackie Long).  Unfortunately for him, this takes a toll on his own personal relationships. This includes his tenured father (Anthony Michael Hall)…

"Fantasia 2018: Bodied"

Fantasia 2018: The Man Who Killed Hitler And Then The Bigfoot

The Man Who Killed Hitler And Then The Bigfoot may sound like the craziest thing ever but this film is is more of a character study than anything else. Sam Elliott, who delivered an astonishing performance in The Hero last year, as a World War 2 veteran, Calvin Barr.  When we first meet him, he’s just sitting there at the bar.  There’s a sense of something troubling Calvin but we don’t see anything other than…

"Fantasia 2018: The Man Who Killed Hitler And Then The Bigfoot"

Cinepocalypse 2018: Wolfman’s Got Nards

Wolfman’s Got Nards is a documentary that explores the production and following of The Monster Squad. What draws this documentary apartment from other documentaries about 1980s movies is that director Andre Gower was an actor in The Monster Squad.  The director played Sean in the 1987 classic.  While the film is considered to be a cult classic, I must confess that I never heard of the film going into the Cinepocalypse announcement.  Gower’s documentary is…

"Cinepocalypse 2018: Wolfman’s Got Nards"

Frameline 2018: The Transtastic Shorts

The Transtastic shorts program screened during Frameline on June 18, 2018, with a focus on people who are transgender and gender-nonconforming. A few prominent transgender people were front and center during the program, including actress Trace Lysette and Transparent producer Zachary Drucker. Happy Birthday, Marsha!: Written and directed by Reina Gossett and Sasha Wortzel, the narrative-documentary hybrid stars Tangerine’s Mya Taylor in the role of Marsha “Pay It No Mind” Johnson.  The bulk of the short takes…

"Frameline 2018: The Transtastic Shorts"

Frameline 2018: Alone in the Game

Alone in the Game is a must-watch documentary that tells the story of the harsh realities that face LGBTQ athletes on a daily basis. When Missouri defensive end Michael Sam came out as gay, it was a game changer for not only college football but the entire sports world.  When people think of football, it’s thought of as being a hyper-masculine sport.  They don’t think of football players being gay.  Sam’s coming out paved the…

"Frameline 2018: Alone in the Game"

Frameline 2018: Mapplethorpe

Robert Mapplethorpe’s story is one that’s best told as a documentary as the narrative feature, Mapplethorpe, does not do him justice. It’s unfortunate because Mapplethorpe (Matt Smith) was such an iconic photographer.  Nearly 30 years following his death from AIDS in 1989, his photos are still a big part of cultural history.  The film starts just before Mapplethorpe moves into the Hotel Chelsea in the late 1960s, where he’s living with Patti Smith (Marianne Rendón)…

"Frameline 2018: Mapplethorpe"

Frameline 2018: Wild Nights with Emily

Wild Nights with Emily offers a look at poet Emily Dickinson with an approach that only writer/director Madeline Olnek can tell. Through her role in Other People and the Sundance-premiering Private Life, Saturday Night Live alumnus Molly Shannon has proven to have a wider range as an actress.  Her role as Emily Dickinson proves to be no different in what may very well be one of the best lesbian comedies in years. Through Olnek’s script,…

"Frameline 2018: Wild Nights with Emily"

Frameline 2018: 1985

Filmed in black-and-white 16mm film, 1985 is an incredibly moving film from writer-director Yen Tan. After his boyfriend dies of AIDS, Adrian (Cory Michael Smith) leaves New York for his hometown in Texas during the holidays to visit with his family.  He’s in the closet, which isn’t a surprise given the 1980s setting.  At the time when the AIDS crisis was growing, anyone would be scared to come out to their family!  By visiting with…

"Frameline 2018: 1985"