Wednesday, June 24, 2015


The 2015 Outfest Film festival is set to begin on July 9th and conclude on July 19th. This annual celebration of LGBT cinema in Los Angeles will kick off with "Tig", a documentary on comedian Tig Notaro. The film by Kristina Goolsby and Ashley York deals with Notaro coping with a cancer diagnosis while somehow finding humor in her situation while performing her stand-up routine. "Tig", which received rapturous acclaim at this year's Sundance Film Festival, will clearly be a strange mixture of anguish and hilarity.

The international centerpieces will be "Eisenstein In Guanajuato" and "The Summer of Sangaile". Filmmaker Peter Greenway ("The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover") examines Russian director, Sergei Eisenstein during a transformative trip to Mexico in the 1930's where he meets a handsome tour guide and begins a wild and passionate romance. "Summer", a Sundance winner of the World Cinema Directing Award for writer/director, Alanté Kavaïté, is a love story set in Lithuania between two very different young women. This is a surreal and visually breath-taking experience.

One of the documentary centerpieces is "Best of Enemies" by Morgan Neville ("20 Feet From Stardom") and Robert Gordon ("Respect Yourself: The Stax Records Story"). It looks at two great minds with two very opposing points of views; Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley as they intellectually sparred on live television in 1968. Their verbal matches were combative, vicious and endlessly fascinating.

"54", a fictionalized story set at Studio 54, the notorious disco in the 1970's, was released in 1998 and became a critical and box-office failure. It turns out that writer/director Mark Christopher was forced to alter the film considerably which included removing a gay subplot. Now seventeen years later, Christopher has reconstructed "54" to reflect his original vision. This new cut will be screened at Hollywood Forever Cemetery on July 16th.

To celebrate the twenty years that Christine Vachon and her production company, Killer Films have been bringing queer independent cinema to audiences, Outfest will screen Todd Haynes' ode to gender-bending, glam-rock, "Velvet Goldmine" on July 11th. This amazing 1998 classic stars Christian Bale, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Toni Collette and Ewan McGregor. If you've never this on the big screen, you must check it out.

This is the tenth year of the Legacy Project which has been protecting and restoring essential LGBT cinema. Five important films will be presented; "Parting Glances" (1986), the first film to be restored, Greg Araki's "Totally F*cked Up" (1993), "Born In Flames" (1983), "Madonna: Truth or Dare" (1991) and the latest restoration, "Funeral Parade of Roses" (1969) about transgendered women in the 1960's Tokyo underground.

Finally, the closing night gala will be held at a new location, the theatre at Ace Hotel and the selection is the latest from one of my favorite filmmakers, François Ozon ("8 Women", "Swimming Pool"). "Une nouvelle amie (The New Girlfriend)" stars Romain Duris as a man who tragically loses his young wife and left alone to care for their infant. When Claire (Anais Demoustier), his wife's best friend, arrives to help him out, she discovers his secret life as a transvestite and they develop an unusual relationship.

For the complete list of films, venues and to purchase tickets, please go to: