Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-06-08
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Knight at the Movies: Valentine Road; We Are What We Are; notes
by Richard Knight, Jr., for Windy City Times
2013-10-09

This article shared 5718 times since Wed Oct 9, 2013
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


On the morning of July 12, 2008, at approximately 8:15 a.m. while sitting in class at the E O. Green Junior High School in Oxnard, Calif., 14-year-old Brandon McInerney pulled a .22-caliber revolver out of his backpack and shot another student in the back of the head. McInerney dropped the gun, walked out of the school and was apprehended by authorities just blocks away fewer than 10 minutes later. His victim, 15-year-old Larry King, died within two days and was buried in a cemetery on Valentine Road—which provides the ironic name for Marta Cunningham's extraordinary documentary debut feature about the tragedy.

It's ironic because two days before the shooting King approached McInerney at school and asked him, in front of several of his friends, to be his valentine. That wasn't the first time the openly gay King had publicly verbalized his attraction to McInerney, who was straight and the embarrassment of being the object of a same-sex attraction—in particular by a boy who also used make-up and wore female clothing to school—was widely seen as the motive for the killing.

In Cunningham's film—which debuted Oct. 7 on HBO and which will be broadcast throughout the month—King's declaration and, even more, his burgeoning acceptance and public display of his transgender status, are seen as just cause for McInerney to end his life. Time and time again, the movie gives those involved—teachers, jurors, attorneys, family, and friends—a platform upon which they hang themselves by almost eagerly revealing their deeply ingrained prejudices toward King's behavior and deride his insistence on being his true self. Never have I seen a film that is a more telling example of the "blame the victim" mentality.

Cunningham's film is filled with dozens of moments that leave one enraged at the vile insidiousness of prejudice and the justification for violence done in its name. It's never in doubt that the diminutive King—an adopted child whose hardscrabble life finally found a measure of peace and acceptance when he was placed in a group home for troubled youth—was the tragic victim of a hate crime.

However, the reasons for that crime by its perpetrator—who also came from an extremely troubled background—and the larger, complex questions surrounding social and institutional attitudes toward sexual minorities, gun violence and the judicial process are also explored in Cunningham's remarkable film. Its horrifying clear in the unforgettable Valentine Road, a deeply thought-provoking documentary, that McInerney's heinous crime had consequences far beyond the ultimate one suffered by his unfortunate victim. http://www.hbo.com/documentaries/valentine-road

Briefly noted: Director Jim Mickle's We Are What We Are, opening this Friday at the Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Ave., is another welcome entry in the ongoing revival of horror movies that relies on character and setting rather than shock and gore to chill audiences to the marrow. No one seems to think it odd that so many young women have gone missing and no one seems to connect their disappearances with the elusive Parker clan. But during a period of unending rain, accompanied by flooding of the area's waterways, pieces of evidence surface that suggest that the Parkers are a lot more than the pious, churchy folk they seem to be.

The death of Mrs. Parker in what appears to be a drowning ( but is actually something much more sinister ) especially piques the curiosity of the local forensics expert whose own daughter went missing years before. It won't be long before various outsiders will attempt to pierce the shroud of mystery surrounding the family that is headed by a stern patriarch ( Bill Sage, who was so memorable as the child molester in Mysterious Skin ).

Mickle's film is a moody, slow-building remake of a 2010 Mexican movie that gives away the family secret long before it reaches its horrific conclusion but that's not necessarily a bad thing in this gorgeously shot and scored picture which envelopes the audience in its dark, rain soaked landscape from beginning to end. And there are some twists in the last half hour which are both surprising and may just satisfy gore fans to boot. Michael Parks is wonderful as the suspicious pathologist while Julia Garner and Ambyr Childers are preternaturally beautiful and eerie as the teenage Parker girls, charged by their unyielding father with continuing the family "traditions." Out actor Kelly McGillis has a small but telling part as a kindly neighbor. www.musicboxtheatre.com

Film notes:

—A day of Halloween movies: If it's October, it must be time for horror-movie marathons. The first up is The Massacre which is being held at the Patio Theater, 6008 W. Irving Park Rd., and starts Saturday, Oct. 12, at 11 a.m. ( A second 24-hour horror marathon is being held on Saturday, Oct. 19, at the Music Box; there'll be details on that line-up in next week's column. )

Highlights of The Massacre include a great assortment of old and new creepy classics and schlock masterpieces—Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, Hellraiser II, Army of Darkness, April Fool's Day and Slither, among them. The fest also includes a rare screening of 1985's Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge with a big bonus: Mark Patton, the openly gay, HIV-positive star of the film ( see my interview with him in this issue ) will be on hand for a post-screening Q&A, and sign autographs and pose for photos with fans. The Massacre includes vendor tables, prizes, a live charity auction for Vital Bridges and more. https://www.facebook.com/events/490868644336874/

—Chicago home-movie day: All Chicagoans are invited to dig out the best of their Super 8 home movies—beloved records of family and cultural occasions—and bring these celluloid histories to the Chicago History Museum ( 1601 N. North Ave. ) on Saturday, Oct. 19. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., members of the Northwest Chicago Film Society, which sponsors this annual event ( this is the third ) will inspect your films, project them and offer tips on preservation and how to transfer them. This year's attendees will also get to participate in Home Movie Day Bingo which features an assortment of prizes donated by local film organizations like the Gene Siskel Film Center and Chicago Filmmakers. Admission is free. http://www.chicagofilmarchives.org/current-events/chicago-home-movie-day-2013

—DVD of note: Laurence Anyways, from out writer-director French Canadian wunderkind Xavier Dolan, is out on DVD from Breaking Glass Pictures. Dolan's nearly three-hour story is the story of a French schoolteacher and the impact his transition to becoming female has on his relationship with his fiery girlfriend ( portrayed by Suzanne Clement in a career-altering performance ). Dolan's movie, epically scaled from 1989 through the mid-'90s ( the soundtrack and fashions are spot-on ) really gets at the heart of the emotional challenges facing both the person desperately needing to transition and the conflicts faced by their loved ones. Heartfelt, messy, filled with genuine emotional insight, Dolan's movie is a marvel. bgpics.com/


This article shared 5718 times since Wed Oct 9, 2013
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Actress Anne Heche declared brain-dead at age 53 2022-08-13
- Anne Heche—the actress who starred in a string of high-profile late '90s movies including Six Days Seven Nights, Donnie Brasco and Wag the Dog as well as Emmy-winning TV shows such as Men in Trees and ...


Gay News

Haven Chicago presenting first-ever Festival Au Cinema on Aug. 26-28 2022-08-09
-- From a press release - CHICAGO (August 8, 2022) — Haven Chicago is pleased to present its first annual Festival au Cinéma, the company's new platform for visionary and innovative filmmakers and media artists staking their claim in the future of ...


Gay News

Chicago filmmaker releases documentary about activist, writer Joseph Beam 2022-08-09
- A Chicago filmmaker's desire to learn more about the quote "Black men loving Black men is a revolutionary act" led him to a community of writers and activists who helped tell the story of the man ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Jane Lynch, Dwayne Johnson, 'Star Trek,' Beyonce, Shea Coulee 2022-08-07
- NBC has renewed the Jane Lynch-hosted game show Weakest Link for a third season, Variety noted. Season three will run for 20 episodes. The series is based on a British format distributed by BBC Studios that ...


Gay News

TELEVISION 'They/Them' cast members reflect on making the film 2022-08-06
- They/Them (pronounced "They-slash-Them") is a new 2022 film from Blumhouse Productions in which the terrors of an LGBTQ+ conversion camp invade the lives of a diverse group of young people who spend a summer together. The ...


Gay News

Actress Anne Heche in critical condition after car crash 2022-08-06
- Actress Anne Heche reportedly crashed her car into a house in the Mar Vista neighborhood of Los Angeles on Aug. 5, setting both the vehicle and the house on fire, according to CNN. She is now ...


Gay News

TELEVISION Darwin Del Fabro ('They/Them') talks horror, love scenes and inner strength 2022-08-04
- Queer Brazilian singer/actor Darwin Del Fabro is one of the cast members of the horror movie They/Them (pronounced "they-SLASH-them")—a slasher movie (get it?) set ...


Gay News

THEATER 'Cabaret' coming to Metropolis Arts on Sept. 15 2022-08-02
- Musical Broadway classic and hit film Cabaret re-creates the decadent and complicated world of 1929 Berlin at the Arlington Heights venue Metropolis Performing Arts Centre on Sept. 15-Oct. 22. Cabaret is Kander and Ebb's legendary musical ...


Gay News

Billy Masters 2022-08-01
- "Mike, you's in danger, man."—Whoopi Goldberg paraphrases her line from Ghost (or, as Barbara Walters always called it, The Ghost) in response to Pence's former aide Marc Short revealing what almost happened to the VP on ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Comic Con, WNBA player, Timothee Chalamet, Kate McKinnon 2022-07-31
- Out Magazine listed at least seven LGBTQ+-related characters and projects that were unveiled at San Diego Comic Con. Some of them include Michaela Coel (from TV's I May Destroy You) as a queer character in the ...


Gay News

Gene Siskel Film Center running 'Pioneers of Queer Cinema' 2022-07-31
- In partnership with the UCLA Film & Television Archive, the Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. Clark St., presents differing, often radical explorations of sexual orientation and gender identity in the series "Pioneers of Queer Cinema." ...


Gay News

Billy Masters 2022-07-24
- "First of all, I'm glad to have a president who can ride a bicycle."—Pete Buttigieg's response to Rep. Troy Nehls' quip that Biden "falls off bicycles." Anyone can sue over anything. There is no guilt or ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Broadway, 'Game of Thrones' prequel, Dexter Mayfield, Shania Twain 2022-07-24
- The Broadway League announced that theaters will continue their recently adopted mask-optional policy for audiences at least through August, Deadline reported. The mask-optional policy—in which audiences are encouraged but not ...


Gay News

Quidditch organizations cite Rowling's anti-trans statements in acquiring new name 2022-07-21
- Major League Quidditch, the real-life semi-pro league inspired by the magical contests played by wizards in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter novels and their film adaptations, now has a new name. ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Queen + Adam Lambert, Spider-Man, 'Victoria's Secret,' 'Friends' 2022-07-10
- Queen + Adam Lambert announced details of "Rhapsody Over London"—an exclusive concert spectacular filmed live at London's O2 Arena during their current sold-out European tour that will premiere live on July 24 via Kiswe's global streaming ...


 



Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 

Sponsor


Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.