Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-02-22



Queer Eye for the Cinema: Films of LGBT Allure at the 2003 Chicago Film Fest

This article shared 2834 times since Wed Oct 1, 2003
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

by Gregg Shapiro

Even though titles of interest to the LGBT community are not the priority for the Chicago International Film Festival, each year the programmers do what they can to include movies with appeal to queer viewers. Films such as Trembling Before G-d, Kissing Jessica Stein, Our Lady Of The Assassins, The Iron Ladies, Madame Sata, The Lawless Heart and Venus Boys all played the film festival in recent years. The 2003 Chicago International Film Festival continues the tradition with a queer eye toward the cinematic offerings. What follows are just a few of them.

Peter Hedges, who wrote the screenplays for What's Eating Gilbert Grape and About A Boy, wrote and directed Pieces Of April (Indigent/IFC), an amusing and moving digital video feature that takes place on Thanksgiving. April (Katie Holmes) is the eldest daughter of Joy (the remarkable Patricia Clarkson of Far From Heaven and High Art) and Jim (Oliver Platt). She has been a constant source of disappointment to her parents, but she wants to make it up to them by inviting them, her brother, sister and grandmother to her Lower East Side apartment for Thanksgiving dinner. The holiday is made even more poignant when it becomes clear that Joy, who has breast cancer, may not be around for another Thanksgiving dinner. After April's boyfriend Bobby (Derek Luke) leaves to buy a suit at the 'retail store' where his friend Latrell (Sisqo) works (to Bobby's chagrin, it turns out to be a Salvation Army Thrift Store), she discovers that her oven doesn't work. April then tries to find a neighbor's oven that she can borrow. On her quest she meets Evette (Tony-award winning actress Lillias White) and Eugene (Isiah Whitlock, Jr), who are able to offer her their oven and cooking expertise for a couple of hours. Later, she meets shirt, tie, vest and watch-fob wearing asexual Wayne (Sean Hayes = queer interest), who has a pug and a self-cleaning convection oven. This discovery is short-lived, when she insults Wayne and is left with a partially cooked turkey. She eventually overcomes a language barrier and is able to finish cooking the turkey in her Chinese neighbors' oven. Meanwhile, her family is living through their own comedies and dramas on the drive into the city. The pieces of Pieces Of April come together beautifully by the end of the film, all of which is due to Hedges's sensitive script and the terrific cast. (Oct. 12 at Music Box and Oct. 13 at Landmark)

Yes Nurse! No Nurse! (Warner Brothers) is a zany, colorful Dutch homage to the Hollywood musicals of the 1950s. Yes Nurse, No Nurse begins with a Busby Berkley-esque number during the opening credits and then follows that up with a Singing In The Rain tribute rainstorm dance number ('together with a fella/under one umbrella') with Jet (Tjitske Reidinga) and Gerrit (Waldemar Torenstra). Jet lives in a questionable rest home (nobody rests) run by Zuster (Nurse) Klivia (Loes Luca). Her 'nasty neighbor' and cranky landlord Boordeval (Paul Kooij) is intent on evicting her and her brood and is constantly dragging the lot of them into court. In between trials, a circus arrives in nearby Flora Park, which leads into a song about joining the circus; the Hairdressing Salon Minerva, run by poofy and puffy Wouter (Paul de Leeuw) opens on the block; Zuster Klivia, who is always taking pity on impossible underdogs, invites Gerritt, the beautiful burglar from rainstorm dance number to move in and we get to see Gerrit feeding the pigeons and singing a song while in his tight white briefs. It seems that the sweet Wouter and unpleasant Boordeval have a romantic history, which is revealed in a song about the all-male 'Travel Society' to which they both once belonged, after Boordeval's cough drops are switched with the mood-altering pills created by rest home resident the engineer (Beppe Costa). How long will the pills that changed Boordeval's mood stay in effect? Will the residents of the nursing home be evicted? Can Jet and Gerrit overcome Gerritt's burglar past and live happily ever after? And what about the recently widowed Zorba the Griek (Pierre van Dujl)? For the answers to all of these questions, say yes to Yes Nurse! No Nurse! (Oct. 3, 4, 5 at Landmark)

Mambo Italiano (I D P), like both My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Kissing Jessica Stein, started out as a theater piece, so comparisons are inevitable. Also, the whole ethnic shtick makes association unavoidable. Still, there are plenty of reasons to like and recommend Mambo Italiano. Cute and closeted 27-year-old Angelo (Luke Kirby) still lives at home with his parents Gino (Paul Sorvino) and Maria (Ginette Reno) and his sister Anna (Claudia Ferri). A phone call to a gay helpline gives Angelo the courage he needs to come out to his parents, but not before he fills the viewer in on some details of his past. One of the most significant details is Nino (Peter Miller), a childhood best friend who abandoned Angelo at a critical time in their youth in favor of the macho bullies who tormented him. Years later, after Angelo moved out of his parents' home and into an apartment that is burglarized shortly after he moved in, the childhood friends are reunited as Nino is now a police officer assigned to the case. Past insults are forgotten and the two old friends are once again thick as thieves. On a camping trip, the pair discovers that they have more in common than they thought, including a mutual sexual attraction. At a pivotal point in their relationship, when Angelo is about to take significant steps out of the closet, Nino rejects the idea, and eventually Angelo, returning home to the comfort of his mother Lina (Mary Walsh) and then into the arms of a woman named Pina (Sophie Lorain). Undeterred, Angelo does what he can to get on with his life, which includes quitting his job and pursuing his dream of writing for television. At turns laugh-out-loud funny and bittersweet, Mambo Italiano teaches the audience some new dance steps, and offers an entertaining refresher course in other, more familiar moves. (Oct. 3 and 5 at Landmark)

In the documentary category, Don't You Worry, It Will Probably Pass is an absorbing film directed by Cecilia Neant-Falk. Falk opens the piece with the personal quote, 'When I was 14, it occurred to me that I liked girls. The year was 1985.' At the time, she placed an ad in OKEJ Magazine, a popular Swedish publication, to get in touch with other girls like her. She received responses from all over the country. As a filmmaker, 15 years later, she wondered what it would be like in the present day. She ran the same ad copy in 1999 that she had in 1986, and from the 80 responses she received selected three girls—Natalie, My and Johanna (a.k.a. Joppe)—and followed them with her camera (and also provided a camera for the girls with which to film themselves) for three years. In candid and compelling video interviews, the three girls speak openly about their sexuality, the issues that are raised for them in their mostly small hometowns with family members and friends, the search for role models, and falling in love. (Oct. 11, 12 and 14 Music Box)

Sexual Dependency (Cinema Vault) is an ambitious, if distracting, split-screen effort, directed by Rodrigo Bellott, which follows a series of interconnected stories, spanning two countries (Bolivia and the United States). The focus of the film are teenage boys and girls, ranging in age from 15 through college age, and the ways in which they deal with issues of sexuality, including losing one's virginity. One segment, set in America, focuses on misogyny and homophobia on a college campus, as well as a closeted athlete. (Oct. 9 at Music Box and Oct. 10 at Landmark)

Shattered Glass (Lions Gate), the impressive directorial debut of screenwriter Billy Ray, has an unusual distinction among the movies being shown at the film festival. Several of the lead and supporting cast members have starred in movies in which they have either played a gay character or the main character has been gay. Based on an article in Vanity Fair, which exposed young and rising journalist, and Highland Park High School graduate, Stephen Glass (Hayden Christensen), a staff writer at the New Republic and contributing writer to Rolling Stone, Harper's and others, as having concocted a majority of his pieces, Shattered Glass is a depiction of the levels to which someone will go when they are under undue amounts of familial pressure and how trust can be irreparably damaged. The sexually ambiguous Glass is even taken for gay and tells the story of finding himself on the corner of 18th and T, in Washington, D.C., with a man's tongue halfway down his throat. The cast includes Peter Sarsgaard (Boys Don't Cry) as Glass's New Republic co-worker and subsequent editor Chuck Lane; Hank Azaria (The Birdcage) as Glass's former New Republic editor Michael Kelly; Steve Zahn (Happy, Texas, The Object of My Affection) as Adam Penenberg, a writer at Forbes Digital, who initially uncovers the discrepancies in Glass's work; and Chloe Sevigny (Party Monster, Boys Don't Cry, If These Walls Could Talk 2), Melanie Lynskey (Heavenly Creatures, But I'm A Cheerleader), and Luke Kirby (Mambo Italiano, Lost and Delirious), as fellow New Republic staff writers and editors who fall under Glass's spell. (Oct. 16 at the Music Box)

Also keep in mind Tamala 2010: A Punk Cat in Space, a futuristic computer animated, black & white and color Japanese film written and directed by Tol that covers the time periods of 3500 B.C., 1469 A.D. and 2010 A.D. (Oct. 10 12 at Landmark ); Neon, a short feature about gay Arno/Nora, who is a meat packer by day and a drag performer by night (Oct. 10, 11 and 14 at Music Box ); and My Life Without Me (Sony Pictures Classics), which co-stars gay icon Deborah Harry as the mother of a 23-year-old woman (played by Sarah Polley) who keeps her cancer diagnosis a secret from her husband (Scott Speedman), her young children, her mother and her lover (Mark Ruffalo). (Oct. 10 at Landmark and Oct. 11 at Music Box)

39th Chicago International Film Festival films of interest to queer audiences (312-332-FILM,

Callas Forever (Franco Zeffirelli, Italy/UK/France/Spain/Romania)

Father & Son (Alexander Sokurov, Germany/Russia)

Little Men (Nariman Turebayev, Kazakhstan/France)

Mambo Italiano (Emile Gaudreault, Canada)

Sexual Dependency Rodrigo Bellott, (Bolivia/US)

Strayed (Andre Techine, France/UK)

Tamala2010: A Punk Cat in Space (T.O.L., Japan)

Three Kim Jee-Woon, Nonzee Nimibutr, Peter Ho-Sun Chan, South Korea/Thailand/Hong Kong)

The Tulse Luper Suitcases, Part 1, The Moab Story (Peter Greenaway, UK/The Netherlands)

Yes Nurse! No Nurse! (Pieter Kramer, The Netherlands)

DOCUMENTARIES: Don't You Worry, It Will Probably Pass (Cecilia Neant-Falk, Sweden)

SHORTS: Neon (Claus Withopf, Germany)

The Drive North (Tess Ernst, USA)

This article shared 2834 times since Wed Oct 1, 2003
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Gay News

Being BeBe documents life of first RuPaul's Drag Race winner 2023-03-27
- On the evening of March 9, the Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University presented a screening of Emily Branham's documentary Being BeBe, the story of Nea Marshall Kudi Ngwa, a.k.a. Benet, the first winner of ...

Gay News

WORLD Venezuela code, Oxfam, Bosnia items, 'Brokeback,' Pope Francis 2023-03-25
- Venezuela's Supreme Court annulled a controversial part of the military justice code that had criminalized same-sex relations within the armed forces, the outlet Punch noted. The court annulled the provision, which had provided for a penalty ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Joy Ride,' Cynthia Erivo, David Bowie, March Madness, Kevin Bacon 2023-03-25
Video below - The first trailer for the upcoming comedy Joy Ride has been released, Out noted. The movie stars Ashley Park, queer Oscar nominee Stephanie Hsu (Everything Everywhere All At Once), bisexual comedian Sherry Cola (Good Trouble) and ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Black Adam,' Cyndi Lauper, Sondheim, Oscars, OutFest 2023-03-18
- Cultured Magazine recently profiled Quintessa Swindell—who became the first out, non-binary actor to play a lead superhero in the DC universe when they portrayed Cyclone in the 2022 movie Black Adam. Swindell grew up in Virginia ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Little Richard, Indigo Girls, Rodriguez's honor, dance film, Pedro Pascal 2023-03-10
Video below - Produced by Bungalow Media + Entertainment for CNN Films and HBO Max, in association with Rolling Stone Films, director Lisa Cortes' Sundance opening-night documentary Little Richard: I Am Everything will debut in theaters and on VOD ...

Gay News

Billy Masters: Raunchier Uncoupled on the rebound with Showtime 2023-03-06
- "I never liked when she did this in concerts either. I don't like when females are overly sexualized in art. It degrades and objectivy's [sic] women in a way that's not healthy." —TJ Jackson on reports ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Wanda Sykes, Jonas Brothers, 'Queen of Versailles,' 'Bloodshed' 2023-03-04
Adam Lambert video below - Award-winning comedian Wanda Sykes' new comedy special, I'm An Entertainer, will premiere globally on Netflix on May 23, a press release announced. The special, directed by Linda Mendoza, was filmed in early February 2023 at Philadelphia's ...

Gay News

Queerties honor LGBTQ+ creatives at Feb. 28 event 2023-03-01
- The 11th Annual Queerties Awards—which recognizes LGBTQ+ creators, tastemakers, storytellers and newsmakers—took place Feb. 28 at Eden Sunset in Los Angeles. Hosted by drag comedian Bianca Del Rio, the ceremony ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Bob's Burgers,' P!nk, sports items, Billy Porter, Ben Platt 2023-02-24
- Animated sitcom Bob's Burgers marked another major milestone with its 250th episode. Gay actor/comedian/musician John Roberts (who voices Linda Belcher) talked with Queerty and said that one of the most important lessons he's learned from ...

Gay News

'Everything' sweeps The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics 14th Dorian Film Awards 2023-02-23
--From a press release - GALECA,The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics, has named A24's fantastical and affecting family relationship drama Everything Everywhere All at Once 2022's Film of the Year—and then some—in its 14th Dorian ...

Gay News

At 'FIRST(ISH)' Sight: Producer Ashley Flowers speaks on 'honest' representation 2023-02-22
- Ashley Flowers—a producer, co-creator and actor in the short film First(ish) Date, now in pre-production—wears many creative hats. She also has an extensive resume working with stage and film props as well; Flowers has been working ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Black queer films, Janet Jackson, Paramore, WNBA, GALECA contest 2023-02-19
- Queerty ran a piece on 10 films that celebrate Black queer love. Some of them include The Skinny (with Jussie Smollett), Dee Rees' movie Pariah, the Oscar-winning Moonlight, the Marlon Riggs classic Tongues Untied, Brother to ...

Gay News

Goran Stolevski grows up fast with Of an Age 2023-02-14
- Openly gay filmmaker Goran Stolevski is a triple threat: He handled directing, writing and editing chores for his new project, Of an Age, which Focus Features is now distributing. The film is already taking home trophies ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Isaac Mizrahi, Viola Davis, Laura Jane Grace, Elton John, GLAAD 2023-02-11
- On Sherri Shepherd's talk show, entertainer/fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi said he'd love for out actor Dan Levy to portray him in a potential biopic based on Mizrahi's memoir, I.M., The Wrap noted. "Dan Levy, OK," Mizrahi ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Jerrod Carmichael, Alan Cumming, Andre Leon Talley, AIDS drama 2023-02-05
- Openly gay stand-up comic and recent Golden Globes host Jerrod Carmichael is set to star in a comedy documentary series for HBO, according to Entertainment Weekly. The yet-untitled series will center on Carmichael's personal life, following ...


Copyright © 2023 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.






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.