Tuesday, May 31, 2011

BUDDIES Screening Kicks Off Hormel Center's Frameline Video Archive Project Film Series

On Thursday, June 2nd at Noon at the Main Library's Koret Auditorium, the Hormel Center's Frameline Video Archive Project series kicks off with an extremely rare opportunity to see Arthur Bressan's pinoeering AIDS drama, BuddiesThis 1985 indie was the first American feature film about the AIDS crisis. Frameline presented the world premiere of Buddies at the Castro Theater as a benefit for the Shanti Project in 1985.

Buddies (1985) USA, English, 81 mins.
Director: Arthur Bressan Jr.
Buddies, the first American film to dramatize the AIDS crisis, is an intensely personal story of a 32-year-old Californian dying of AIDS in a Manhattan Hospital and the 25-year-old New Yorker who starts as his volunteer counselor and becomes his greatest friend. Writer/director Arthur Bressan Jr. includes factual information about AIDS, but more importantly shows that love and caring is also a major part of this tragedy.  "I made this movie," Bressan says, " because I had to make it.  This one came from my heart . . .  It is a very small movie about the landscape of the heart and the caves within us."  Robert, the patient, and David, his "buddy," resist one another at first, but, as time goes by and their hospital visits become more personal, the men share thoughts and experiences that touch them both. Since Frameline presented the world premiere in 1985, Buddies has played to audiences around the world and received critical acclaim—both for the fine performances of Geoff Edholm and David Schacter, and the no-nonsense, gut-wrenching emotion of the film.

About the Series
Come on out to the Koret Auditorium at the San Francisco Main Library for this exciting series of highlights from the Hormel Center’s Frameline Video Archive Project. These five films represent some of the most significant items in the collection — for the most part unavailable on commercial DVD, these rarely screened titles offer a glimpse at the wide range of historically significant titles in the collection. All titles are part of the Hormel Center’s Frameline Video Archive Project and will be presented on DVD and introduced by series curator Jenni Olson. Series co-presented by Wolfe Video.

Buddies (1985) — June 2
Olivia (Pit of Loneliness) (1951) — June 9
American Fabulous (1991) — June 16
Summer Vacation: 1999 (1988) — June 23
Boy! What a Girl! (1945) & Out of the Shadows (1990) — June 30

The series kicks off with a rare screening of Arthur Bressan’s Buddies — the 1985 drama was the first American feature film about the AIDS crisis. In week two we present the rarely seen 1951 French lesbian boarding school drama, Olivia (Pit of Loneliness). Next up is the Best Video Audience Award winner of the 1991 San Francisco Lesbian & Gay Film Festival. Director Reno Dakota will be here in person to introduce his legendary showcase of gay Southern storyteller extraordinaire Jeffrey Strouth,  American Fabulous. Week four brings us Shusuke Kaneko’s futuristic Takarazuka melodrama, Summer Vacation: 1999 (this 1988 boys’ school charmer features a terrific all-girl cast). The series concludes with Arthur Leonard’s rediscovered 1945 all-black-cast musical, Boy! What a Girl! Starring Tim Moore (best know as The Kingfish from the Amos n’ Andy ‘50s TV series) as the bald, cigar-smoking female impersonator, “Madame Deborah.” Boy! What a Girl! will be preceded by Out of the Shadows, a rarely screened 1990 short documentary portrait of African American gay and transgender men in Washington D.C. — narrated by poet Essex Hemphill.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Retrospective of my Films at Kashish Mumbai Queer Film Fest!

I'm extremely proud to report that a retrospective of my work (curated by Paul Lee) is being presented at this year's Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival this coming Friday, May 27th at 1:30pm at the Alliance Francaise de Bombay — 40 Theosophy Hall Marine Lines, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400020 (Tel: 022 2203 5993).

The program is called THE STREETS OF SAN FRANCISCO and features my short films: Sometimes, Blue Diary, Meep Meep! and 575 Castro St. followed by my experimental documentary, The Joy of Life.

If you happen to be in Mumbai, please attend!