The movie (and theater) floodgates remain open. A lot of new releases to review, and a Tony-winning musical finally makes it to Chicago, too. "J. Edgar", "The Skin I Live In", "Like Crazy", and "My Week With Marilyn" are here or will arrive soon. Plus, the 30th Annual Reeling Film Festival, Chicago's movie feast for the LGBT community, arrives this week. Then there is the Thanksgiving holiday, which calls for a movie theme of its own (turkeys, anyone?). Finally, in two weeks, there is a special retrospective of a movie that affected me like no other.
* * * * * * *
This week, look for reviews of "Moneyball" (finally) and "Martha Marcy May Marlene". I'll tip my hand and tell you that I enjoyed them both, in extremely different ways. The Billy Beane Baseball Bio had the added benefit of being screened the day after the final World Series game. "M4" was a subtle thriller that proved a good lead-in to Halloween.
* * * * * * * *
REELING, Chicago's LGBT Film Festival, celebrates its 30th Anniversary November 3-12. Not as esoteric as the Chicago International Film Festival (covered here last month), it nevertheless provides a holiday-type forum for 65 features, documentaries, and short films about GLBT history, art and culture. Without REELING, these films might not get general distribution otherwise. The festival is inclusive, fun, and---yes, "gay" in every sense of the word.
Although some of the schedule contains the predictable, sterilized LOGO castoffs that resemble gay soft-core porn crossed with an after-school special, there are more than enough films of substance for those who like their entertainment to mean something, and maybe change their way of seeing.
Some of the titles that interest this reviewer are: a comedy from Italy about tradition and family upheaval called "Loose Cannons (Mine Vaganti)"; an American drama in which a teacher may be a target of blackmail by a student in "The Green" (co-starring Cheyenne Jackson); "August", a torrid love triangle between two former lovers and a hot bartender; the highly anticipated documentary "Vito" which chronicles the life of Vito Russo, activist, writer and film-enthusiast, among whose lasting legacies is "The Celluloid Closet"; "This is What Love in Action Looks Like", which documents the story of Zach, a 16-year-old from Memphis who reacts against a fundamentalist program that promises to turn gay teens straight; and, from Germany, "Romeos", which played last month at the Chicago Film Fest (I missed it), tells the story of a pre-op female-to -male trans, whose life is further complicated by his attraction to an unsuspecting group leader.
(Just click on the film title links above for more descriptions and trailers of each!)
In a New York Times on-line article about Leonardo DiCaprio and his new star vehicle "J.Edgar", I read a disturbing quote by director Clint Eastwood. The article speculated on just how closely the screenwriter, Dustin Lance Black ("Milk"), would examine the rumors of Hoover's homosexuality and penchant for cross-dressing. Apparently, there is an intense depiction of Hoover's relationship with his friend, Clive Tolson, in which DiCaprio and Armie Hammer share an on-screen kiss.
Eastwood was quoted commenting on this relationship thus: