Mon. Jul 6th, 2020

Frameline 39: Tab Hunter, I Am Michael and 6 Others to Watch

James Franco and Zachary Quinto star in Justin Kelly's I Am Michael, Frameline 39's Opening Night film
James Franco and Zachary Quinto star in Justin Kelly’s I Am Michael, Frameline 39’s Opening Night film


Frameline39, the 39th San Francisco Gay and Lesbian International Film Festival is just days away and I have your list of MUST watch films and events for the 11 day event, which culminates at the Pride Festival on Sunday the 28th.

altoALTO (Mikki del Monico)
A lesbian gangster movie? Yep, that’s right. When Francesca del Vecchio, an aspiring singer (and played by American Idol’s Diana DeGarmo) finds herself linked with Nicolette, the daughter of the new mafia boss, bodies in trunks, mafioso funerals and a string of perfectly timed happenstances make this too fun to pass up.

bareBARE (Natalia Liete)
Told with stunning visual flair, Glee’s Diana Agron and Boardwalk Empire’s Paz de la Huerta find love in a hopeless place, rural Nevada. There’s good girl/bad girl exploration of personalities (who’s who?) in this freshly told story.

do-i-sound-gayDO I SOUND GAY? (David Thorpe)
Ever think you can tell if a guy is gay just by his voice? Well, you’re not alone in David Thorpe’s insightful, often hilarious and personal exploration as to why some of us have a ‘gay voice’ and if there even is such a thing. Chock-o-block full of historians and linguists and fabulous guest commentary from the likes of Dan Savage, George Takei, Tim Gunn and David Sedaris, this is a wonderfully explored film.

i-am-michael-thumbI AM MICHAEL (Justin Kelly)
This fantastically controversial opening night film stars James Franco as Michael Glatze, who went from being a fierce gay advocate to vicious anti-gay pastor through conversion. It’s a remarkably well-handled piece and co-stars Zachary Quinto and Charlie Carver.

in-the-grayscaleIN THE GRAYSCALE (Claudio Marcone)
Newly split from his wife, Bruno goes on a sexual journey of discovery and finds himself involved with Fer in this assured directorial debut. Filled with chemistry, this raw and organic film of exploration in modern day Chile is a must-see.

liz-in-septemberLIZ IN SEPTEMBER (Fina Torres)
Seduction is of high order when straight Eva crashes a lesbian party on paradise island. Adapted from the lesbian play “Last Summer at Bluefish Cove,” this is a film about sensual awakening with gorgeous photography and a Caribbean location.

tab-hunter-confidentialTAB HUNTER: CONFIDENTIAL (Jeffrey Schwarz)
Schwarz is probably the best gay documentary filmmaker working today and you can add Tab Hunter: Confidential to his list of superb films, which include Vito, I Am Divine and And the Oscar Goes To… Confidential details the life of 1950s Hollywood heartthrob Tab Hunter and his life as a closeted actor. Featuring an incredibly open Hunter in interviews as well as stars and directors past and present (including Debbie Reynolds and Clint Eastwood), this is just the kind of film made for this festival.

those-peopleTHOSE PEOPLE (Joey Kuhn)
Caught somewhere between Looking and Gossip Girl, Those People finds a New York City boy of meager means pining for his rich, socialite best friend who’s father has just been jailed for a Bernie Madoff-like pyramid scheme. Extremely well acted and directed.

Now, that’s only a handful of great films that this festival has to offer. In fact, more than 180 films will be shown, with 63 of them directed by women and 18 from first-time filmmakers. And don’t forget two of the most favorite parts of the festival, the Fun in Boys Shorts and Fun in Girls Shorts.

For the full schedule of films and times check out the Frameline39 website.

If you haven’t seen the trailer, it’s also a must watch.

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