Proving that Boise may be finally raising its sights above rather staid cultural offerings, the second annual Queer as Film Festival comes to town November 18 and 19 with a regalia of features and short films about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues.
While gay and lesbian film festivals have been a staple in major cities like San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Dallas and Austin for nearly a decade, it is still encouraging to see gay-themed films and events woven into the fabric of smaller cities like Boise, demonstrating progressive steps forward in our cultural and social awareness.
Presented again this year by Boise State University Cultural and Ethnic Diversity Board, the Queer as Film Festival presents a slate of 11 films--from documentary to camp, parody to politics--running the gamut of gay culture.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 18
"I Do" Documentary Program
Two timely documentaries explore the gay marriage issue.
Tying the Knot challenges the notion of traditional marriage and makes a compelling case for gay marriage. Utilizing interviews and archival footage and articles, director Jim de Séve powerfully illustrates that without marriage, same-sex partners are denied both the societal recognition and the legal rights that married couples enjoy.
In A Day Like Any Other, Jay Roberts and Mark Johnson celebrate their 21st anniversary in Portland, Oregon, by getting legally married, along with 400 other couples who had previously been denied the right.
5 p.m., Boise State Special Events Center
"Girls Just Want to Have Fun" Short Films Program
Ranging in length from four minutes to 39 minutes, these seven films offer a humorous take on girls gone wild.
Austin filmmaker Susan Turley's comedy Bad Vibes serves up an amusing tale centered on Texas' ridiculous dildo penal code. In the quest to understand the state's notorious law criminalizing the possession of six or more "obscene devices," a.k.a dildos, KJYL investigative reporter Anita Mann interviews a myriad of off-the-wall characters who attempt to justify the law while trying to keep their own colorful pasts a secret. The film crew actually broke Texas law by having more than the legal limit of dildos in their possession while making the film.
Todd Broder's Butch in the City features lesbian newspaper columnist Terry Madshaw in a parody of the HBO series Sex and the City. Broder's spoof has been featured in over 20 international film festivals and won best picture in Cleveland's Overlook Park Film Festival.
Guinevere Turner (The L Word, American Psycho, Chasing Amy, Go Fish) directs and stars in Hummer, a short pic about Casey, a young woman unsure of her existing relationship with Sam, the perfect woman in all respects except for a slightly annoying habit of constantly humming. The mindless humming distracts Casey to no end and it takes a candlelight dinner with friends to realize who she wants to be with.
Ann Meredith screens two documentaries: Strap 'Em Down: The World of Drag Kings takes a look at the flip side of drag queens, and Tall in the Saddle: Cowgirls, Ranch Women & Rodeo Gals records dames on the range. Tall in the Saddle won the "Best of Festival: Documentary" award at the Berkeley Film & Video Festival last month.
The Undergrad is a gender-twisting parody of Mike Nichols' 1967 classic The Graduate (Mrs. Robinson, are you trying to seduce me?). All of the film's main roles are played by women and drag kings; and members of The Chicago Kings and internationally acclaimed drag king pioneer Diane Torr are also featured.
The annual Dinah Shore weekend in Palm Springs and the thousands of lesbians it attracts is the focus of Where the Girls Are, which takes a comic look at the history, parties and conflicts of this yearly extravaganza.
7 p.m., Boise State Special Events Center
Yes Nurse! No Nurse! Feature
Camp aplenty in this nonsensical Dutch musical comedy based on a popular Dutch TV series from the 1960s. The story recounts the adventures of Nurse Klivia, the zany residents of the rest home she runs and a grouchy misanthropic landlord.
Directed by Pieter Kramer, this film's set brims with the flashy colors and fashions of the 1960s--can't get much campier than that. True to camp form, the plot is confusing, but the guffaws are plentiful.
9 p.m., Boise State Special Events Center
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 19
A Home at the End of the World Feature
Based on the book by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Cunningham (The Hours, Flesh and Blood), A Home at the End of the World chronicles the lives of Bobby and Jonathan, two childhood friends who meet as students in a suburban Ohio school. From the moment they meet, Bobby (Colin Farrell) and Jonathan (Dallas Roberts) are inseparable. For Jonathan, the unconventional Bobby is a connection to a larger world. For Bobby, Jonathan's family--and in particular Jonathan's mother Alice (Sissy Spacek)--represents a kind of stability he hasn't known. As they grow up, the boys grow apart only to reunite in New York where, together with the free-spirited Clare (Robin Wright Penn), they invent a new kind of family. This film takes a thoughtful look at what we mean by love, commitment, loyalty and, perhaps most importantly, notions of family. A Home, the directorial debut of Michael Mayer, has garnered an Irish Film and Television Award (IFTA) Best Actor nomination for Farrell.
7 p.m., Flicks Theater, 646 Fulton Street
Tickets for Thursday night's programs are $5 per program or $12 for all three; $3 per program for students and seniors or $7 for all three. Tickets can be purchased in advance at Flying M, 500 W. Idaho St., or at the door.
Tickets for Friday night's film are $7 for adults, $5 for students and seniors, and can be purchased at the door.