Boston LGBT Film Fest guide
If you are someone who identifies with any of the terms lesbian, gay, bisexual or transsexual, then it’s pretty much a given that you will find something of interest in the Boston LGBT Film Festival. The fare features protagonists in all those categories of sexual persuasion. However, it’s much more than just boy-meets-boy or girl-meets-girl stories—there’s a wealth of genres represented, including romcom, romdram, sci-fi, horror, sports, music and musicals, dancing, pop culture parodies, international concerns, documentaries, mockumentaries and on and on. And regardless of the subject matter, there are lots of high-quality, vibrant films well worth checking out, even if you are just a boring straight person.
This film is a shining jewel in the LGBT Fest’s crown. Tom Tykwer was responsible for the fantastic Run Lola Run in 1998 and the completely insane Perfume in 2006. His latest, the story of a married German couple who both have an affair with the same man takes his unusual cinematographic style to new realms, jump-cutting in and out of surrealistic sequences and pulling the camera through eye-popping set pieces. The acting is top-notch, as is the script, which turns effortlessly from colloquial dialogue to intellectual banter without missing a beat. The film manages to balance a conventional account with a highly experimental and unusual storytelling style. A must see. $10; 7:30pm; Thursday, May 5; Museum of Fine Arts
Wir Sind die Nacht (We Are the Night)
Screenwriters like to joke that a sure fire way to sell a script is put lesbian vampires in it. This German film is not only confirms that theory, it makes it work. These lesbian vampires are jet-setting, fast car driving, designer-wearing superbabes that do things like fly, walk on ceilings, have sex and do drugs. The production values are astounding, the soundtrack kicks ass with obscure underground German bands, the plot careens along at an effective pace and the women are adequate actors and quite alluring—although the whole lesbian angle is left largely and tragically unexplored. $10; 9pm; Friday, May 13; Brattle Theater.
Last Fast Ride: The Life, Love, and Death of a Punk Goddess
A documentary about West Coast early-‘90s punk rocker Marian Anderson, a beautiful and surprisingly sweet lesbian punk rock performer who was involved in a year-long trial for doing filthy things with a banana onstage. Narrated by a uncharacteristically gentle-voiced Henry Rollins, her history is traced through interviews with friends and family back to an abusive childhood and through a series of raucous bands where she became increasingly more explicit onstage, ultimately bringing women from the bondage troupe she worked for into the act for all sorts of bawdy, carnal fun. $10; 9pm; Thursday, May 12; Brattle Theater.
Here’s exactly what you would expect to find at this festival: dudes in leather thongs crawling around on the floor pretending to be dogs, noses in each other’s buttholes while “Sex Dwarf” plays on the soundtrack—basically a love letter to the Chicago-based International Mr. Leather contest. The whole point of Mr. Leather is that every kink you think up is not only allowed but also encouraged, including leather women and even a straight guy. Ridiculously enough, one of the most controversial things that happened was when a black man won the contest in the 1980s. $10; 9pm; Friday, May 6; Brattle Theater.
We Were Here
A chronicle of the natural disaster that was the AIDS epidemic in San Francisco in the early 1970s. The filmmaker David Weissman puts a face on the subject through compelling interviews with a number of survivors. This is sad stuff, almost like watching a war documentary—every single one of these interviewees has friends that died horribly—but the firsthand accounts coupled with a rich array of photographs and films brings the era to life in an unusually effective way. $10; 5pm; Sunday, May 8; Museum of Fine Arts.
A Queer History of the United States
Here’s the stuff that not even Howard Zinn went into. This is not a film, but a book event and lecture—still it’s nonetheless an important component of this fest. Local author and culture critic Michael Bronski talks about sodomy in the early colonies, cross-dressing female soldiers in the Civil War, and examines unusual subjects like how technology affected the LGBT movement and whether rock music and pop culture were responsible for the backlash against gay rights in the late 1970s. Free; 1pm; Sunday, May 8; Museum of Fine Arts.
The Boston LGBT Festival runs from May 5 to May 15 and takes place at the MFA and the Brattle Theater. For much more info go to bostonlgbtfilmfest.org