Sunday, May 19, 2024
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Favorite film finds from San Francisco’s Frameline

Too many movies. Too little time. Frameline47 is upon us and I never get a chance to see in advance all of the wonderful content.

Frameline, the world’s longest-running LGBTQ+ film festival, will takes place in the  San Francisco Bay Area through June 24, 2023 with a lot of wonderful live and virtual options. While I might have not yet seen some gems, here are some discoveries I did find.

Big Boys is a beautiful and surprising film about a 14-year-old boy finding and discovering his sexuality. Those of us in the know (gays!) can tell he’s going down the path to being gay. Our character Jamie starts thinking that too as he starts to develop feelings for his cousin’s adult boyfriend during a camping trip.

Egghead & Twinkie is another youth-driven story about two besties who go on a spontaneous road trip after Twinkie’s dad didn’t accept her coming out very well. Along the trip, we met fun and interesting characters and get to see a lot of animation, well incorporated into the film.

Our Son has received a lot of attention and rightfully so. It features great performances (and a song too!) from its stars Billy Porter and Luke Evans in a film about a custody battle….think Kramer vs. Gaymer. We expect greatness from Porter but Evans is a revelation.

Rotting in the Sun has one of the biggest twists, jaw-dropping moments. Its recovery from that moment is also compelling. This narrative feature almost seems real as the writer/director plays a writer/director and uses his own name as well as his social media influencer co-star playing himself, but scripted. Lots of surprise and fun – and if you care, tons of male nudity.

The Mattachine Family brings together a lot of beloved TV actors who prove they are equally great on the big screen. Nico Tortorella (from Younger) and Juan Pablo Di Pace (TV’s Dallas reboot) play a couple struggling with giving back a foster child. Throw Emily Hampshire (Schitt’s Creek) and you have a great ensemble.

Glitter & Doom

Glitter & Doom is a very stylish and sweet story about men who fall in love at first sight. Watching it, I was reminded of Getting Go and Were the World Mine. Then when I checked the credits, it has the same director (Tom Gustafson) and writer (Cory Krueckeberg) and they also did the movie Hello Again. So I guess I need to be aware of their films as I will find quality and style.

God Saves the Queens is a wonderful tale about bickering drag queens that need to work together one more time and try therapy to work through things. Many from RuPaul’s family (including Michelle Visage) are in this film and Alaska Thunderfuck continues to amaze as an actor. While the whole movie is well crafted with good performances and direction all around, Alaska proves to be one of Drag Race‘s most talented actors.

Jess Plus None

Jess Plus None came as a sweet surprise. Good thing about screening movies in advance is you don’t often know much about this film. This movie about a lesbian maid of honor at a wedding in the woods in which her ex-girlfriend will attend spells trouble for her – and us. Many other secrets come out and Abby Miller is a delight. Kudos also go to using Scout Durwood in a smaller role.  But the use of some of Durwood’s songs giving her the exposure she needs. Now, let’s cast her in the lead in some mainstream film.

Rock Hudson: All That Heavens Allowed

Rock Hudson: All That Heavens Allowed proves why I love documentaries about famous people. We get a closer intimate look at Hudson and he endears us even more.

Local Legends is a double feature and one of them, Belonging: Trans Indian Story is a look into the Parivar Bay Area group and one of its leaders is a great spokesperson for that community and she shares many stories of prejudice that she’s faced – not just for being trans, but also being Indian.

Pornomelancholia

Pornomelancholia is another film at the festival that takes a real-life person and puts them in what seems a fictitious situation. Here we have adult film actor Lalo Santos playing himself basically in gay porn, offering us a look inside at what motivates him and the innerworkings of the industry.

Ask Any Buddy is devoid of plot but you can’t turn away. It intercuts many scenes from over 100 clips from older gay porn films. There truly isn’t an explanation but it’s fascinating if not titillating to watch.

This is just a teaser of the many films playing at Frameline. I’ve been watching them every waking moment and never had time to finish all of the wonderful options.

Get tickets to see live in San Francisco and Oakland and you can order ahead nationwide to watch some of these movies virtually at home. All further information can be found at http://www.frameline.org.

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Kevin M. Thomas

Kevin M. Thomas, or @ReelKev, is an arts blogger and entertainment reporter. In addition to his own website, www.reelkev.com and ReelKev YouTube channel, Kevin used to be the LGBT arts writer for Examiner.com and contributes to progressivepulse.com as well as a semi-regular on San Francisco's cable TV show, "10 Percent."

Kevin M. Thomas has 157 posts and counting. See all posts by Kevin M. Thomas

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