What? Annie, that big budget classic 1982 kids movie based on the hit Broadway show, is some kinda queer film? Yes!, says the brilliantly talented downtown singer, actress, playwright and Our Hit Parade regular Erin Markey. The story of a fearless little redhead orphan trying to find a loving family resonated with Markey, who says “I worked it out so that I could turn the age of 18, leave my parent's house and become a queer-- AKA an orphan. Being queer in a world that generally considers it criminal or invisible means that there is not really a map for what a successful life should look like. Being an artist helps too. So Annie's movie musical orphan lifestyle seemed like the most exciting fit.” Not to mention the cast of fabulous female stage legends – Bernadette Peters, Ann Reinking, Carol Burnett as the wonderfully cruel Miss Hannigan, and newcomer Aileen Quinn as little orphan Annie. Come see the film through Erin Markey’s eyes and remember – tomorrow is only a day away!
Called the "first pro-gay fag joke" by Vito Russo, NORMAN... IS THAT YOU? stars comedian Red Foxx and the iconic Pearl Bailey as an African-American couple who discover their only son is gay - and that his lover is white. Adapted from a Broadway play of the same name about a Jewish family, director George Schlatter (ROWAN & MARTIN'S LAUGH-IN) translates Borscht-belt Gay Jewish jokes into a collection of stereotypes about black culture. With appearances by Madame and Waylon Jennings, the result is dated, fascinating, and ultimately results in a positive attempt to show a father trying to understand his gay son. Presented by Cheryl Dunye, whose landmark feature, The Watermelon Woman (1995) explores the history of both black women and lesbians, don't miss this rare screening of a film whose original poster boasted, "There's a Sexual Revolution Going On...And All the Leaders Are in My Family!"
Francois Truffaut’s early masterpiece follows a passionate menage-a-trois between two men and the alluring, enigmatic Jeanne Moreau over the course of twenty years. Its only fitting that legendary playwright and activist Larry Kramer (The Normal Heart, The Destiny of Me), whose work has always tackled the mysteries of human desire, has chosen to present a film that transforms old-fashioned Euro melodrama into modernist new-wave art. “With JULES AND JIM, Truffaut broke almost every rule on how to make a movie how it looked, sounded, was acted, edited, photographed, scored, and especially for me, how it was scripted. Though not often discussed as a gay love story, it has one – not an especially bold one, but then the French can be rather joyously naive about certain things, and sex is one of them.”
Alfred Hitchcock’s 1948 thriller about two “best friends” hosting a dinner party for a man they’ve already murdered and hidden in the room is famous for being shot in a series of long takes, creating a fascinating mixture of play and film. But Hitchcock also pushed the envelope by casting two actors he knew were gay – John Dall and Farley Granger – to play the two leads, who were based on famed gay killers Leopold and Loeb. The coded Pre-Stonewall portrayal fascinated our guests tonight, George Chauncey, author of the seminal "Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture and the Making of the Gay Male World," and noted queer film theorist Ronald Gregg.
Actress Heather Matarazzo (WELCOME TO THE DOLLHOUSE, OUR GUYS: OUTRAGE IN GLEN RIDGE) has always identified with the outsider, so it’s no surprise to learn that she has long carried a torch for the great Judy Garland. Judy’s haunting last film, I COULD GO ON SINGING is a musical melodrama about a singer who returns to London for one last show, and who reunites with the son and the lover (a great Dirk Bogarde) she had left behind. For Matarazzo, the film conveys “the experience I’ve had of feeling personally so uncomfortable in my own skin, continually asking others to validate who I am, and it truly never being enough.”
Peter Cramer and Jack Waters presents Salo, Or The 120 Days of Sodom
Few films in the history of cinema are as infamous as Pasolini’s 1975 masterwork. Set after the fall of Mussolini’s Italy, SALO focuses on four fascist libertines who kidnap eighteen teenage boys and girls and subject them to extreme sexual and mental torture. Legendary East Village artist and activist duo Jack Waters and Peter Cramer first saw the film in Cologne in 1984, and found that it unsettlingly mirrored “the residual sense of post-Nazi Germany still intact.” Titillating and terrifying, SALO (rarely shown on 35mm) is impossible to see without feeling both incriminated and aroused… just as Pasolini would have wanted.
An insane X-rated black comedy from the minds of two late, great underground cult film auteurs, George Kuchar and Curt McDowell, THUNDERCRACK! begins as an Old Dark House-style gothic horror but swiftly turns into an outrageous gut-busting camp sex fest. According to our guest, the brilliant author Laurie Weeks (Zippermouth), who first saw the film in 2000, “Guided by humor, curiosity, and sheer delight in the black-and-white gorgeousity of its own anarchy, the film is queer to the core.” You won’t want to miss this rarely screened and not-on-DVD masterpiece whose poster promised, “Ecstasy so great that all heaven and hell became but one SHANGRI-LA!”
“The story of three consenting adults in the privacy of their own home!” proclaimed the poster for this brilliant 1968 lesbian classic about a sadistic soap opera actress whose relationship with a much younger lover crumbles when her TV character is “killed off.” It stars the magnificent Beryl Reid, sexy Susannah York and Coral Browne (Vincent Price’s beard) and was directed by Robert Aldrich (Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?). Our guest host, NYC drag legend Lady Bunny is chock-full of tidbits about this favorite, which she claims has the best lesbian bar sequence in film history (“even better than Foxy Brown”). *Lady Bunny will not be presenting as originally scheduled. A special guest will be announced at a later date. We look forward to welcoming Lady Bunny back at a later date*
It’s hard to believe that Steve McLean’s landmark of queer cinema was finished only two years after the death of its subject, artist and provocateur David Wojnarowicz. A passionate, sad kaleidoscopic ride through New York gay life, the film highlights the intensely personal nature of Wojnarowicz’s work, from his Jersey roots, to his years hustling on and off the West Village piers. For filmmaker Rose Troche, who worked on the film while she was finishing her own queer groundbreaker, go fish, the film “epitomized a moment when we began to believe in our voice...and represents the beginning of a community and collectivity that still exists.”
RUNAWAY TRAIN is the highly propulsive story of two men who escape from a maximum-security prison via a runaway train pummeling through the Alaskan wilderness. One of the most exhilarating films you’ll ever see, this 1985 action masterpiece stars the two great hunks of the era, big-lipped Eric Roberts and Jon Voight in what is arguably his most memorable performance. The film astounded our February guest, choreographer Elizabeth Streb, and inspired her to start an Action Lab that would similarly stretch the boundaries of human possibility. For Streb, the film is also a very queer reminder that “in choosing whom we love, we break all rules.”
Jack Pierson presents COME BACK TO THE FIVE AND DIME JIMMY DEAN, JIMMY DEAN
On the 20th anniversary of James Dean’s death, a group of female fans reunite to reminisce about happy days gone by. But when a mysterious yet familiar looking stranger arrives, the truth behind the women’s faded memories come out. Photographer Jack Pierson fondly recalls the excitement amongst his friends (Mark Morrisroe & Tabboo!) over the arrival of Robert Altman’s 1982 cult classic, which starred Cher in her first breakthrough role, along with icons Karen Black, Sandy Dennis, and Kathy Bates. It’s also one of only a few Altman films to feature an LGBT main character.