What It Looks Like From Here

Executive Director of PhillyGayCalendar

Just in case you haven’t noticed that the focus of the past two weeks across the city has been “all about film” with the return of the 17th Philadelphia Film Festival premiering more than 247 films, from 49 countries, in 37 languages, and hosting the Hollywood types like William H. Macy, Jason Ritter, John Leguizamo, Shane West, Patti Smith and more than 150 Indie filmmakers from around the world ends on April 15 with a sold-out house closing night film and award ceremony at the Prince and a spectacular party (tickets available at the door) at Top of the Tower (visit www.phillyfest.com ).

But the celebration of film in the city will continue with the appearance of Spike Lee emceeing the retrospective of his film works with a soulful jazz performance by the Terence Blanchard Quintet 8 pm, on April 19, in the Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center.

Organizers said that the multimedia presentation celebrates in a creative way the film scores of such evocative works as Lee’s film accomplishments such as Bamboozled, Inside Man, Clockers, Malcolm X, Jungle Fever, 25th Hour, Mo’ Better Blues, and the recent Emmy Award winning HBO Katrina documentary, When the Levees Broke.

Grammy award winning trumpeter-composer and Lee’s long-time musical collaborator, Blanchard will lead his jazz quintet, accompanied by a 20 piece orchestra.

Special guest vocalists include Philadelphia’s neo soul sensation Musiq Soulchild, Stevie Wonder protégé Raul Midón and Patti Austin, whose album Avant Gershwin won the Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album in 2008. All About Jazz said that “Blanchard’s no-frills, in-the-tradition, testifying trumpet, which is the main solo voice, rings out powerfully and affectingly throughout. He blows like a blues player sings, by turns angry, plaintive, stoic, hopeful and elegiac—and, almost tangibly, always from the heart.”

For information, visit New Hope Celebrates GLBT Films.

It’ll be the prefect weekend to stay overnight in pastoral, lovely and gay-friendly New Hope and its environs later this month.

It’s a new GLBT film festival when New Hope Celebrates will  partner with the Philadelphia Film Society and TLA Releasing to present over 20 feature and short films from acclaimed and aspiring independent filmmakers, whose work incorporates a gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender (GLBT) perspective, April 26 and 27, with screenings at 530 Union Square Drive and Bucks County Playhouse.

The lineup of screenings will include: 

  • In the Blood (USA, 2006) by director and screenwriter Lou Peterson;
  • Freeheld (USA, 2007) by director Cynthia Wade;
  • I Remember Mother (USA, 2001) by producer and writer by Tim McMurtry;
  • Bears (USA, 2007) director by Marc Klasfeld;
  • Alexis Arquette: She’s My Brother (USA, 2007) by directors Matthew Barbato and Nikki Parrott;
  • Black White & Gray: A Portrait of Sam Wagstaff and Robert Mapplethorpe (USA, 2007) by director and screenwriter: James Crump;
  • Finn’s Girl (Canada, 2007) by director Dominique Cardona and director/screenwriter Laurie Colbert;
  • Lonely Child (Canada, 2005) director and screenwriter by Pascal Robitaille;
  • Life of Reilly (USA, 2006)by directors: Frank L. Anderson, Barry Poltermann and screenwriters Paul Linke, Charles Nelson Reilly;
  • Family Reunion (Iceland, 2006) by director Isold Uggadottir;
  • In the Ladies Lounge (Australia, 2006) by director Fadia Abboud;
  • Prom Queen (USA, 2007) presented by American Shaft, USA;
  • Worst Case Scenario: Butch Edition (USA, 2006) by director Mary Guzman;
  • Two Homelands: Cuba and the Night (Germany, 2006) by director and screenwriter Christian Liffers;
  • Boadway Damage (USA, 1998) by director and writer Victor Mignatti;
  • Saint of 911 (USA, 2006) by director Glenn Holsten.

The festival’s kick-off party will take place on Friday, April 26,  8 pm, Triumph Brewing Company in Union Square, New Hope. It’s free and open to the public with a cash bar. Festival organizers said that an awards ceremony and party takes place on Sunday, April 27,  7 pm, at Havana’s Restaurant and Bar, 105 South Main Street. Grand Jury Awards, Best Director, Genre Awards for Features & Shorts and Documentary Awards will be announced. It’s free and open to the public with a cash bar. New Hope Celebrates is a nonprofit gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and allied (GLBTA) destination marketing organization of New Hope, Pennsylvania’s retail, hospitality, professional and local community. Tickets are $8 for a single admittance and $35 for a special pass for admittance to all film screenings. For information, www.newhopecelebrates.com

Lammy Finalists read in Philadelphia.

From films to books is really much of a stretch, except when we’re talking queer books. I’ve always wondered why some of our greatest queer literature has never made it to the big or, for that matter, small screen. Anyway, for the first-time ever some of the Philadelphia area finalists for this year’s Lammys, the country’s largest awards program for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender books and writers, will present a reading at Bijou 11 South 3rd St., 6-8 pm, on Monday, April 21. (See event INFO HERE)

Sponsored by the Lambda Literary Foundation, headquartered in New York City, and QUEERTimes, the event will feature Victoria Brownworth & Judith Redding, THE GOLDEN AGE OF LESBIAN EROTICA, Andrew W.M. Beierle, FIRST PERSON PLURAL, Men’s Fiction Finalist, and Sarah Schulman, THE CHILD, Women’s Fiction Finalist, reading from their works.

“We’re delighted to partner with our friends in Philadelphia to promote LGBT books,” said Charles Flowers, executive director of Lambda Literary Foundation, “The love of queer books is alive and thriving in the home of Giovanni’s Room, one of the country’s oldest and best loved LGBT bookstores.” Flowers said that the evening’s special event will begin with a reception from 6-7 pm, followed by the reading from 7-8 pm.

The event is free and open to the public with a suggested donation is $5 per person with all proceeds to benefit the nonprofit Lambda Literary Foundation.

For information, call (212) 239-6575 or visit www.lambdaliterary.org

I Wish That I Had Said That:

“I did it for myself to begin with, but once I [came out], I started getting all these letters and e-mails and MYSpace messages and. . .it’s just been so wonderful and humbling for me.”
–queer fashion model J. P. Calderon on publicly coming out (Instinct, May 2008).

“For Andy [Warhol], hell is a place on Earth–to be looked at, and felt and then avoided. . . .Andy is a bit of a sadist, as well as a voyuer,. He likes to push his relationships as far as they will go. . .And if he’s a voyeur-sadist, the Superstars are exhibionists-masochists. That’s why they burn out so quickly. . . .But, don’t forget, there are always more candidates for Superstardom than there are Superstars.”
–queer musuem curator Henry Geldzahler (Holy Terror: Andy Warhol Close-Up by Bob Colacello, HarperCollins, 1975).

“As Harvey Fierstein once observed, practically every movie, book, TV show, and billboard we see throughout our lives tells us that we’re supposed to marry a physically appealing woman, buy a house in the suburbs, and crank out the kids.”
–queer writer Alonso Duralde (101 Must-See Movies for Gay Men, Advocate Books, 2005).

More of Thom’s Columns can be found at QUEERTimes.net


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