OUTRAGEOUS at the 46 Chicago Intl Film Festival
by Sawyer J. Lahr
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The 46th Chicago International Film Festival has some of the best gay and lesbian world cinema to be seen in the United States this year. The only US product in the OUTRAGEOUS category is the semi-autobiographical documentary, Beautiful Darling by James Rasin, a beautiful tragedy of the Andy Warhol superstar, Candy Darling, who rose to obscure fame and died an early death she almost wished for. Darling is my favorite as of yet, and can be seen on the big screen Friday 10/15 and Sat 10/16 at AMC River East.
Coming up in the last Monday of the festival is For 80 Days (Jon Garano and Jose Maria Goenaga, Spain). The lesbian drama I thought was comparable to last year’s Hannah Free with Sharon Gless, is a story of unrequited lesbian love in old age. Housewife, Axun is compelled to visit her daughter’s ex-husband Mikel who’s in a coma and has no friends or relatives to visit. The incident brings Axun’s very old friend Maite into her life again. The passion from their childhood is resurrected in reunion for better and for worse. For 80 Days plays at AMC River East Mon. 10/18 and Tues. 10/19.
Loose Cannons, directed by Ferzan Ozpetek, is an hilarious Italian sexual comedy and family drama set in Lecce, a small town in Italy where Tommaso returns home to tell his family he doesn’t want to run the pasta manufacturing business his father own and that he’s gay. It’s a double whammy that doesn’t quite goes as planned when his brother Antonio interrupts Tommaso’s confession by coming out himself. Knowing he’ll likely be sent packing, Antonio takes the risk to escape as his brother did. After his father’s sudden heart attack, Tommaso decides to hide his secret and appease his father by replacing Antonio in the business. He learns quickly that, as his wise grandmother says, those who don’t do what they want, will never be happy. Advice taken. See Loose Cannons Tues. 10/12, Wed. 10/13, and Fri. 10/15 at AMC River East.
Post Cards to Daddy, the other queer doc in the festival is a multimedia assemblage of memory and the healing process of a sexual abuse victim, German filmmaker Michael Stock (Prince of Hell 1993). The journey to peace of mind is narrated by Stock over video diary footage, more recent home movies of his sister’s happy family, and tapes from his excursions with now deceased lover Remi. Stock’s extremely explicit confessions of abuse and his deeply probing interviews with siblings and his mother get to heart of what healthy or unhealthy intimacy means in a family that grew up politically active but worldly naive. No further screenings at this festival are scheduled.
Sawyer J. Lahr is Chief Editor of the forthcoming online publication, Go Over the Rainbow. He also writes a monthly film column for Mindful Metropolis, a conscious living magazine in Chicago, IL.
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