We all have our favorite screen actresses, but none are more steadfast in their affections than gay men. Ask Doris Day, Elizabeth Taylor, or Cher, whose gay fans never wavered (unlike those fickle heteros) after the stars stepped away from the spotlight. But even these goddesses bow before the queen (or queen bitch) of gay esteem, Bette Davis. Her appeal derives from her ambisexuality in combination with such timeless personas as the holy-terror diva, the stalwart solitaire, and the camp heroine. Bay Area filmmaker Mike Black's new documentary, Queer Icon: The Cult of Bette Davis, considers this fascinating phenomenon through a mix of vintage film clips and fresh interviews with a wealth of mostly local figures, such as impresario Marc Huestis and historian Matthew Kennedy. Actor Matthew Martin, who channels the star of All About Eve and Dark Victory onstage, supplies his unique perspective on the special place she has in gay men's hearts. More than simply a lovefest, Queer Icon questions whether gays still need a role model like the fabulous Miss D. The film will surely find an enthusiastic audience when it plays the queer capitals of New York and Los Angeles, but tonight's world premiere is bound to be an only-in-San-Francisco event. It won't be tedious, darling.
Thu., July 2, 6, 8:10 & 10:20 p.m., 2009