Queer Close-Ups

The slippery, sprawling smorgasbord that is Frameline34: San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival offers delicacies for nearly any boy or girl. Got a taste for New York–style transvestite glamour? Beautiful Darling: The Life and Times of Candy Darling, Andy Warhol Superstar (June 23) has got it up to its eyelashes. As a bonus, a pair of provocatively titled programs of vintage Warhol films, “Hustlers and Exhibitionists” and “Sex, Leather Jackets, and Cigarettes,” show the scene as it was. Forcing our gaze down — below the equator — the festival spotlights South America’s new wave of queer cinema with a steamy sidebar led by the Peruvian bisexual triangle Undertow (June 22). For something closer to home, The Stranger in Us (June 23 and 25), Scott Boswell’s fresh, moody, and occasionally poetic indie feature about a sensitive guy’s first year in San Francisco, unfolds on Polk Street, in the Tenderloin, and around Civic Center. Poetry, of course, imbues every frame of Howl (closing night, June 27), Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman’s daring, partly animated excavation of Allen Ginsberg’s pants-dropping proclamation, the ludicrous obscenity trail against its S.F. publisher Lawrence Ferlinghetti and City Lights bookstore, and the closeted Cold War 1950s society that inspired Ginsberg’s beat masterpiece.
June 17-27, 2010

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