Frameline 42, Week One

Queer flicks from near, far, and places with their names on water towers.

It’s mid-June, which means two things. Target once again has an entire selection of Pride-related items, including a shirt with six cats and the word “Purride,” which they say is “the purr-fect way to show some support for the LGBT community.” (So that’s how support works, huh?) It also means the 42nd Frameline Film Festival is here with two weeks of queer moving images. In Wild Nights with Emily, director Madeleine Olnek reimagines Dickinson (Molly Shannon) as an extrovert who finds strength in her lifelong friend and lover Susan (Susan Ziegler), a real person who has been unsurprisingly whitewashed from literary history.

Irene Lustzig’s documentary Yours in Sisterhood gathers hundreds of letters written by feminists to Ms. Magazine in the 1970s, signed “Yours in Sisterhood” as was the style at the time, and most of which were never published. Lustzig has modern women of all stripes, many in the kinds of places where the town’s name is painted on the water tower, read these often emotionally raw letters for the camera. Shot in glorious black-and-white, Yen Tan’s narrative 1985 is not a sequel to this year’s similarly grayscale 1945, but about a young man who returns home for Christmas and struggles with coming out to his conservative family long before it was supported by Target T-shirts.

Opens Thursday at the Castro, Roxie, and Victoria Theatres.

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