The 12th Chicago Lesbian & Gay International Film Festival runs from Friday, November 6, through Sunday, November 15, at Chicago Filmmakers, 1229 W. Belmont, and the Music Box, 3733 N. Southport. Tickets ($4 for most matinees, $6 for most evening shows) go on sale a half hour before the first show; advance tickets can be purchased before the day of the show at Chicago Filmmakers. Festival passes are $55 (good for all screenings) and $30 (good for six screenings). For further information call 281-1981 or 281-8788.


Where Are We? Our Trip Through America

The midwest premiere of a documentary by San Francisco filmmakers Jeffrey Friedman and Rob Epstein, who traveled with a film crew for 18 days through cities and small towns in the south and southwest in May 1991, asking people about the state of the union. (Music Box, 7:00)

Claire of the Moon

Billed as a lesbian love story with a rare happy ending, this feature by Nicole Conn pairs a popular satirist and a psychotherapist specializing in sexual behavior at an annual women writers’ retreat on the Oregon coast. (Music Box, 9:15)


Portrait of a Marriage

A two-part screening of the original British version of Stephen Whittaker’s 220-minute account of the stormy relationship between Vita Sackville-West and Violet Trefusis-Keppel, adapted from a book by Sackville-West’s son; it’s 34 minutes longer than the version shown in the U.S. on PBS. (Music Box, part one: 1:00; part two: 3:00)

Friends Forever

A coming-of-age short feature from Denmark, about a 15-year-old boy who moves to a new school and makes friends with a tough student outcast; Stefan Henszelman directed (1986). (PG) (Music Box, 5:00)

The Twin Bracelets

Yu-Shan Huang’s feature, a Hong Kong-Taiwanese production, about the love between a rebellious teenage girl (Chen Te Jung) and her childhood friend (Liu Hsiao Hui) in a fishing village. (Music Box, 7:00)

The Affairs of Love

A bisexual romantic triangle formed by three vaudeville performers–a pianist and two flamenco dancers (Angela Molina and Manuel Banderas)–is the subject of Jaime Chavarri’s Spanish feature set in Madrid in the 40s (1990). (Music Box, 9:00)

The Wild, Wild World of Jayne Mansfield

The 50s icon at the sad end of her career, leading a Mondo Cane-like tour of nudist camps and drag shows in Europe. Released after her death in a car accident (1968), it includes newsreel footage of the crash site. The direction is credited to Arthur Knight–not the distinguished film critic but, or so we are told by The Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film, the auteur of the lost classic Around the World With Nothing On–as well as to Joel Holt and Charles Brown Jr. (DK) (Music Box, 11:00)


Changing Our Minds: The Story of Dr. Evelyn Hooker

Highly praised by Reece Pendleton in the Reader last month when it showed at the Chicago International Film Festival, this documentary by Richard Schmiechen, producer of The Times of Harvey Milk, tells the story of the ground-breaking U.S. psychologist who started her career studying Nazi psychology in Hitler’s Germany and whose research led in 1974 to the removal of homosexuality from the American Psychiatric Association’s official list of mental disorders. (Music Box, 1:00)


Salvatore Samperi’s Italian black comedy about the rebellious, well-to-do son of a mercantile family who gets involved with a handsome stevedore (Michele Placido) and the brother in a set of twins (1979). (Music Box, 3:00)

Nitrate Kisses

A strikingly shot and edited black-and-white documentary feature by experimental filmmaker Barbara Hammer about the effacing of gay experience from official histories, beginning with the life of novelist Willa Cather and proceeding in several different directions. Setting offscreen commentaries and conversations against various kinds of archival and new footage (including bold images of lovemaking between women in the 70s), this far-ranging and compelling essay seems limited only by the sound-bite and image-bite format, which gives it a slightly rushed feeling. On the same program, Hammer’s 1977 short Audience. Hammer will be present at the screening. (Music Box, 5:00)

Cross-Sexing the Narrative: Lesbian Subtext in Music Videos

An illustrated lecture by Canadian filmmaker and critic Marusia Bociurkiw. (Music Box, 7:00)

All-American Boys

A program of short films: John Keitel’s An All-American Story, Mark Christopher’s The Dead Boys’ Club, Ferne Pearlstein’s Raising Nicholas (1991), and Robert King’s slick and semicamp narrative The Disco Years, about coming of age and coming out in the 70s, the only film in the bunch that I’ve seen. (Music Box, 9:00)


Claire of the Moon

See listing under Friday, November 6. (Music Box, 5:00)

Your Cheating Heart

Three short films–John Miller-Monzon’s Things We Said Today, Maureen Brownsey’s True Blue, and Justine Buchanan’s British Glasses Break (1991)–and one short video, Catherine Saalfield and Melanie Nelson’s Bird in the Hand. (Chicago Filmmakers, 7:00)

The Nun Who Became Lieutenant

In Javier Aguirre’s 1987 Spanish feature a 17th-century Spanish nun (Esperanza Roy) flees from her convent to become a soldier who duels with men and sleeps with women. (Music Box, 7:00)

Lesbian Looks

Two documentary videos: Tami Gold’s Juggling Gender, a portrait of a bearded woman, and Karen Everett’s Framing Lesbian Fashion, which explores 40 years of lesbian apparel. On the same program, Katrin Barben’s six-minute narrative film short Bad Girl Bar (1991). (Chicago Filmmakers, 9:00)

I’ll Love You Forever…Tonight

An independent American feature by UCLA film student Edgar Michael Bravo about a group of gay men vacationing in Palm Springs. (Music Box, 9:00)



See listing under Sunday, November 8. (Music Box, 5:00)

Sluts and Goddesses Party

Two videos: Ellen Spiro’s Party Safe! With Diana and Bambi, which promotes “safer sex,” and Maria Beatty and Annie Sprinkle’s The Sluts and Goddesses Video Workshop, or How to Be a Sex Goddess in 101 Easy Steps. (Chicago Filmmakers, 7:00)

Armistead Maupin Is a Man I Dreamt Up

A portrait of Armistead Maupin and the city of San Francisco, made for BBC television by Kate Meynell and Kristiene Clarke, with music by the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus. On the same program, Ronald Chase’s 1972 documentary short Parade. (Music Box, 7:00)


Also known as Life Is Like a Cucumber, Rosa von Praunheim’s 1990 German documentary features 79-year-old film and cabaret star Lotte Huber. (Chicago Filmmakers, 9:00)

That Tender Touch

Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!’s Sue Bernard and Bee Tompkins star as ex-lovers who become antagonists years later when Bernard’s character gets married in a reportedly homophobic feature directed by Russel Vincent that’s being revived for its camp value; the uncut 35-millimeter print is apparently in poor condition (1969). (Music Box, 9: 00)


Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit

A lesbian film by Beeban Kidron, originally conceived as a three-part British miniseries, and adapted by Jeannette Winterson from her novel of the same title. The story concerns a young girl’s escape from a strong religious upbringing; the running time is 165 minutes (1989). (Music Box, 6:15)

Blue Boys/Scarlet Women

Three video documentaries about sexual outlaws, both real and imagined: Stuart Marshall’s Blue Boys from Great Britain, Matthew Link’s The Male Escorts of San Francisco, and Carol Leigh’s Outlaw Poverty, Not Prostitutes. (Chicago Filmmakers, 7:00)

Chicago’s Own

Eight shorts by ten local filmmakers: Suzie Silver’s brilliant mind-bending music video The Spy (Hester Reeves Does the Doors), Charles R. Christensen’s Could I?, Doreen Bartoni’s A Common Flower, Mary Patten’s My Courbet….or, a Beaver’s Tale, Otis F. Richardson’s AIDS and the Failure of Language, Maureen McManus and Wes McSpadden’s None of the Above, Art Stone’s Let’s Get Lost/Serious, and Mary Morten and Natalie Hutchison’s The Nia Project (a work in progress). (Chicago Filmmakers, 9:00)

The Hours and Times

Christopher Munch’s brilliant and concise account of what might have happened during John Lennon and Brian Epstein’s four days of vacation in Barcelona in 1963–written, directed, produced, and shot by Munch (who also photographed The Living End) on location in black-and-white 35-millimeter. Visually spare and running for only an hour, this benefits not only from one terrific performance (David Angus as Epstein) and a pretty good one (Ian Hart as Lennon), but also from a filmmaking confidence and lack of pretension that makes every passing nuance register keenly. On the same program, Steve Cummins and Simon Hunt’s Australian short Resonance (1990), about gay bashing in Sydney. (Music Box, 9:30)


The Nun Who Became Lieutenant

See listing under Monday, November 9. (Music Box, 5: 00)

Safe, Sane Consensual SM

A 1991 documentary by Greg Roberts and Ann Soucy-West about sadomasochistic practices and rituals, including interviews with 16 individuals from diverse backgrounds. (Chicago Filmmakers, 7:00)

Cloud Cuckoo Land: Award Winning Lesbian Short Narratives

From the Netherlands, Eugenie Jansen’s Cloud Cuckoo Land (1991), Annemarie Borsboom’s Tempted (1991), and Clara van Gool’s Reservaat (1988); from Great Britain, Cheryl Farthing’s Rosebud and Maggie Ford’s Where the Cows Go (1991); and from the U.S., Kate J. Goodnight’s A Goat Named Tension. (Music Box, 7:00)

To Play or to Die

Frank Krom’s 50-minute Dutch narrative about a teenage boy with a crush on a boy who bullies him (1991). On the same program, Steve Simpson’s The Wild Winds and Laurie Lynd’s Canadian RSVP (both 1991). (Music Box, 9:00)

Sluts and Goddesses Party

See listing under Tuesday, November 10. (Chicago Filmmakers, 9:00)