The 14th Chicago Lesbian & Gay International Film Festival runs from Friday, November 11, through Sunday, November 20, at the Music Box, 3733 N. Southport, and Chicago Filmmakers, 1543 W. Division. Tickets are $6 for evening programs (except on opening night, when they’re $8), $5 for matinees; discount passes are also available. For further information call 384-0605 or 384-5533.


Apart From Hugh

A first feature by Jon FitzGerald about a relationship between male lovers that’s threatened when a former friend of one of them, a female ex-hippie, turns up. On the same program, Raoul O’Connell’s A Friend of Dorothy, another first film, about a gay college sophomore in New York City who’s attracted to his roommate. (Music Box, 7:00)

Fantastic Imaginings: International Lesbian Shorts

The only one of these I’ve seen is Sande Zeig’s striking Central Park, from the U.S., an erotic fantasy beautifully shot in black and white by Babette Mangolte. The others: Monica Pellizzari’s Just Desserts, Penny Fowler Smith’s None of the Above, and Jane Schneider’s Nightwork, all from Australia, and Elke Gotz’s Your Heart Is All Mine, from Germany. (Music Box, 9:45)

Super 8 1/2

See Critic’s Choice. On the same program, Hans Scheugl’s short film Prince of Peace. (Chicago Filmmakers, 10:00)


Not Angels but Angels

A documentary from the Czech Republic by Wiktor Grodecki about teenage male prostitutes in Prague. (Music Box, 1:00)

Long Time Comin’

A Canadian documentary by Dionne Brand about painter Grace Channer and musician Faith Nolans, both African Canadian lesbians and political activists. On the same program, Michelle Mohabeer’s Canadian documentary short, Coconut/Cane and Cutlass. (Music Box, 3:00)

Alexandria Always and Forever

This 1990 feature by Youssef Chahine, the most famous living Egyptian filmmaker, concludes his autobiographical trilogy. Described as his “coming out” film, it partly concerns the shooting of a musical about Alexander the Great and is said to satirize the Egyptian filmmaking scene. (Music Box, 5:00)

Rocking the Cradle

Three documentaries about lesbians and gays who choose to raise children: Cheri Gaulke’s Sea of Time and Kirk Marcolina’s Rocking the Cradle (both 1993), and Nick Finnis’s Florence and Robin (from Great Britain). (Chicago Filmmakers, 5:30)

Confession of a Pretty Lady

A British documentary by Kris Clarke and Sarah Mortimer about comedienne Sandra Bernhard (1993). On the same program, Woman of the Wolf, a short narrative film by Greta Schiller (Before Stonewall) set during the Victorian era. (Music Box, 7:00)


A British documentary by Issac Julien that “examines the sexist and homophobic side of gangsta rap and reggae music.” On the same program, JŸrgen BrŸning’s Be Careful What Kind of Skin You Pull Back, You Never Know What Kind of Head Will Appear, from Germany. (Chicago Filmmakers, 7:30)

Sex in Venice: Gay Dramatic Shorts

From the U.S.: P. David Ebersole’s Death in Venice, CA, Brian Sloan’s Shall We Dance (1992), and Raoul O’Connell’s A Friend of Dorothy. From Great Britain: Brian Skeet’s The Boy Who Fell in Love, a world premiere. (Music Box, 9:00)

Uh! Oh! and Other Queer Stories

Five shorts from the U.S.: Julie Zando’s Uh! Oh! (a “rereading of Pauline Reage’s Story of O”); Tony Pemberton’s Description of a Struggle (1993), adapted from a Kafka story; Melodie Calvert’s Dirty Little Story; Georgia Wright’s Stellium in Capricorn; and Maria Beatty’s The Elegant Spanking. (Chicago Filmmakers, 9:30)

Super 81/2

See Critic’s Choice. (Music Box, 11:00)


Complaints of a Dutiful Daughter and Fast Trip, Long Drop

See Critic’s Choice. (Music Box, 1:00)

Private Eyes: Lesbian Dramatic Shorts

From Australia, Victoria Hunt’s Bete Noire; from Germany, Gerda Edelweiss Grossmann and Margit Eschenback’s The Journey (1992); and from the U.S., Lisa Cholodenko’s Souvenir, Desi del Valle’s Cruel, Paula Gauthier’s Le Poisson d’Amour, and Camden Morse and J. Scott Grant’s A Dog’s Life. (Music Box, 3:00)

Dream Girls

A very suggestive, interesting BBC documentary (1993) by Kim Longinotto and Jano Williams about the Takarazuka Revue–a Japanese all-female theater company and school, founded in 1914 and based in suburban Osaka–and their female fans. The filmmakers don’t make many inferences about the psychosexual implications of this phenomenon, but the performers and fans have a lot to say, and some of the teachers (all male) have a few things to add. On the same program, Nuria Olive-Belles’s short Alicia Was Fainting, from the U.S. (Music Box, 5:00)

Sis: The Perry Watkins Story

An hour-long documentary by Chiqui Cartagena about the openly gay Perry Watkins, who served 15 years in the U.S. Army. On the same program, Kelly Anderson’s short film Looking for a Space: Lesbians and Gay Men in Cuba (1993). (Chicago Filmmakers, 5:30)

Highway of Heartache

A Canadian feature by Greg Wild described as an irreverent, campy country-western road movie and musical. (Music Box, 7:00)

Sacred Lives, Civil Truths

A 1993 documentary by Catherine Saalfield and Cyrille Phipps about the religious right’s antigay initiatives in Oregon and Colorado. On the same program, Not Channel Zero and Black Planet’s half-hour Our House: Lesbians and Gays in the Hood (1992). (Chicago Filmmakers, 7:30)

Totally F***ed Up

Gregg Araki’s disappointing low-budget feature (1993) about gay teenagers in Los Angeles includes many nods to Godard’s Masculine Feminine and shows a filmmaker of sensitivity, daring, and all-around talent. But the decline in freshness and creativity from The Long Weekend (O’Despair) to The Living End to this film is hard to rationalize. Still, if you haven’t seen those earlier films you may like this more than I did. (Music Box, 9:00)

Lesbian Avengers Eat Fire Too

An informative 1993 documentary by Janet Baus and Su Friedrich about the New York activist group the Lesbian Avengers; it charts their activities over about a year’s time, including various demonstrations relating to antigay and antilesbian initiatives in Oregon and Colorado as well as some New York high schools. On the same program, a 1992 short by Richard Harrison about performance artist Tim Miller. (Chicago Filmmakers, 9:15)


Cap Tourmente

A first feature from Canada (1993) by Michel Langlois about a stud who returns home after a long absence and the various people, including his mother and sister, who want him to sleep with them. With Roy Dupuis. (Music Box, 7:00)

Remembrance of Things Fast

Derek Jarman regular Tilda Swinton, who played the lead in Orlando, joins forces with Rupert Everett and porn star Aiden Brady in an hour-long English video by John Maybury (1993) described as “a disjointed psychedelic joyride with a homo-cyberpunk sensibility.” On the same program, JŸrgen BrŸning’s German video Be Careful What Kind of Skin You Pull Back, You Never Know What Kind of Head Will Appear. (Chicago Filmmakers, 7:00)

Berenice Abbott: A View of the Twentieth Century

An hour-long documentary by Martha Wheelock (1992) about the great American photographer. On the same program, Amilca Palmer’s Daughters of Dykes. (Chicago Filmmakers, 9:00)

Savage Nights

Highly controversial and troubling but undeniably powerful and impossible to dismiss, this 1992 French feature cowritten (with critic Jacques Fieschi) by, directed by, and starring the late Cyril Collard follows the last reckless days and nights of a 30-year-old cinematographer and musician who discovers he’s HIV-positive but continues to have sex with strangers as well as with his two more regular lovers. Based on Collard’s autobiographical novel Les nuits fauves, Savage Nights won Cesars (the French equivalent of Oscars) for best picture, best first picture, most promising actress (Romane Bohringer), and best editing a few days after the 35-year-old director died of AIDS in March 1993. These honors can’t simply be written off as sentimental: stylistically and dramatically, this is an accomplished piece of work. If Collard’s driven hero often seems far from admirable–unconsciously misogynistic beneath his apparent bisexual “tolerance” and, as his masochistic behavior often implies, full of self-loathing–the film seems admirably unpropagandistic in permitting spectators to make up their own minds about him. It also gives full voice to the agony of unrequited adolescent love (Bohringer’s volcanic performance) and, for better and for worse, is the opposite of Philadelphia in the way it treats AIDS–politically incorrect with a vengeance. Whether you like this or not, you’ll have a hard time shaking it loose. With Carlos Lopez. (Music Box, 9:15)



Derek Jarman’s last film before he died of AIDS, drawing on Super-8 footage shot between 1970 and 1986 (and blown up to 35-millimeter), with a score by Brian Eno. On the same program, Johannes Hammel’s Austrian short Black Sun (1992). (Music Box, 7:00)

Complicated Flesh: Lesbian Shorts

E.T. Baby Maniac’s Sex Fish (1993) and Sex Bowl, Katrina Fullman’s Her Appetite, Tanya Miller’s Without Saying Goodbye (1993), Nelson Nazario and Lynn Appel’s Los dos Jorges (1993), Frankie Franchini’s Fell, Dana Janklowicz’s Yael (1993), and Kristina Deutsch and Cheryl Dunye’s Complicated Flesh (1993), all from the U.S. (Chicago Filmmakers, 7:00)

The Legend of Fong Sai-yuk

A martial-arts comedy from Hong Kong, directed by Yuen Kwai and starring Jet Li (Once Upon a Time in China) as a hero and underground patriot in turn-of-the-century Canton who winds up fighting his future mother-in-law so that he can marry her daughter. Later his own mother, disguised as a man, fights the same woman, who, unaware of the disguise, falls in love with her. With Josephine Siao (1993). (Music Box, 9:15)

A History of Gay Sexuality

Nine shorts from the U.S. (by Christopher Gaal, Grace Giorgio, Lawrence Steger and Patrick Siemer, Robert Beck, David E. Johnston, Paolo Broggi and Hans Gelke, Charles Lofton, Thomas Allen Harris, and Aron Kilc) and three from Canada (by Ariella Pahlke, Paul Lee, and Steve Reinke). (Chicago Filmmakers, 9:30)


Desperate Remedies

A New Zealand melodrama directed and written by the team of Stewart Main and Peter Wells, set in a 19th-century colony and involving the romantic intrigues of a successful businesswoman, her opium-addicted female companion, a penniless immigrant, and a local politician, among others. This feature was shown in the main competition at Cannes, but the distributor is Miramax, which is known for recutting foreign features, so don’t be surprised if “improvements” have been made in the interim. (Miramax recently gave this feature a run at the Fine Arts, but only for a few days and with no press shows and little advertising). (Music Box, 7:00)

Straight for the Money: Interviews With Queer Sex Workers

A video documentary by Hima B. that interviews eight lesbian and bisexual prostitutes. On the same program, Monica Nolan’s Lesbians Who Date Men. (Chicago Filmmakers, 7:00)

Closing Numbers

An English feature directed by Steven Whittaker (1993), starring Jane Asher as a woman who discovers that her husband is having an affair with a man who’s tested HIV-positive. (Music Box, 9:15)

Boys From Brazil

A Brazilian-English documentary (1993) directed by John Paul Davidson about three Brazilian transvestite prostitutes in Rio de Janeiro. On the same program, a documentary short by Johnny Symons, Out in Africa. (Chicago Filmmakers, 9:30)


I, the Worst of All

The fifth feature (1990) of Argentinean director Maria Luisa Bemberg (Camila), based on a book by Octavio Paz about Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, a 17th-century nun, poet, and feminist who managed to be outspoken during the Inquisition. Assumpta Serna (Matador) stars as Sor Juana, and Dominique Sanda plays one of her friends. (Music Box, 7:00)

From Texas to Nirvana: Funny Homo Shorts

Six comic shorts from the U.S., by Heyd Fontenot and Beth Wichterich, Todd Savell, Joe Kelly, Patrick Snee, and Dennis Day. (Chicago Filmmakers, 7:00)

For a Lost Soldier

The sole interest of this rather flat-footed 1992 Dutch feature by Roeland Kerbosch, based on a novel by Rudi van Dantzig, is its taboo subject, a pederastic love story. A famous choreographer from Amsterdam, who’s having difficulty creating a ballet inspired by his memories of World War II, recalls his youth during the mid-40s, when he was sheltered by a fisherman and his family. Shortly after the liberation he had a brief affair with a Canadian soldier (Andrew Kelley), which the film charts in detail. With Maarten Smit as the boy and Jeroen Krabbe as his older self. (Music Box, 9:15)

Gender Outlaws

Six shorts from the U.S., by Ingrid Wihite, Alisa Lebow, Jennifer Lane, Mari Keiko, Alix Umen, and Sophia Constantinou. (Chicago Filmmakers, 9:30)