The 11th Chicago Lesbian & Gay International Film Festival runs from Friday, November 8, through Sunday, November 17, at Chicago Filmmakers, 1229 W. Belmont; the Music Box, 3733 N. Southport; and Women & Children First, 5233 N. Clark. 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 $25 good for six screenings, not including opening-night films, which cost $8 each and include a reception). For further information call 281-1981 or 281-8788.


Y0UNG SOUL REBELS Set in London during the summer of 1977, this feature by Isaac Julien (Looking for Langston) centers on the effect of a murder on the friendship of two black disc jockeys (Valentine Nonyeta and Mo Sesay), one gay and one straight, who are running a pirate radio station. (Music Box, 7:00)

THE SEARCH FOR SIGNS OF INTELLIGENT LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE A film version of Lily Tomlin’s much celebrated one-woman show, in which she plays a dozen separate characters, written by executive producer Jane Wagner and directed and shot by John Bailey. (Music Box, 9:30)


ROMANCE Sergio Bianchi’s Brazilian feature delves into the effects of the mysterious death of a left-wing intellectual on three individuals: his girlfriend, his male roommate and friend, sometime lover, and a female journalist (1988). (Music Box, 1:00)

WOMEN See Critic’s Choice. (Music Box, 3:00)

FORBIDDEN LOVE A documentary by Vladislav Kvasnicka about homosexuality in Czechoslovakia. On the same program, an American video documentary by Valda Lewis, Forbidden Fruit Fight Back, celebrating recent victories in gay activism. (Music Box, 5:00)

ODD BUT TRUE A collection of diverse shorts from the past that highlight attitudes toward gay behavior, including Charlie Chaplin in The Female Impersonator, Laurel and Hardy in Their First Mistake, the Our Gang comedy Our New Pupil, educational films (presented intact or reedited), and Richard Fontaine’s male physique film The Vice and the Badge. Chicago Filmmakers, 5:00)

MY FATHER IS COMING A comedy by Monika Treut (The Virgin Machine) bout the complications encountered by a German lesbian (Shelly Kaestner) working as a waitress in New York’s East Village who has to hide her job and pretend to have a husband when her father (Alfred Edel) visits from Bavaria; he winds up having some offbeat adventures of his own. (Music Box, 7:00)

OVER OUR DEAD BODIES An English documentary by Stuart Marshall (Desire, Comrade in Arms) about the origins of such recent gay activist groups as Act Up, Queer Nation, and Outrage. (Chicago Filmmakers, 7:15)

HARD TO IMAGINE: ILLICIT HOMOEROTIC FILM AND PHOTOGRAPHY 1850-1969 An illustrated lecture presented by Canadian film historian and archivist Thomas Waugh. (Music Box, 9:00)

FRIDA Paul Leduc, the historically minded Mexican director of Reed: Insurgent Mexico (1970), gives us fragments from the life of the remarkable painter and left-wing activist Frida Kahlo in achronological flashbacks from her deathbed that eventually become more orderly. Crippled by polio and a childhood accident and the victim of several miscarriages, Kahlo suffered excruciating pain for most of her life, which finds vivid expression in her floridly surrealist work. Like most biopics about artists, this film treats the life and work almost interchangeably. Leduc’s version is meditative, mainly visual (dialogue is kept to a minimum, and the striking, rich colors do full justice to Kahlo’s palette), and only intermittently dramatized. On the whole, one is given too little information for a comprehensive reading of Kahlo’s life and work (although her husband Diego Rivera and her association with Leon Trotsky are treated in some detail), and the overall effect is rather static. Ofelia Medina is impressive and persuasive in the title role, and Juan Jose Gurrola and Max Kerlow offer believable versions of Rivera and Trotsky (1985). (Chicago Filmmakers, 9:15)


NIGHTHAWKS The first English feature to come from the gay community, Ron Peck and Paul Hallam’s independent film about the double life of a gay schoolteacher studiously avoids sensationalism, and reaches its dramatic climax when the hero has a frank discussion about himself with his 14-year-old students (1978). (Music Box, 1:00)

THE BODY AND THE CHURCH Four shorts: Lucinda Broadbent’s English Sex and the Sandinistas, Robert Hilferty’s American Stop the Church (1990), Catherine Saalfield and Jacqueline Woodson’s American Among Good Christian Peoples, and Jennifer Montgomery’s American Age 12: Love With a Little L (1989). (Chicago Filmmakers, 1:00)

SOUTHERN EXPOSURE A program of documentary shorts about gays and lesbians in the south: Peter Friedman and Jean-Francois Brunet’s Faeries in Texas and Fighting in Southwest Louisiana, Bill Smartt’s videos The Q.C. Girls and Class of ’86 (both 1990), and David Lamble’s Bashing. (Chicago Filmmakers, 3:00)

THE LAST ISLAND A classic shipwreck tale from the controversial Dutch director Marleen Gorris (A Question of Silence) in which five men, two women, and a dog survive the crash of a large airliner on a desert island and then try to live together (1990). (Music Box, 3:15)

LESBIAN IDENTITIES Seven shorts: from the U.S., Jean Carlomusto’s “L” Is for the Way You Look, Cheryl Dunye’s Janine (1990), Jamica Ajalon’s Blood Poem, and Arlyn Gajilan’s Kim (1988); from Canada, Nikki Forrest’s Imagined Self and Holly Nattall’s Can You See Me Now; and from Spain, Chilean video artist Cecilia Barriga’s Meeting of Two Queens. (Chicago Filmmakers, 5:00)

SHORT FILMS See Critic’s Choice. (Music Box, 5:15)

TOGETHER ALONE Voted best feature by audiences at the San Francisco and Los Angeles gay and lesbian film festivals, this 16-millimeter black-and-white U.S. independent feature by P.J. Castellaneta chronicles the interaction between two young men (Todd Stites and Terry Curry) who get together for a one-night stand. The writing and performances are mainly fluid, in spite of a few self-consciously theatrical or expositional stretches, and it’s a pity that Castellaneta doesn’t trust his material enough to let it play without music, which often proves intrusive. The frank conversation moves from AIDS to sexual etiquette to homosexuality versus bisexuality to lengthy accounts of former relationships, and the writer-director and actors generally do a fine job of keeping us interested (1990). (Music Box, 7:15)

KHUSH The Urdu word for “ecstatic pleasure” as well as “happy and gay” is the title of Pratibha Parmar’s English short about South Asian lesbians and gays. On the same program, Prem Kaliat’s Jareena: Portrait of a Hijda (1990), a U.S. short about the transsexual Hijdas living in India, and Nidhi Singh’s U.S. short Khush Refugees, set in San Francisco. (Chicago Filmmakers, 7:15)

HOMO PROMO A collection of movie trailers advertising mainstream films with gay or lesbian themes that were made between 1956 and the present, curated by Jenni Olson. (Music Box, 9:15)


QUEST FOR LOVE Helena Noguiera’s South African feature, based to some degree on Gertrude Stein’s novel Q.E.D., concerns the sexual awakening of a woman (Jana Cilliers) recently released from prison (1989). (Music Box, 7:00)

JERKER Hugh Harrison’s video adaptation of Robert Chesley’s radio play of the same title–which caused some controversy when it was aired on public radio in Los Angeles–stars Joseph Stachura and Tom Wagner as two men who develop an anonymous phone relationship. (Chicago Filmmakers, 7:00)

LESBIAN DOCUMENTARIES Two American documentaries: Madeline Muir’s half-hour West Coast Crones: A Glimpse Into the Lives of Nine Old Lesbians and Catherine Russo’s hour-long I Am Your Sister, which documents statements and poetry read at the Audre Lorde conference in Boston last year. (Women & Children First, 7:30)

STRIP JACK NAKED Subtitled Nighthawks 2, this is Ron Peck’s behind-the-scenes look at the making of his 1978 British feature Nighthawks (see Sunday listing); it also delves into autobiographical material about growing up gay in Britain in the 50s and 60s. (Music Box, 9:00)

VAUDEVILLE Ira Sach’s 55-minute film is about a night in the life of a musical-comedy cast stranded in rural America, centering around the intrigues and quirks of an actor named Charlie Guidance. On the same program, three shorts: Richard Glatzer’s Glamazon and Maida Wither’s Orbit (1990) and In Wisconsin the Blind Can Hunt (1989), written by Chicagoan Art Stone. (Chicago Filmmakers, 9:00)


THE PLAINT OF THE EMPRESS A new experimental feature by the famous German choreographer Pina Bausch (1990); judging from what I know of her work and from advance word about this film, it should be well worth seeing. Cosponsored by Goethe-Institut. (Music Box, 7:00)

DREAM MAN A video adaptation of James Carroll Pickett’s play about a phone sex operator (Michael Kearns), directed by David Edwards and Hugh Harrison. (Chicago Filmmakers, 7:00)

DOCUMENTARY SHORTS Juliet Bashore’s English The Battle of Tuntenhaus, about a gay squatters’ community in East Berlin; Susana Aiken and Carlos Aparicio’s American The Salt Mines (1990), about a group of homeless transvestite prostitutes in New York; and Ron Haber’s English Home Sweet Home, in which gays and lesbians discuss housing issues. (Chicago Filmmakers, 9:00)

NO SKIN OFF MY ASS A loose remake of Robert Altman’s 1969 feature That Cold Day in the Park by Toronto underground filmmaker Bruce LaBruce; a gay punk hairdresser goes after a baby-faced skinhead with a radical lesbian sister (1990). (Music Box, 9:15)


BOULEVARD HAUSSMANN Alan Bates plays Marcel Proust infatuated with a young viola player (Paul Rhys) during World War I in this English feature directed by Udayan Prasad and written by Alan Bennett (Prick Up Your Ears). Janet McTeer plays Celeste, Proust’s maid (1990). (Music Box, 7:00)

THE CHANGER: A RECORD OF THE TIMES A video documentary by Frances Reid and Judy Dlugacz about the history of the women’s-music movement of the 70s and 80s, with appearances by Cris Williamson, Margie Adam, Meg Christian, Holly Near, Vicki Randle, and Bonnie Raitt. On the same program, Susan Ardill’s English video short Stand on Your Man, a documentary about lesbian interest in country-and-western music. (Chicago Filmmakers, 7:00)

PRISON FOR WOMEN A Canadian documentary by Janis Cole and Holly Dale about life in a women’s prison, focusing on the difficulties of a couple who meet and fall in love. On the same program, Jane Gillooly’s video short So Sad, So Sorry, So What. (Chicago Filmmakers, 8:45)

VIA APPIA Jochen Hick’s German feature follows a promiscuous airline steward who tests HIV positive to Brazil, where he travels with a film crew in search of the male lover he believes infected him (1989). (Music Box, 9:00)


A WOMAN OF AFFAIRS: GRETA GARBO’S LESBIAN PAST An illustrated lecture by mystery author Mary Wings and historian Eric Garber, cosponsored by Paris Dance and Gentry. (Music Box, 7:00)

THE NATURAL HISTORY OF PARKING LOTS Everett Lewis’s U.S. independent feature deals with the homoerotic tension between two brothers in Los Angeles–a disaffected rich kid who steals cars and his older brother, a drug dealer and gun runner for a group of neo-Nazis (1990). On the same program, Jeff Cole’s English short The Truth Game (1990). (Chicago Filmmakers, 7:00)

CROCODILES IN AMSTERDAM A Dutch feature by Annette Apon about female buddies, described as wacky and whimsical (1989). (Music Box, 9:00)

ODD BUT TRUE See listing under Saturday, November 9. (Chicago Filmmakers, 9:15)