qdoc

FilmWatch Weekly: Queer Docs, fat Buddhas, and more

The week's notable films also include the latest from French star Juliette Binoche

As American society has taken steps—some halting, some confident—toward recognition and acceptance of a wider variety of gender and sexual identities, compelling true-life tales reflecting a previously stifled panorama of experiences have emerged. Each year, the Portland Queer Documentary Film Festival presents a thoughtfully curated selection of those stories, and its 2018 iteration, which runs from Thursday, May 17, through Sunday, May 20, at the Hollywood Theatre, is no exception.

The opening night selection looks to the past while providing hope in the face of a fraught future. “50 Years of Fabulous” examines the oldest gay and lesbian charity group in the country, The Imperial Council of San Francisco, which was founded in 1965 by José Julio Sarria, the first openly gay candidate for public office in American history. The film functions as a tribute to Sarria, who died in 2013, as well as a testimony to the group’s accomplishments and a recognition of the challenges it faces to remain relevant today.

“Fifty Years of Fabulous” leads off the Portland QDoc Film Festival.

Other highlights include “Every Act of Life,” an affecting and admiring portrait of four-time Tony Award winner Terrence McNally (“Love! Valour! Compassion!,” “Kiss of the Spider-Woman,” “Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune,” and so many others). Testimonials pour in from titans such as F. Murray Abraham, Angela Lansbury, and Rita Moreno. Audra McDonald, who was in the original cast of McNally’s “Master Class” and, coincidentally, will be appearing with the Oregon Symphony at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall on Tuesday, May 22nd, has some very nice things to say. And Nathan Lane, naturally, is irrepressible.

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FilmWatch Weekly: “A Bigger Splash,” “Tale of Tales,” and more

New films from the directors of "I Am Love," "Russian Ark," and "Gomorrah" top the week's art house releases

ARTSWATCH REVIEWS:

 

“A Bigger Splash”: A rock singer (Tilda Swinton) recuperates from throat surgery on a Mediterranean island with her boyfriend, when her old flame and his young paramour pay a visit. From the director of “I Am Love.” (Regal Fox Tower) READ REVIEW

(From L-R): Ralph Fiennes as "Harry," Matthias Schoenaerts as "Paul," Tilda Swinton as "Marianne" and Dakota Johnson as "Penelope" in A BIGGER SPLASH. Photo courtesy of Jack English. © 2016 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

(From L-R): Ralph Fiennes as “Harry,” Matthias Schoenaerts as “Paul,” Tilda Swinton as “Marianne” and Dakota Johnson as “Penelope” in A BIGGER SPLASH. Photo courtesy of Jack English. © 2016 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

“Tale of Tales”: Italian director Matteo Garrone’s first English-language feature stars Salma Hayek, John C. Reilly, and Vincent Cassel in a stylish adaptation of three 17th-century fairy tales. There’s also a giant flea. (Living Room Theaters, Hollywood Theatre) READ REVIEW

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ArtsWatch Weekly: the kindness of strangers and the skin of our teeth

A look at the week that was in Oregon arts. A glimpse ahead at the week that's going to be.

Here it is, the middle of May, and suddenly Portland’s theater season is entering its final stretch before summer, which brings its own busy theater mini-season, indoors and out. The city’s two biggest companies open shows this weekend, both high-profile American classics and both due for a fresh look.

Flickering desire: "Streetcar" at Portland Center Stage. Photo: Patrick Weishampel/blankeye.tv.

Flickering desire: “Streetcar” at Portland Center Stage. Photo: Patrick Weishampel/blankeye.tv.

On Friday, Portland Center Stage opens its revival of Tennessee Williams’ rough, sensual, groundbreaking A Streetcar Named Desire, which in its 1947 debut featured Jessica Tandy as Blanche, Kim Hunter as Stella, and a smoldering hunk of muscle named Marlon Brando as Stanley. Center Stage has come up with a new Southern strategy, rethinking the play in a thoroughly multiracial milieu, with national players Kristen Adele as Stella, Demetrius Grosse as Stanley, and Diedrie Henry (a onetime regular at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival) as Blanche. Can we depend on the kindness of strangers?

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QDoc offers true tales of tragedy & triumph

In its 10th year, the Portland Queer Documentary Film Festival scours the globe in search of diverse stories from the LGBTQ community.

In “Far From The Tree,” his nonfiction book about how families deal with intergenerational differences, the writer Andrew Solomon puts forth his theory of where we get our identities.

It goes like this: we are all made up of both vertical identities (the ethnic and national identities passed to us by our parents, like having dark skin, speaking French or being from Vermont) and horizontal identities (the identities that are unique to us and that we’ll never share with our parents, like a deaf person being born in a hearing family). Being a sexual or gender minority is a sterling example of a horizontal identity; queer people are born into every country, culture, religion and race on earth. Once they figure out who they might be, they must devise ways to find others like them and create a shared culture.

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