James Franco and Zachary Quinto will make out. The history of Falcon studios will be celebrated. Tab Hunter will share tales of gay Hollywood hunkdom, and Magic Mike XXL will have a special preview screening at the Castro Theater. These are just a few of the more salacious anticipated highlights of the 39th annual edition of Frameline, the San Francisco International LGBTQ Festival, opening this Thursday and running through Pride Day on June 28.
The largest and most extensive—over 170 shorts and features—festival of its kind worldwide, Frameline 39 offers eye-opening, little-seen perspectives on our lives with films from over 30 countries, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, and Kenya. And even in many films produced in the US and Western Europe, says Frameline Executive Director Frances Wallace, “We’re starting to see a real shift in subject matter as society changes. Years ago, we saw many more coming out stories, and of course they will always be there, but now we’re seeing films that deal with out gay athletes, international immigration, the complications that digital culture brings to our lives, and more complex views of transgender characters…As LGBTQ stories and characters make their way into more and more mainstream releases, part of Frameline’s mission is to find films and filmmakers who continue to find aspects of our lives that are less represented.”
Here’s your chance to win two tickets to this Sunday’s showing of Seed Money: The Chuck Holmes Story. Witness the flashy and fleshy story of the founder of Falcon Studios. Enter here!
Jim Gladstone gives us the scoop on what to see during the week after the jump…
June 18—Opening Night—I Am Michael
The first public post-Sundance screening of I Am Michael takes place just a block away from the office where Michael Glatze—played in the film by James Franco— was an editor of XY Magazine, an inhibition-free glossy aimed at gay youth (and the elders who admired them). Highly nuanced and resistant to making easy judgements, the based-on-a-true-story film follows Glatze through an emotionally wrenching, spiritually fraught transition from gay activist to ex-gay preacher. Poetic and powerful, this debut feature by director Justin Kelly will arouse both anger and unexpected empathy.
June 20—Tab Hunter Confidential
Documentarian Jeffrey Schwarz, who will receive this year’s Frameline award at the screening, has chronicled the lives of outsized gay personalities Jack Wrangler, Divine, and Vito Russo in past films. Now—deploying a phenomenal assembly of clips and interviews—he takes on a gay music and movie heartthrob who stepped away from show business when celebrity began to mean sharing one’s personal life with the public. Hunter—also expected at the screening—is shown to have a remarkable sense of dignity and self-respect amidst the machinery of the studio system.
June 21—Do I Sound Gay?
Tim Gunn and David Sedaris appear as talking heads. Paul Lynde and Truman Capote are offered as classic examples. Filmmaker David Thorpe tries to make sense of all of their voices—as well has his own—in a charming, comic “Why hasn’t this been done before?!” documentary.
June 21—Seed Money: The Chuck Holmes Story
A chronicle of the fleshy, flashy career of the Falcon Studios founder who brought slick production values to gay porn, became a powerful political donor, and is the namesake of the San Francisco LGBT Center. Some surprising recent interview clips find legendary Jeff Stryker, 51, looking more than his age and bearing a striking resemblance to evangelist Jim Bakker.
June 24—The Amina Profile
Both international love story and twisty thriller, this favorite of Frameline programmers is a story of catfishing on a global scale. Sandra, a woman in Montreal begins an online relationship with Amina, the Syrian creator of the blog “A Gay Girl in Damascus” only to have Amina disappear during the Arab Spring. Sandra’s near-surreal global search for her cyber-lover is recounted in this suspenseful doc.