Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Aurora Guerrero on "Mosquita y Mari"

Though Aurora Guerrero made "Filmmaker" magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film” list in 2006, the director behind this year’s Sundance-premiering, award-winning "Mosquita y Mari" – which most recently took both Outstanding First U.S. Dramatic Feature Film, as well as Outstanding Actress in a U.S. Dramatic Feature Film for its lead Fenessa Pineda, at Outfest – was a welcome new face to me when I caught the film earlier this year. A tale of two Chicanas coming of age in working-class L.A., Guerrero’s feature debut is breathtaking in its understatement, less your typical “queer flick” than a continuation of the type of patient, immigrant-informed cinema practiced by filmmakers like Ramin Bahrani and Rashaad Ernesto Green. Fresh off her Outfest win, Guerrero spoke with "Filmmaker" about the long road to the big screen, being boxed in, and what’s changed for her in the past six years.

To read my interview visit Filmmaker magazine.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Acting Up in Uganda: An Interview with “Call Me Kuchu” co-directors Katherine Fairfax Wright and Malika Zouhali-Worrall

Recently racking up awards from the Berlin Film Festival to Toronto’s Hot Docs, Katherine Fairfax Wright and Malika Zouhali-Worrall’s “Call Me Kuchu,” which follows a group of Ugandan LGBTI activists in Kampala (led by the recently murdered David Kato, the kuchus’ – Ugandan slang for queers – answer to Martin Luther King, Jr.), is one of those rare docs that manages to enlighten, uplift and enrage in equal doses. It’s a sweeping portrait not just of the heroic gays and lesbians who often literally put themselves in the line of fire each and every day just to demand basic human rights, but also of a disturbingly self-righteous Ugandan society, which bans homosexuality and openly advocates for the death penalty for HIV-positive men. I got a chance to speak with the film’s own fearless co-directors as they were preparing for “Call Me Kuchu” to close the Human Rights Watch Film Festival at NYC’s Film Society of Lincoln Center Walter Reade Theater on June 28th.

To read my interview visit Global Comment.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The 2012 Human Rights Watch Film Festival

The strength of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival is also its weakness. This year’s 23rd edition boasts 16 doc and fiction flicks from 12 countries – yet most fall firmly in the category of solid ITVS fare (in fact, only three are narrative features). Like with the agribusiness detailed in Micha X. Peled’s “Bitter Seeds,” about the epidemic of farmer suicides in India, variety is often an illusion – especially when U.S. or U.S. co-productions are in the majority. This is another way of saying that, yes, the chances of seeing a stinker at HRWFF are slim, but there’s also not much in the way of stay-with-you cinematic experience on display, magical discoveries worth dragging yourself up to the Film Society of Lincoln Center Walter Reade Theater for, rather than just wait until the likely PBS broadcast and see it for free. Fortunately, after viewing more than half of this year’s selections I did manage to find the exceptions to what might be called the “Ken Burns Rule.

To read the rest visit Filmmaker magazine.

Monday, May 14, 2012

"Un Piede Di Roman Polanski" and Roman Polanski

Tonight at De Nieuwe Anita! Our CineKink 2009 winner “Un Piede Di Roman Polanski” will be screening with none other than Roman Polanski’s “Two Men and A Wardrobe,” followed by Radley Metzger’s feature-length “The Image.” Show starts at 8:30 – so if you’re in Amsterdam come on out for the triple bill!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Selling Sex at 70: An Interview with “Meet the Fokkens” co-directors Gabriëlle Provaas and Rob Schröder

As the world’s largest doc fest the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam is jam-packed with nonfiction gems from around the globe. Yet one of my most delightful and surprising finds at the 24th edition this past November was a small film from the heart of the host city itself. “Meet the Fokkens” is a nuanced portrait and loving celebration of 70-year-old twins Martine and Louise Fokken, two vivacious ladies of the night who’ve been selling sex in Amsterdam’s infamous red light district since 1961 (though Louise, suffering from arthritis, is now retired). Prior to the latest “Meet the Fokkens” screening at February’s Berlinale, I spoke with the doc’s Dutch co-directors, who gave me the scoop on many-splendored things, including Martine’s green fingers, corruption in the red light district, and the history of older professionals in the oldest profession in the world.

To read my interview visit Global Comment.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

“When Harry Met Chesty” is now online!

For those of you who missed my mash-up of Doris Wishman’s “Deadly Weapons” with Clint Eastwood’s “Dirty Harry” (in a tit-filled tale of bittersweet romance) at CineKink NYC 2011 here’s your chance.

And be sure to check out “The Story of Ramb O” (Pornfilmfestival Berlin 2010) and CineKink NYC 2009’s Best Experimental Short “Un Piede di Roman Polanski” while you’re there.