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10 Films To See At Frameline 40

Frameline 40 roars into opening weekend after kicking off with Kiki. Even for those who missed Uncle Howard, the next week offers screenings of very promising films. Here are ten suggestions of films to catch at Frameline 40:

AWOL

Director Deb Shoval expands to feature-length her award-winning short film. A chance encounter leads to rural American high-school graduate Joey (Lola Kirke) falling head-over-heels in lust with the older Rayna (Breeda Wool) However, Rayna is married to a trucker and has two kids. As things gradually get more serious between Joey and Rayna, both working-class women have to figure out if they even have a future together.

Screens June 22 at 6:30 PM at the Castro Theatre and June 25 at 7:30 PM at the Landmark Theatres Piedmont

Check It

Check It is the name of the first documented gang dedicated to protecting black gay or trans youth. Based in Washington, D.C., this gang has grown from just a few members in 2009 to who knows how many members now. Dana Flor and Toby Oppenheimer film offers an intimate portrait of the gang. Its members may come from different backgrounds. But they’re bound by a desire to protect each other as they grow into their authentic selves.

Screens June 19 at 3:30 PM at the Roxie Theatre

Film Hawk

Frameline 40 honors the subject of this film with the 2016 Frameline Award. Who is the film’s subject? His name is Robert Hawk, and you’ve probably never heard of him. But without his four decades of behind the scenes work, American independent film would be a far different landscape. Without Hawk’s input, Kevin Smith would not be a household name and The Times Of Harvey Milk would not have been the first gay film to win an Oscar. Now Hawk reflects on his life and shares anecdotes from his past.

Screens June 18 at 3:30 PM at the Castro Theatre

Flashback 1977: Frameline’s Founding Year

Frameline 40 is a far cry from the circumstances of the very first Frameline festival. That first event involved a white sheet screen, a community center space, and a bunch of Super 8mm shorts. Travel back to that watershed year with this program. You’ll see one of the shorts shown at that first Frameline. Also, you’ll hear live reminiscences of that amazing year from the likes of Marc Huestis and Robert Hawk.

Screens June 19 at 6:15 PM at the Roxie Theatre. This screening is currently at Rush.

Growing Up Coy

Frameline 40 offers a timely film about bathroom access and the struggle for transgender rights. Coy was born a boy in a set of triplets to Kathryn and Jeremy. However, when Coy’s gender identity turned out to be a girl, her parents accepted it. Coy’s school initially accepted it as well. Then the school changed its mind and barred the six-year-old Coy from accessing the girls’ bathroom. Coy’s parents decided to retain the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund. The resulting legal struggle pitted Kathryn and Jeremy’s desire to protect their child against the need to fight for their daughter’s rights and those like her.

Screens June 25 at 11:00 AM at the Castro Theatre

Paris 05:59: Theo & Hugo

The new film from directors Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau (Born In ’68) mixes sex club explicitness with a Before Sunrise-like drama. In Paris sex club Impact, Theo spots handsome Hugo and winds up having sex with him. The two young men leave the club together in the early hours of the morning. They then conduct a conversation through the rest of the evening that touches on everything from their current jobs to their possible future together. Ducastel and Martineau’s film took the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature at the Berlin Film Festival.

Screens June 23 at 9:15 PM at the Castro Theatre</em>

Pushing Dead

Tom E. Brown’s feature debut is a dark ensemble comedy set in the San Francisco that’s not seen by tourists. Dan Schauble (James Roday) is a long-time AIDS sufferer. His anxiety at lack of male companionship is worsened by a bureaucratic snafu that keeps his AIDS medications out of his financial reach. The rest of Dan’s improvised family isn’t doing much better. Boss Bob (a hangdog Danny Glover) is on the outs with wife Dot (Khandi Alexander of Treme). Roommate Paula (a hilarious Robin Weigert) is cursed with an inability to find any personal companionship. Add in a weirdly omniscient little girl and a hideous monkey doll, and you have the makings of an entertaining comedy.

Screens June 18 at 6:30 PM at the Castro Theatre, June 21 at 9:30 PM at the Rialto Cinemas Elmwood, and June 25 at 9:15 PM at the Victoria Theatre. The June 18 screening has gone to Rush.

Southwest Of Salem: The Story Of The San Antonio Four

Another of the highlights of Frameline 40 is this true crime tale concerning a notorious case from the days of Satanic panic. In 1994, a quartet of Latina lesbians in San Antonio, Texas were accused of sexually assaulting two young girls. Cooperation with authorities and a belief in their innocence didn’t stop the four lesbian Latinas from being convicted by a homophobic Texas criminal justice system. Now the Innocence Project works with these convicted women to finally clear their names.

Screens June 20 at 6:30 PM at the Castro Theatre and June 23 at 7:00 PM at the Landmark Theatres Piedmont

Strike A Pose

Remember the seven male dancers who supported Madonna on her Blond Ambition tour (recorded in the famed documentary Truth Or Dare)? Over a quarter century later, directors Ester Gould and Reijer Zwaan re-assemble the surviving dancers to find out what happened to them in the ensuing years. It’s a touching portrait of a group of men whose role model status for a generation of gay men clashes with the day-to-day realities of middle age.

Screens June 25 at 8:30 PM at the Castro Theatre

Summertime

Catherine Corsini’s touching and earthy lesbian drama takes viewers back to the heady days of the burgeoning women’s liberation movement in France. In 1971, closeted lesbian farm girl Delphine (Izia Higelin) leaves her family farm for a job in Paris. A chance encounter with a group of women’s liberation activists leads her to a group of feminist activists. Delphine’s fascination with group firebrand Carole (Cecile de France) eventually leads to their becoming lovers. However, when a family emergency forces Delphine to return to her family farm, pressures get unleashed which threaten any hopes of a future with Carole.

Screens June 23 at 9:30 PM at the Landmark Theatres Piedmont

About the Author

I'm a film reviewer for the Beyond Chron blog. Agnes Varda and Hirokazu Kore-eda are among my favorite filmmakers. I occasionally break down and watch a good action film...but don't tell anyone.

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