Thursday, May 20, 2010

Black Sheep previews Inside Out 2010

The first time I ever came to Toronto was to attend INSIDE OUT, Toronto's LGBT film and video festival.  It was about ten years ago so the festival was half as old as it is now.  And to be fair, INSIDE OUT was not my original reason for visiting Toronto for the first time.  No, that would have to be because I had tickets to see Mariah Carey's "One Night Only - Rainbow Tour" at the Air Canada Centre.  If this were ten years ago, this would make me about 23.  I was a Mariah fan for ten years before that and had never had the chance to see her in concert.  Unfortunately, diva ate some bad oysters a few days before the show and had to reschedule it for the one night all month that I could not go.  I would be lying if I said I did not cry at home that night like a teenage girl.  Anyhow, I couldn't get the deposit back on my bed and breakfast reservation so I switched the dates and decided to come in for INSIDE OUT instead.

As I eluded to earlier, INSIDE OUT turns 20 this year!  To celebrate, they are bringing back some past favorites as well as a slew of new pictures that will certainly honour this benchmark as it deserves.  The opening night gala is this evening actually.  By the time you read this, it will likely have already finished but don't worry; it was sold out anyway.  It isn't surprising considering the opening film is the first narrative work by Academy Award winning documentary filmmakers, Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman (THE CELLULOID CLOSET, PARAGRAPH 175, THE TIMES OF HARVEY MILK).  Their first foray into fiction filmmaking is called, HOWL, and centers on poet, Allan Ginsberg and his poem, "Howl".  Ginsberg is played by James Franco and HOWL will be released later this year by the good people at Mongrel Media.  On a side note, THE CELLULOID CLOSET, a brilliant exploration of the history of gay cinema, is being screened on Saturday at Buddies at 3:00 for donations.  The directors will be present at both screenings.

First run features that I am most looking forward to include I AM LOVE, UNDERTOW and GOING SOUTH.  I AM LOVE is a critical darling that has played intensely to festival audiences the world over already.  The Italian film stars Tilda Swinton as a Milanese aristocrat and from the look of the trailer, it is going to be a gorgeous effort from budding filmmaker, Luca Guadagnino.  UNDERTOW is the festival's centrepiece gala presentation.  From director Javier Fuentes-Leon, this Spanish language film tells the story of a hidden affair between two men in a Peruvian village.  GOING UNDER doesn't sound that different than Sebastien Lifshitz's previous masterpiece, COME UNDONE, but if it is anywhere near as good as that French film, I will be a very happy man.  If it is anywhere near as hot, I will be even happier.

Other classic films being screened at the festival include the 1958 German groundbreaker, MADCHEN IN UNIFORM, the Quebec classic, LILLIES and a restored print of the 1986 film, PARTING GLANCES will screen on the eve of its 25th anniversary at the Bloor Cinema.

Other festival highlights include Hot Docs leftover, JOAN RIVERS: A PIECE OF WORK, TIFF leftover, LE REFUGE, from French director, Francois Ozon,  another Hot Doc film. MARK, about s local activist and how he changed lives with his beautiful spirit and PRIMA DONNA: THE STORY OF RUFUS WAINWRIGHT'S DEBUT OPERA (pretty self explanatory).

INSIDE OUT runs from May 20 to May 30 at a variety of different screening venues in Toronto.  For more information and for tickets, please click the following link: INSIDE OUT

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