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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Movie Maven
by Gregg Shapiro
2004-04-07

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Limited runs and special events:

— Adler Planetarium – (312) 322-0548: SonicVision – Open-ended run

— Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State Street, (312) 846-2800: Gender at the Edge: Three Films by Michele Mahoney 1995-2003 – Midwestern Hospitality, Acrobats And Sword-Swallowers, and The Undergrad –Apr. 22

— Gerber/Hart Library, 1127 W. Granville, (773) 381-8030: 'Queersploitation' film series – A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge – Apr. 8; 'Cinema Lesbiana' series: - Queen Christina – Apr. 30

— Horticultural Hall (Lake Geneva) – (262) 740-BPFF: Black Point Film Festival - Apr. 21-25

— Leather Archives and Museum, 6418 N. Greenview, (773) 761-9200: Dominatrix Waitrix – Edith Edit's 'sci-fi queer sex romp' lives up to that claim on all counts. The Master Dispatcher (Sache) listens in to the bathroom stall confessions of the 'frail creatures caught in the robotic, dull, repetition of the service industry,' and vows to do something to help them. Made in the Master Dispatcher's likeness, the 'salacious beast' known as Dominatrix Waitrix (also played by Sache), pledges to serve her 'ravishing master in furs' and revolutionize the table waiting industry. Her first client is an overworked waitress played by Eve Minax. Sneaking a stress-relieving cigarette in the restroom at Bite, the waitress is paid a visit by the Dominatrix Waitrix who first offers her a massage and then proceeds to penetrate her with a condom-sheathed pepper mill. From there, the DW returns to the dining room of the restaurant, where she whips the patrons into shape. The unexpected occurs when the waitress develops an attraction to her savior, leading her to strike a deal with the Master Dispatcher, in which she is transformed into the likenesses of the diners seduced by the Dom, in return for reporting back to the Fu-Manchued boss. The climax (pun intended) occurs with the waitress and the DW become enmeshed in a sexually graphic bondage seduction, which leads to an all-out orgy among the clientele in a nightclub. – Apr. 9 & 10

—Music Box, 3733 N. Southport, (773) 871-6604: Midnight movies: Die, Mommie, Die! – Apr. 9, 10, 17, 16; Hedwig and the Angry Inch – Apr. 30, May 1

—Navy Pier IMAX Theatre, (312) 595-5MAX (5629): Nascar: The IMAX Experience 3D – now playing

—Northwestern University Block Cinema, 40 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston, (847) 491-4000: Bringing Up Baby – Apr. 7; Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin – Apr. 13; His Girl Friday – Apr. 28

Latin Film Fest

20th Anniversary Chicago Latino Film Festival: 20th Anniversary Chicago Latino Film Festival: April 16-28, 2004

As they have been doing over the past few years, the programmers and organizers of the annual Chicago Latino Film Festival at the International Latino Cultural Center have once again done a superb job of including films of interest to LGBT audience members. With a few such titles among the more than 100 films in the schedule, both queer and straight festival-goers have a decent selection of movies from which to choose. Below are some of the LGBT highlights of the program.

At the beginning of Alegre Ma Non Troppo, an amusing Madrid-set comedy, gay musician Pablo (Pere Ponce) and his painter boyfriend have split up on the day of Pablo's orchestra audition. Even though Pablo's father Pablo (Oscar Ladoire) is an instructor and on the audition committee, Pablo is still uncertain that he will even be chosen. Pablo faints and is revived in the men's room by fellow horn player Vicente (Jordi Molla), whose girlfriend Salome (Penelope Cruz), is also a musician. Both Pablo and Salome eventually make it into the orchestra. Early in their friendship, Salome convinces Pablo to see a psychiatrist friend of hers who attempts to cure him of his homosexuality. Salome gets involved in the therapy and becomes Pablo's girlfriend. Pablo's mother Asun (Rosa Maria Sarda), who has been separated from Pablo's father for 12 years, is disappointed that her son is disavowing his homosexuality, and does what she can to persuade him otherwise. Meanwhile, climber Salome has turned her attention to Pablo Sr. and seduces him. This entertaining comedy from 1994 provides a number of laugh out loud moments.

An unusual cross-section of characters cross each other's paths over a period of a few days in Caracas, Venezuela, in director Francisco de Pena's video feature Amor En Concreto (Love In Concrete). Love-obsessed cab-driver Carlos (Carlos Miranda) finally works up the nerve to speak to nightclub singer Carmen (Gladys Prince), whom he has been stalking for 20 years. One of Carlos's passengers, transvestite prostitute Clemencia (Erich Wildpret), saves the life of teenage runaway Tony (Alejandro Chaban), when she prevents him from throwing himself off of an overpass, and later takes him to his first gay bar. Claudia (Beatriz Valdes), a doctor in bad marriage, withdraws all the money ($65,000) from her joint bank account, and as she is getting into her car with the cash, she is held up by unemployed Hector (Gregorio Milano). Somewhat less sturdy than concrete, the movie attempts to deliver a message about the power of love which never quite solidifies.

La Tregua is a big-screen, overly dramatic, Telenovela-quality flick that pours it on as heavily as syrup. Widower Martin (Gonzalo Vega) works in the office of a coastal shipping company, and is struggling with depression. His eldest son Esteban (Arath de la Torre) is a government employee; his middle child Jaime (Rodrigo Vidal) works in an architect's office; and his youngest child, daughter Blanca (Maite Embil) is a student. His sons are always at each other's throats and his daughter is having trouble finding a boyfriend. Martin has better luck in terms of romance and begins dating a young woman from his office named Laura (Adriana Fonseca). But his happiness is tenuous as things begin to unravel. Esteban becomes involved in an embezzlement scandal, Blanca's new boyfriend uses her virginity as a pawn in a bet, and Jaime is forced out of the closet by homophobic Esteban. Eventually, each of the family crises are resolved, but then (cue music), Martin is faced with an even greater tragedy when Laura suddenly takes ill.

Special festival programs include 'Haitian Series: Triumph of the Human Spirit.' 'Spanish Perspective,' 'Most Memorable Films,' 'Made in Chicago,' 'Soundbites on Celluloid,' 'Andalusian Cinema,' 'Animation Creation,' 'Student Segment,' 'The Matinee Outreach Program,' and 'Women in Film.' Gala Events, to mark the twentieth anniversary of the film festival, include the screening of Valentin at the Art Institute of Chicago-Rubloff Auditorium; 'A Night of Spain,' featuring a screening of Eres mi héroe (My Hero); the featured Mexican film Asesino en serio (A Serious Killer), during the Noche Mexicana program; and the closing night feature Sexo con amor (Sex with Love).

Festival screenings take place in Chicago at the Biograph Theater (2433 N. Lincoln Ave.), 3 Penny Cinema (2424 N. Lincoln Ave.), Facets Multimedia (1517 W. Fullerton) and a variety of community centers and universities in the area. The complete film schedule will be available on the ILCC website (www.latinoculturalcenter.org) beginning on the first of April and also on the ILCC hotline at (312) 409-1757.

Also opening/playing:

Home On The Range – Disney cartoon featuring the voices of Rosanne, Steve Buscemi, Jennifer Tilly and Jason Graae

The Girl Next Door – Stars Timothy Olyphant of Go and Broken Hearts Club.

The Whole Ten Yards – Stars Matthew Perry and Bruce Willis.

On TV:

here! Pay-Per-View – showing in Apr.: The Trip; Under One Roof; Coming Out Party

Sundance Channel (check local listings for times) – Criminal Lovers – Apr. 3, 9, 27; The Monkey's Mask – Apr. 4, 8, 16, 27; Prom Fight: The Marc Hall Story – Apr. 5, 11, 16, 22; Borstal Boy – Apr. 9, 14, 17, 22, 27; Water Drops on Burning Rocks - Apr. 10, 19, 27; 'Anatomy of a Scene: The United States of Leland' – Apr. 20, 23-26, 28; Chain Camera – Apr. 20; Look Out Haskell, It's Real: The Making of Medium Cool – Apr. 20, 26 & 30; 'Anatomy of a Scene: Saved' – Apr. 20, 23-26, 28

VH1 (check local listings for times) – 'VH1 Goes Inside: Queer As Folk' – Apr. 8


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