Windy City Media Group Frontpage News Home
CELEBRATING 29+ YEARS OF Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender NEWS

Search Gay News Articles
Advanced Search
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2015-03-25
Download Issue
  News Index   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds     AIDS @ 32       Marriage
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime

SAVOR Taus Authentic Food & Drink SAVOR
Taus Authentic
Food & Drink
Housed in the former Prasino space, Taus Authentic Food & Drink (1846 ...

Browse Gay News Index   Browse Gay News Archives
  Windy City Times    Download PDF Issue

Knight at the Movies: In the Family; film notes
by Richard Knight, Jr., for Windy City Times
2012-04-18

facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email


Out writer-director-actor Patrick Wang's In the Family really makes a case—albeit a subtle one—for the understated ways in which the term "family" has expanded in surprising directions.

Ostensibly, the movie hinges on the legal wrangling that goes on when Joey (Wang) finds himself in an unexpected custody battle over his 6-year-old son, Chip (Sebastian Brodziak), after Joey's partner, Cody (Trevor St. John), has died in a car accident. We are in Martin, Tenn., in a place where emergency-room nurses are still hesitant or openly hostile when Joey insists that he is part of Cody's family, so what follows Cody's death doesn't surprise us.

We've been down this path before in many a film drama that has mirrored the lives of thousands of gays and lesbian parents in decades past. With each revelation—the will that wasn't quite filed, the adoption papers not secured, the will's executor not part of the everyday discussion—we are one step ahead, knowing that things for Joey with regard to Chip's custody are in big trouble.

But underneath, something not quite nameable is taking place. Part of that, I think, is due to Wang's graceful technique—slow and contemplative with few cuts, filled with long takes with room to focus on minute details—which help move his story away from the stereotypical histrionics the material would suggest. At the film's surprising fade-out, Wang has not only seemed to posit the theory that the definition of "family" has grown in many imperceptible ways—he has demonstrated it.

As we move toward the confrontation between Joey and Cody's surviving sister, Eileen (Kelly McAndrew), Wang fills in the important backstory covering the duo's romance. But, these, too, have unexpected twists and turns and are highlighted by a marvelous scene in which Joey—who has been engaged as a carpenter in the home of Cody, a recent widower left with a young son—is suddenly surprised by an intimate kiss from Cody. The moment—a blend of awkwardness, yearning and palpable desire—is delicately rendered and beautifully acted by Wang and St. John, whose Cody, we learn, was never involved with men before Joey.

There are many tremendous actors, most of them from the New York stage in Wang's cast (the movie was shot in upstate New York), who register in the long takes—with a special mention going to Brian Murray as a retired lawyer who takes on Joey's case when he has just about run out of hope. With gentle assuredness, Murray provides the movie's last sequence, set in a conference room where Joey is voluntarily being deposed by the lawyer of Cody's sister with an air of grace that emboldens Wang's Joey to rise to the occasion, relating just exactly why he is Chip's one true father and, further, why they are members of his family.

The sequence is close to a half-hour of the movie's 169-minute running time but, by that point, Wang's unforced, contemplative approach—devoid of background score and relying on naturalistic lighting and unfussy cinematography—has seemed like the perfect way to underline his message. In the Family opens Friday, April 20, at the Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Ave., for its exclusive Chicago engagement. This movie is highly recommended. Wang will be present at certain opening weekend screenings. Check with the Music Box for details; www.musicboxtheatre.com .

Film notes:

—The charming lesbian romantic dramedy Jamie and Jessie Are Not Together from out writer-director Wendy Jo Carlton is going to be screened on Thursday, April 26 at 8 p.m. at the Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport). The one night only screening will be a benefit for the Lesbian Community Cancer Project of Howard Brown Health Center.

Carlton will join members of her mostly locally based cast and crew in celebrating the success of the movie, which has won several awards on the film festival circuit and garnered praise from high profile film critics like Roger Ebert and Michael Phillips at a post screening reception from 9:30-11:30pm at Blue Bayou (across the street from the Music Box). Tickets are $18 and include the film and after party (drink ticket, appetizers and DJ music). Advance tickets are at www.musicboxtheatre.com/events/jamie-and-jesse-are-not-together-2012-04-26-800-pm.

—Lesbian actress Fawzia Mirza—who plays a pivotal role in Jamie and Jessie—is also seen in a new film, Promise Land, which is having its Chicago premiere with a red carpet screening at the AMC River 21, 322 E. Illinois St., on Friday, April 20, at 7 p.m. The movie, directed by Kevin Dalvi (with screenplay by Dalvi, Columbia College's Etta Worthington and Faris Kahn), stars a diverse cast that aside from Mirza includes Anita Chandwaney, Brenda Barrie, Elizabeth Abraham and others. The film is described as a dramedy that focuses on an alternative view of immigration issues in the United States told from a Southeast Asian perspective through three intertwining stories. Members of the cast and crew are expected to attend the gala event and after party at the NV Penthouse Lounge, 116 W. Hubbard St. www.promiselandfilm.com

—Welcome, Sawyer Lahr: After nearly eight years of non-stop weekly film-reviewing I find myself immersed in an unexpected, though rather delightful project that necessitates my taking a leave of absence from my Knight at the Movies column for Windy City Times. But fear not—your movie reviews from a queer perspective will continue with the inestimable talents of film writer Sawyer Lahr who, aside from being a member of the Queer Film Society, is also the creator and editor of his own queer arts-themed website, www.goovertherainbow.com . So what will yours truly be up to? Well, I'm working on my first movie—a modern-day, gay variation on A Christmas Carol called Scrooge & Marley (executive-produced by WCT's publisher/executive editor Tracy Baim). You can read all about the movie at www.scroogeandmarleymovie.com . Thanks to all my supportive readers; see you again soon.

Check out my archived reviews at www.windycitymediagroup.com or www.knightatthemovies.com . Readers can leave feedback at the latter website.


facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily
agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here.
Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you
stay on this page, the more you help us.

'Mahogany' 40th-anniv. DVD out May 5 2015-03-25
Knight at the Movies: Spring LGBT movie preview 2015-03-25
Cinema Q V: Free film series celebrates half a decade with screenings 2015-03-24
Entertainment: Andy Cohen; Cheyenne Jackson; Chaz Bono; Jussie Smollett 2015-03-24
GLAAD honors Kerry Washington, 'Transparent' 2015-03-24
Baconfest hosting Bacon Month events 2015-03-18
Into the Woods' out on disc March 24 2015-03-18
Entertainment: Madonna; Matt Bomer; Billie Jean film; Josh Groban 2015-03-17
'Still Alice' writer Richard Glatzer dies 2015-03-11
Entertainment: Kerry Washington; Alexander McQueen;'The Fosters'; Mario Lopez 2015-03-11
Five Worth Finding 2015-03-10
Playgirl "Man of the Year" Dirk Shafer found dead 2015-03-06
Theater Spotlight and Critics' Picks 2015-03-04
NUNN ON ONE Michael Urie airs his 'View' 2015-03-04
MOVIES 'Honest Liar' a revealing doc with gay magician 2015-03-04
MOVIES Documentary looks at women's-rights movement 2015-03-04
Local entertainment events: Homestretch; Tret Fure; Louder than a Bomb; African-American films 2015-03-04
Disc and That: Upcoming and recent DVDs 2015-03-03
Entertainment: Wanda Sykes; Gaga; Mo'Nique; Eddie Redmayne 2015-03-03
Alfre Woodard talks 'State of Affairs' before local benefit 2015-02-25
NUNN ON ONE: MUSIC Betty Buckley puts out haunting 'Ghostlight' 2015-02-25
Knight at the Movies: The Circle; Maggie Smith 2015-02-25
Oscars: NPH, Lady Gaga and inclusive remarks 2015-02-23
NUNN ON ONE: MOVIES Siskel board member on Oscars party, fave gay movie 2015-02-18
Upcoming events: On the Red Carpet and Oscars party Feb. 22 2015-02-18
Upcoming events: Internat'l Women's Dance; gays on 'Hate in America'; Knuckles film 2015-02-18
Entertainment news: Ricky Martin; Melissa Manchester; Madonna banned 2015-02-17
Movie celebrating Frankie Knuckles to shoot in Chicago 2015-02-11
Knight at the Movies: A 'Grey' day, Black history and (Oscar) gold 2015-02-11
Music Box gets a new look, addition 2015-02-10
Entertainment: Lance Bass at wedding; Andy Cohen; Lea DeLaria engaged; DGA Awards 2015-02-10
NUNN ON ONE: TELEVISION Trai Byers talks about 'Empire' and the film 'Selma' 2015-02-04
Entertainment news: 'Drag Race'; 'Ghostbusters'; Cumming turns 50 2015-02-03
Joel Grey officially comes out as gay 2015-01-28
VIEWS Historic Black LGBTQ talk on 'Selma' takes place 2015-01-28
Coming up in film and music 2015-01-28
Knight at the Movies: Baby, it's cold outside! 2015-01-28
MOVIES Queer couple addresses Alzheimer's in 'Still Alice' 2015-01-21
Briefs: Entertainment and news 2015-01-21
Jesse Tyler's project; Streisand's honor; an offer to Bieber 2015-01-20





Copyright © 2015 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 

ALMA names recipients of Young Latino Leaders for Creating Change scholarship
 
NUNN ON ONE: TELEVISION Taryn Manning dishes on new music, 'Orange Is the New Black'
 
Ald. Emma Mitts videotaped making anti-LGBT comments
 
New BYC location among Howard Brown meeting announcements
 
Accepting HIV status is 'strength' for Chicago athlete
 
Windy City Times Current DownloadNightspots Current DownloadQueercast Current Download
Windy City Media Group BlogsJoin Our Email List!Donate Now
Sponsor


Sponsor

  News Index   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds     AIDS @ 32       Marriage
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.