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Knight at the Movies: LGBT summer movie preview
by Richard Knight, Jr., for Windy City Times
2013-05-29

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Summer is heating up, both on and off the screen, as Hollywood trots out its latest crop of action behemoths. As always, there's plenty of queer tinged stuff tossed in for good measure—as well a nice assortment of local screening events to keep avid filmgoers happy. Highlights:

June

I Do—I'm sneaking one May title in as this gay-themed dramedy, after making the film-festival rounds, is only playing one theatrical date in Chicago on Friday, May 31, at the Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State St. David W. Ross plays a British expat and a handsome gay twentysomething bachelor who weds his widowed sister-in-law (The Sopranos' Jamie Lynn Sigler) in a green-card marriage only to then find himself falling for a hot Spanish architect. www.siskelfilmcenter.org May 31

Celebrating Diversity film series—Several branches of the Chicago Public Library team with the Queer Film Society to present three LGBT movies and one book reading/signing. How Do I Look, a 2006 indie about Harlem's voguing scene; the 2012 lesbian coming-of-age romance Mosquita y Mari; and 2004's On the Downlow, from local out filmmaker Tadeo Garcia, are the films. Queer Film Society member Rob Christopher, author of Queue Tips: Discovering Your Next Great Movie, reads selections from his how-to guide, and performance artist David Kodeski reads from his chapter on discovering homoeroticism in movies. All four events are free. Complete information (library branch location, time, etc.) is at www.queerfilmsociety.org . June 4, 12, 18, 19

Joshua Tree, 1951: A Portrait of James Dean—Out director/writer Matthew Mishory's lyrical, homoerotic ode to James Dean, gorgeously shot in black and white (and sexy as hell), plays the Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State St., for three dates. Scrooge & Marley star David Pevsner plays Dean's acting coach. www.siskelfilmcenter.org June 7, 8, 11

Lesbiana, A Parallel Revolution—After a decade of programming the popular lesbian-themed Dyke Delicious series at Chicago Filmmakers, Sharon Zurek of Black Cat Productions is moving on. Her tenure concludes with this Chicago premiere of Canadian filmmaker Myriam Fougere's empowering documentary examination of the rise of worldwide rise of lesbian culture throughout the 1980s. A 6 p.m. social hour precedes the 7 p.m. screening at Chicago Filmmakers, 5243 N. Clark St., on Saturday, June 8. http://chicagofilmmakers.org/cf/genre/17

Man of Steel—The team that brought you 300 and The Dark Knight combine efforts to offer a new, darker reboot of the Superman franchise, this time with super-hot Henry Cavill donning the blue cape and form-fitting uniform. Michael Shannon, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, Amy Adams, gay audience fave Christopher Meloni and Laurence Fishburne round out the cast. June 14

World War Z—Brad Pitt's apocalypse-sized zombie epic is finally here after lots of reshoots and much studio executive hand wringing over the less than stellar test screenings. But if the trailer's any indication, the wait has been worth it. Lost's Matthew Fox co-stars. June 21

I'm So Excited—Spain's queer auteur Pedro Almodovar returns to his blazing Technicolor comedic roots with a movie he has dubbed his gayest in years. Most of the action is set aboard a jet plane circling the runway in Mexico City in what looks to be a spoof of the Airport disaster movies. Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz head the cast. Opens in NY/LA June 28 (Chicago dates TBD)

White House Down—After falling on his arse going the literary route with the Shakespearian epic Anonymous, gay director Roland Emmerich (Godzilla, Independence Day, 2012) thankfully returns to the mega-sized safety of his blockbuster, disaster roots. When bad guys attempt to break into the White House and kidnap the president (Jamie Foxx), it's up to muscle-bound Channing Tatum, as his bodyguard, to kick butt. June 28

Notable DVD releases—Cleopatra (50th anniversary limited edition), Beautiful Creatures, Identity Thief, Stoker, Oz: The Great & Powerful

July

The Lone Ranger—Armie Hammer (Hoover's reputed gay lover, Clyde Tolson, in J. Edgar) stars as the masked Wild West hero in a rare attempt to build a western movie action franchise. Gay audience fave Johnny Depp plays his Indian sidekick Tonto. July 3

Twenty Feet from Stardom—This inspirational, rousing documentary looks at the stellar voices of the women who for decades have vocally supported superstars like Bette Midler, Mick Jagger, Sheryl Crow (who all appear) and others. July 5

Girl Most Likely—Kristen Wiig plays another a lovable loser in this promising comedy about a failed playwright forced to move back in with her mother (Annette Bening) in suburban New Jersey, only to find ma has a new boyfriend (Matt Dillon) and that someone is sleeping in her old bedroom (Glee's Darren Criss). July 19

The Wolverine—Hot off his successful turn in the movie version of the megamusical Les Miserables, Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role as the X-Man with the retractable steel blades and a propensity for walking around shirtless. This time Logan heads to Japan for, no doubt, plenty of chop-socky action. July 26

Notable DVD releases—In the Family (at last!), The Curtis Harrington Short Film Collection, Jeffrey, White Frog, Cloudburst

August

300: Rise of an Empire—A prequel to the movie that made the use of green screen—not to mention Gerard Butler and his pecs—bona fide stars. Plenty more graphic warefare among those hot Greeks is promised and Rodrigo Santoro returns as the super queer-friendly bad guy, the bejeweled Xerxes. Aug. 2

Lovelace—Amanda Seyfried stars in a biopic of Deep Throat '70s porn star Linda Lovelace. Peter Sarsgaard plays her Svengali Chuck Trainer and James Franco appears in a cameo role as Hugh Hefner. Co-directed by queer documentary filmmakers Jeffrey Friedman and Rob Epstein, this is the follow up their narrative feature debut Howl. Opens in NY/LA August 9 (Chicago dates TBD)

Elysium—Director Neil Blomkamp's long away follow-up to his breakout hit, 2009's District Nine, this epic sized sci-fi actionfest pits poor vs. rich (ain't it always the way?) in a futuristic thriller that finds the wealthy ensconced in a luxurious space station circling a decimated earth. But not for long, of course. Matt Damon, Sharlto Copley, Alice Braga and Our Gal Jodie Foster (as the corporate baddie) co-star. Aug. 9

The Butler—Oprah Winfrey returns to the movies after a long hiatus as the tart tongued wife of Cecil Gains (Forest Whitaker), the man who served eight Presidents from 1952 to 1986. Gay director-writer Lee Daniels follows-up his wildly divisive exploitation picture The Paperboy (which I dug) with this much safer bet come awards time. A virtual Hollywood Who's Who play the Presidents and their First Ladies—including Melissa Leo as Mamie Eisenhower and Jane Fonda as Nancy Reagan. Aug. 16

Notable DVD Releases—I Killed My Mother (at last!), Seconds (Criterion Collection Special Edition)


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