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SPRING MOVIE PREVIEW Superheroes, festivals part of cinematic landscape
by Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times

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The box office is warming up for the big blockbusters expected this summer. Spring offers two months of fine flicks and film festivals where the LGBT community are well represented on the big screen—along with big stars, superheroes and inspiring soundtracks.


—Shazam! ( April 5 ): A young 14-year-old Billy Batson quickly grows up by exclaiming the word Shazam! This comic character was originally named Captain Marvel and Djimon Hounsou is surprisingly in both this movie and the Brie Larson film.

—Pet Sematary ( April 5 ): Stephen King's adaptation of his 1983 horror novel comes back to life with Jason Clarke, Amy Seimetz and John Lithgow.

—Hellboy ( April 12 ): Stranger Things star David Harbour turns red playing the title character in the new Hellboy reboot.

—Teen Spirit ( April 19 ): Elle Fanning personifies the character Violet Valenski who is from a small town with big dreams. She sings cover songs of Robyn, Tegan and Sara, Annie Lennox and Ellie Goulding along the way.

—Avengers: Endgame ( April 19 ): The highly anticipated Avengers: Infinity War follow up has big named stars battling the villain Thanos for the universe.


—Tell It To the Bees ( May 3 ): This is a lesbian drama with Anna Paquin playing a doctor who meets an unfulfilled housewife in conservative 1950s Scotland.

—UglyDolls ( May 3 ): The voices of Kelly Clarkson, Nick Jonas, Wanda Sykes and Janelle Monae are spotlighted in a cartoon set in the town of Uglyville, where weirdness is celebrated.

—Long Shot ( May 3 ): It's a fish-out-of-water story with Charlize Theron playing a diplomat with Seth Rogen as a journalist.

—Rafiki ( May 9 ): This banned Kenyan drama centers on a romantic connection between two young women in a country where homosexuality is currently illegal.

—Aladdin ( May 24 ): Guy Ritchie seems an unusual choice to direct the live adaptation of the Walt Disney production. Will Will Smith smoke out the unforgettable performance of Robin Williams, or will moviegoers wish for someone else?

—Rocketman ( May 31 ): This openly gay rocker drama hopes to upstage Bohemian Rhapsody, with Taron Egerton representing the flamboyant Sir Elton John ( and actually singing his songs live, John has told media outlets ).

In addition, tThe 35th Latino Film Festival returns to Chicago, with more LGBT content, at the AMC River East 21 Theatre March 28-April 11. A gay bar called Oasis, an out dance instructor in The Gazelle's dance and Guatemala's Queer Lion Award winner Jose are all part of the international fun. Cruise over to for the complete schedule.

The Tribeca Film Festival in Manhattan turns 18 this year, taking place April 24-May 5 with tons of queer offerings such as the lesbian coming-of-age story Clementine and a multitude of short films with LGBT-related subject matter. Some documentaries at Tribeca include films about the life of fashion designer Halston, a RuPaul Drag Racer in Trixie Mattel: Moving Parts and XY Chelsea, about famed transgender military whistlerblower Chelsea Manning. For more information, visit .

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