Windy City Media Group Frontpage News Home
CELEBRATING 28+ YEARS OF Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender NEWS

Search Gay News Articles
Advanced Search
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2014-09-17
Download Issue
  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 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

Trans* woman claims self-defense in case Trans* woman claims self-defense in case
Like any 22-year-old growing up in a country that has historically prided ...

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

The Perks of Being a Wallflower; Diana Vreeland; Lou Harrison
Knight at the Movies:
by Richard Knight, Jr., for Windy City Times
2012-09-26

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


Stephen Chbosky's 1999 novel The Perks of a Wallflower has become something of a talisman for a generation of teenage social outsiders and misfits in much the same way that Catcher in the Rye and films like Rebel without a Cause and The Breakfast Club have spoken to previous generations experiencing the same sense of youthful dissatisfaction with the mainstream. Now Chbosky has adapted his book for the screen and makes his debut as the director of the film version. The movie, like the novel, is a beautifully observed study of awkward adolescence on the cusp of discovery—a gentle, winning coming of age tale.

The shyly charming Logan Lerman essays the role of Charlie, the bookish, friendless freshman who dreams of being a writer and finds plenty of potential material as he enters his first year of high school in the early 1990s. Determined to make even one friend on his first day he settles—glumly and with perfect insight about how embarrassing it is—with his English teacher (Paul Rudd, exuding his usual charm). But Charlie is quietly determined, in spite of the usual rejections and serial taunts of the school jocks, to somehow fit in. A chance encounter with two seniors at a football game—Patrick (gay actor Ezra Miller) and his sister, Sam (a shimmering Emma Watson)—changes everything for Charlie when they take him in as one of their own.

Charlie is dazzled by the bravado and glamour of these two high school sophisticates who don't give a fig about being popular, dress codes or doing anything to fit in. Patrick, a prankster, is openly gay and carrying on a secret affair with someone on the football team while Sam has a boyfriend who, in Charlie's eyes, doesn't deserve her for a second. He finds himself surrounded by a supportive group and he quickly falls secretly for Sam.

A lot of familiar teenage angst is expended as the year plays out in a series of adventures both funny and tragic while this fearless trio finds the boundaries of their friendships tested. Sections of Ordinary People and Fame included this same bittersweet insight into the difficult high school years. And like the latter, Perks includes a large nod to the supreme pleasures of outsiders enjoying the communal spirit—exemplified by the ritual power of dressing up in drag and participating in a screening of the camp classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Patrick, Sam and, eventually, Charlie parrot the "Don't Dream It, Be It" message that Tim Curry's drag-queen mad scientist character Frank-N-Furter espouses. Charlie ultimately finds himself part of the floor show, his inhibitions tossed aside.

The characters in The Perks of Being a Wallflower are so filled with yearning it practically blows up the screen; rarely has a movie captured both the exuberant euphoria and simultaneous sadness of this seminal rite of passage. Chbosky's deep understanding of the material and his sure handling of his young, talented cast help navigate this tricky emotional terrain—not always quite successfully—but often enough to forgive the film's intermittent continuity gaps and a few plot missteps. The movie's a rousing experience that more than lives up to its ironic title.

Briefly noted: Two documentaries opening this weekend both offer cogent portraits of artistic dynamos hard at work and will certainly be of interest to queer film fans. In Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel, we see the fashion doyenne as she is dictating her memoirs and ruminating on her fabulous, one-of-a-kind life. Vreeland's influence on the U.S. fashion industry (solidified through her editorial stints at Harper's Bazaar and Vogue) cannot be overstated, and this outspoken woman—who lived for style yet never let it overwhelm her—is certainly a fascinating topic.

Although the movie, co-helmed by her granddaughter-in-law Lisa, never quite pierces the often outrageous exterior of its subject, that's to be expected. Vreeland herself, as the movie points out, was the queen of reinvention who never lost the chance to embroider when the rather unfabulous truth threatened to bore. And the archival footage of Vreeland at work and sitting bemused for interviews with Diane Sawyer, Dick Cavett and Jane Pauley is as vivid as the fire-engine red decor of her Manhattan apartment. A host of lively talking heads (including relatives and former work associates) round out this warm portrait of the world's first true fashion maven and female icon. The film opens Sept. 28 at the Music Box Theatre, 3730 N. Southport Ave. www.musicboxtheatre.com

Likewise, Lou Harrison: A World of Music offers a loving portrait of a man whose talents poured forth at an enviable rate. But Harrison, an unsung giant of 20th-century modern music, is hardly known outside musical circles today—and small ones at that—while his percussive, sometimes dissonant yet always enthralling music suffers the same fate. This all makes Eva Solte's entertaining documentary of the late, openly queer composer, with his delicate demeanor, so welcome.

Harrison, an associate and early champion of avant-garde composer John Cage, and contemporary of Charles Ives and Virgil Thompson, narrates his own story and he is often seen alongside his partner of many years. The film includes excerpts from many of Harrison's gorgeous scores and tributes from many of his colleagues. The film plays Sept. 29 and Oct. 1 at the Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State St. Soltes will be present at both screenings. www.siskelfilmcenter.com

Film notes:

—Director Aurora Guerror's acclaimed lesbian romantic drama Mosquita y Mari, a hit at last year's Sundance, is having its Midwest premiere tonight, Wed., Sept. 26, at the Logan Square Theater, 2646 N. Milwaukee Ave., at 8pm. The screening will begin with a documentary titled Gay Latino L.A.: Coming of Age. The Queer Film Society is hosting the event and I'll be conducting the audience talkback following the screening. A post-film cocktail reception follows at 9:30 p.m. www.mexicanfilmfestival.org

—Out playwright Terrence McNally's Corpus Christi, in which McNally dramatizes the story of Christ through a queer lens reset in the '50s in Corpus Christi, Texas, has, not surprisingly, been a source of controversy since its premiere. Six years ago, producer/actor James Brandon (who plays the lead) and director Nic Arnzen, a former Chicagoan, worked together on a production of the play on the West Coast that was critically lauded. A subsequent tour ensued with the controversy following in its footsteps.

Arnzen, along with Brandon, documented the experience in a feature-length film called Corpus Christi: Playing with Redemption, which tracks the divisive reactions—both pro and con—to the touring production. Now both documentary and play are being presented in Chicago by 108 Productions in a two-day event the Center on Halsted, Michael Leppen and Windy City Times are co-sponsoring. On Saturday, Sept. 29, the film will screen at 2 p.m., followed by a town-hall discussion with cast, crew members and local civic leaders; a performance of the play will take place at 8 p.m. Both programs and the discussion forum will be repeated Sunday, Sept. 30, at 12 p.m. (film/discussion) and play performance (2 p.m.). It all takes place at the Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St., in the Hoover-Leppen Theater. www.corpuschristi-themovie.com

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


facebook twitter 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.

Director talks dynamics of trans-focused film 'Boy Meets Girl' 2014-09-17
Pastor/CTS student in trans* documentary 2014-09-16
'Queers in the Kingdom' filmmaker on movie, Wheaton College 2014-09-16
REELING FILM FEST The movie 'Lilting': Lost in translation 2014-09-16
REELING FILM FESTIVAL Max Adler of 'Glee' runs amok in Saugatuck 2014-09-16
Ugandan documentary screens at church 2014-09-16
Five Worth Finding: West Loop restaurant, steamy film 2014-09-16
Reeling Film Festival overview 2014-09-14
Roosevelt doc sidesteps Eleanor's sexuality 2014-09-12
Skrebneski unveils Chicago International Film Fest poster 2014-09-11
Reeling Film Festival at Century Centre Sept. 20 2014-09-11
Screenings: Bjork film, Ugandan LGBT film 2014-09-11
Knight at the Movies: The Skeleton Twins; The Homestretch; film notes 2014-09-10
Fall LGBT movie preview 2014-09-10
'The Roosevelts' avoids Eleanor's sexuality 2014-09-09
Women's Film; Martina proposes; Sky finals; AIDS Run, Walk 2014-09-09
Pride Films, Plays' Women's Words Film Fest premieres shorts 2014-09-09
POV's 'Koch' airs Sept. 22 on PBS 2014-09-08
Alan Cumming in Conversation Oct. 13 at Music Box 2014-09-08
Knight at the Movies: The Last of Robin Hood; film notes 2014-09-03
John Leguizamo 'Klowns' around, talks 'To Wong Foo' 2014-09-03
ENTERTAINMENT EVENTS Women's Words Fest; Queer poetry; Reeling 2014-09-03
Carell's gay film; Bomer's Horror Story; Gaga joins Lambert 2014-09-02
Gay Asian website to debut 'Break-up King' 2014-08-30
Women's Words Film Fest premieres shorts 2014-08-29
Reeling LGBT film fest opens Sept. 18 2014-08-27
Knight at the Movies: Love Is Strange; To Be Takei; Yves; film notes 2014-08-27
Director Ira Sachs, star Alfred Molina on 'Love Is Strange' 2014-08-27
Expendables 3 reveal; Roberts' honor; Cohen on Top Chef 2014-08-26
Way-out Wizard World: costumes, characters, artists 2014-08-26
Machnik wins Nate Berkus' reality show, looks at future 2014-08-25
Knight at the Movies: The Dog; The Giver; film note 2014-08-19
Gay superhero event touches on gender stereotypes, diversity 2014-08-19
'Orange' wins Creative Emmys 2014-08-17
Film about George Takei to screen at Facets 2014-08-16
Iconic actress Lauren Bacall dies at 89 2014-08-13
Iconic actress Lauren Bacall dies at 89 2014-08-13
Lesbian drama 'Anatomy' on Vimeo 2014-08-13
Jena Malone and Lem Jay Ignacio in 'Shoe' business 2014-08-12
Knight at the Movies: Into the Storm; film notes 2014-08-11





Copyright © 2014 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.

 

 

 



 

Trans* woman claims self-defense in case
 
REELING FILM FESTIVAL Max Adler of 'Glee' runs amok in Saugatuck
 
Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame selects next inductees
 
Mother of Eisha Love: Heartbreak and courage
 
Veterans Health Administration opens doors to LGBT vets
 
Windy City Times Current DownloadNightspots Current DownloadQueercast Current Download
Windy City Media Group BlogsJoin Our Email List!Donate Now



  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 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      News Videos      Nightspots Videos      Entertainment Videos      Queercast Videos      Comedy Videos     
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.