Outrageous! - The Tribeca Film Festival Wrap-up 2009

Lower Manhattan's famed film festival welcomed campy, innovative, and thoughtful films alike.

BY Lawrence Ferber

May 10 2009 11:00 PM ET

TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL OUTRAGE DISCUSSION X390 (GETTY) | ADVOCATE.COM

While besieged by fans eager to take photos with her, Kurtz shared that, were Crisp still with us, he "would revel in this attention yet be shy." Kurtz filmed her Englishman scenes in between brief breaks from Pushing Daisies . As for what else she's been up to lately, she responded, "I have become the guest star 'ho. I did Nurse Jackie with Edie Falco. Blythe Danner and I play a gay couple. I did Desperate Housewives , Heroes , and Law & Order . I played a corrupt judge and got taken away by Chris Meloni -- so I can die happy."

There was certainly a criminal element, as well as climactic brutal violence, in The Fish Child , Argentinean director Lucía Puenzo's follow-up to her acclaimed 2007 debut, XXY . A noir-tinged lesbian romance, it follows a young woman's pursuit of her dysfunctional family's troubled Paraguayan maid.

Another lesbian couple faced familial adversity (albeit thankfully without violence) in director Nicole Opper's documentary Off And Running (another successful fruit of the Tribeca All Access Program). A happy-go-lucky teenager, Avery is the adopted African-American daughter of a pair of loving Jewish lesbians. Raised in a multicultural household -- an older brother is mixed race, and a younger sibling is Korean -- Avery receives a letter from her biological mother, which sets off an identity crisis that ultimately causes chaos, separation, and pain for her adoptive family.

More pain resulting from betrayal of loved ones, as well as a gays-in-the-military issue, lie at the heart of director Bette Gordon's Handsome Harry . Likened to Far From Heaven by one of its producers, Harry begins as a dying Steve Buscemi asks his former Navy comrade (Jamey Sheridan) to deliver a long-overdue apology to another ex-sailor over a woeful event from their past. Much more lighthearted whilst queer-inclusive was A Matter of Size , an Israeli comedy about wannabe Sumo wrestlers, and Woody Allen's fest opener Whatever Works , which included a gay supporting character played by Christopher Evan Welch.

LGBT-themed films came up empty-handed in the festival's awards categories, but the unofficial winner of most controversial Tribeca 2009 feature most likely goes to Outrage . The premiere of Kirby Dick's much buzzed about documentary concerning antigay closeted politicians and those devoted to outing them was attended by one of its subjects, former New Jersey governor Jim McGreevey. McGreevey later bowed out of a Tribeca Talks panel on the film due to "scheduling conflicts." But you can talk amongst yourselves about Outrage , which hits theaters nationwide compliments of Magnolia Pictures on May 15th.

Tags: film

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