The Tops of Tribeca

One of the nation's premier film festivals doesn't disappoint as being a launching pad for some of the best LGBT films of the coming year.

BY Lawrence Ferber

August 01 2009 12:00 AM ET

The Tribeca Film
Festival crept north of its namesake downtown Manhattan
neighborhood this past edition, clogging Union Square and
the Village with badge-wearing attendees. But one
thing the youthful fest didn’t get away from
was its status as desired launching pad for a handful of
LGBT titles.

This year, two
locally significant documentaries took center stage: one
on pop artist Keith Haring, and one honoring the late, great
Squeezebox. From the mid-90s to 2001, Squeezebox was
New York’s premiere queer rock club, where drag
queens not only abandoned the lip synch but had live
guitars grinding behind them. Numerous established acts
played the weekly event, while new ones, including
goth-glam rockers Psychotica and a German transsexual
named Hedwig, first graced its stage. In Zach Shaffer
and Steve Saporito’s Squeezebox! documentary,
extensive archival footage and interviews are framed by TV
clips of Mayor Rudy Giuliani, whose nightlife-quashing
''quality of life'' campaign was a constant threat.
It’s a fitting tribute and valentine -- with middle
finger raised, thank you. Off-screen, a raucous party saw
many of the party’s familiar faces reunite,
including Mistress Formika, John Cameron Mitchell and
Debbie Harry.

Tags: film

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