The Films of NewFest 2014

New York's premier LGBT film festival showcases a diverse and compelling collection of narratives, documentaries, shorts, and parties.

BY Advocate.com Editors

July 24 2014 6:21 PM ET

Monday, July 28

7:00 p.m. - Cupcakes, playing at the JCC in Manhattan

During their annual get-together to watch the kitschy Universong competition, one of a sextet of friends is nursing a broken heart. The other five spontaneously compose and perform a song to cheer her up, which leads to a viral video that transforms these six nonprofessionals into Universong competitors. As colorful and infectious as a pop song, the latest from Eytan Fox (Yossi) is a delirious sugar rush of a comedy.

7:00 p.m. - Lyle

Lyle, Stewart Thorndike’s sinister ode to Rosemary’s Baby, finds the perfect mom-to-be in Gaby Hoffmann. Her electrifying performance as Leah, a pregnant lesbian confronted by an unspeakable evil, brings out a primal terror that’s difficult to shake. With dark humor and razor-sharp camerawork, Thorndike takes audiences into a growing nightmare as Leah begins to question the motives of her partner, friends, and neighbors.

9:00 p.m. - I Always Said Yes: The Many Lives of Wakefield Poole, playing at the JCC in Manhattan

Wakefield Poole was a respected Broadway choreographer and ballet star until he rocked the mainstream world by becoming a groundbreaking hardcore gay filmmaker during the tumultuous 1970s. At the time, anyone making what the government considered pornography was at risk of prosecution. Poole challenged the system with his iconic Boys in the Sand, becoming famous for the defiant artistry he instilled in dozens of sexually explicit works, whose impact forever changed adult film.

9:30 p.m. - Jamie Marks Is Dead

One of the more terrifying entries in this year’s NewFest, Jamie Marks Is Dead is a ghost story that also serves as an allegorical tale of LGBT youth in small-town America. When the body of high school outcast Jamie Marks is discovered near a river, the life of Adam (Cameron Monaghan, Shameless) changes forever, particularly when he spies Jamie’s ghost (Noah Silver, The Borgias), shivering and nearly naked in the distance. Despite warnings from his love interest Gracie (Morgan Saylor, Homeland), Adam closes this corporeal divide, bridging a relationship between the living and the dead that is filled with longing and a love that dare not speak its name. Under Carter Smith’s direction, the film’s dramatic grip is tightened by its bleak and beautiful cinematography and a paper-moon performance by Liv Tyler, who, as Adam’s emotionally and physically crippled mother, embarks on her own curious relationship with a woman who almost kills her, played by Judy Greer.

Tags: film, NewFest

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