Originally published on Advocate.com April 26 2013 8:42 AM ET
This weekend is the final weekend for the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival. This year features great new gay films making their Tribeca premieres, and there are still screenings of the films before the festival ends. The following pages highlight some of the gay cinema offerings in this year’s festival, and if you are in the New York area, you don't want to miss out on these.
A documentary about the radical poet and experimental filmmaker, James Broughton. Part of the San Francisco literary group that preceded the beatniks, and other poets (such as Allen Ginsburg), Big Joy showcases an unconventional life of someone who truly thought outside the box, and was applauded for doing so. An artist not really known outside of certain poetry and literary circles, this documentary is an excellent primer lesson on one of the most inspirational gay voices of the twentieth century.
When Shane Bitney Crone released a devastating Youtube video last year, chronicling his relationship with Tom, his fiance who died tragically, the video was a viral sensation. Now a year later, the story has been turned into a documentary directed and co-produced by Linda Bloodworth Thomason, the creator of Designing Women, whom the young couple had met when attending a wedding years earlier. The result is an affecting documentary about true love, and how to deal with the aftermath of a devastating loss.
Former President Bill Clinton introduced Bridegroom at the film's premiere, saying, "This is really on one level a wonderful, sad, heartbreaking, yet exhilirating and life-affirming story, and on another level, it's a story about our nation's struggle to make one more step in forming a more perfect union, for which marriage is both the symbol and the substance. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did."
The second feature from director Tomasz Wasilewski, Floating Skyscrapers bills itself as Poland's first LGBT film. The story follows a Polish athlete who unexpectedly falls for another man. The film poses questions about the confusion of sexuality (Kuba, the athlete, is dating a woman when he falls for Mikai, the other man), and the repercussions a love affair has on the life you thought you knew.
From the mind that brought you Jawbreaker, Darren Stein now brings us another high school tale, this time with a gay twist. When the three Queen Bees of a high school realize they are missing the hottest accessory sweeping the nation — the gay best friend — they instantly try to stake a claim on the newly outed gay student who gets trapped in the middle of the battle. Weaves, insults, and tiaras fly in one of the smartest gay films to hit the screen in a while.
Gore Vidal: United States of Amnesia
A year after his death, the prolific gay writer, Gore Vidal, is the subject of a new documentary, Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia. The doc features intimate, one-on-one interviews with Vidal, himself, and the people who knew him best. A film that explores the mind of one of America’s most celebrated authors and playwrights, Gore Vidal is one of the documentary highlights of the festival.
And the Band Played On...
This Saturday, Tribeca attendees will be treated to an anniversary screening of the HBO movie, And the Band Played On..., based on the quintessential novel of the same name, about the rise of the AIDS epidemic. Star Matthew Modine, Philadelphia screenwriter Ron Nyswaner, and How to Survive a Plague filmmaker, David France, will be on hand to talk about the film, the AIDS crisis, and the effect it still has on the gay community today.