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Outfest 2007 – Thursday

Love and Other Strangers by Alex Keshishian

A few intriguing titles that will be screened at Outfest on Thursday:

Set in London, Alek Keshishian's French-Anglo-American-made romantic comedy Love and Other Disasters (above, 7 p.m., at the Directors Guild in West Hollywood) follows an American (Brittany Murphy) obsessed with both matchmaking and Breakfast at Tiffany's. (I'm not sure if it's the book by Truman Capote or the 1961 bowdlerized film adaptation that starred Audrey Hepburn.) Her roommate (Matthew Rhys) is her chief matchmaking victim, and now the indefatigable matchmaker (strange that her favorite movie isn't Hello, Dolly!) will try to pair him up with a hot stranger (Santiago Cabrera). However, as so often happens in make-believe comedies and real-life tragedies things don't go quite as planned.

Orlando Bloom, Gwyneth Paltrow, Dawn French, Michael Lerner, and Stephanie Beacham appear in supporting roles/cameos. Luc Besson and David Fincher acted as executive producers — doing whatever it is that executive producers do (or don't do).

Back Soon by Rob WilliamsRob Williams' Back Soon (8 p.m. at the Showcase) is a psychological drama with supernatural overtones. After a man's wife is killed in a car accident, the widower finds himself drawn to a new male friend with whom he develops a, shall we say, quite intimate relationship. Eventually, both men discover that the widower's new friend had a near-death experience on the same day of the deadly car crash. Uh-oh…

In the cast: Windham Beacham, Matthew Montgomery, Maggie Eilertson.

Jerusalem Is Proud to Present by Nitzan GiladyNitzan Gilady's Jerusalem Is Proud to Present (9:15 p.m. at the DGA) is described as an "incendiary documentary" in which Jerusalem, "whose name may be translated as 'city of peace' — proves to be anything but. Organizers of Jerusalem World Pride 2005 confront fierce, categorical opposition from religious and political leaders who view their peaceful celebration as 'moral terrorism.' Palpable danger informs the film's striking visual style and verve. If you've ever wondered what courage looks like, look no further."

Jerusalem Is Proud to Present sounds like the perfect companion piece to Eytan Fox's Israeli drama The Bubble (shown at Outfest this past Sunday), which offers a Romeo and Julio story set in the heart of the Jewish-Palestinian conflict.

Senseless hatred, as they say, knows no cultural, national, ethnic, or religious boundaries.

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