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Philadelphia QFest 2009

And Then Came Lola
Doris Day, Rock Hudson in Pillow Talk
Raging Sun, Raging Sky by Julian Hernandez
And Then Came Lola (top); Doris Day, Rock Hudson in Pillow Talk (middle); Raging Sun, Raging Sky (bottom)

The Philadelphia QFest kicks off tomorrow, July 9, with a tribute to Chad Allen, followed by a screening of Jason Bushman's Hollywood, je t'aime, in which Allen is excellent as a pothead drug dealer who befriends a Frenchman roaming around Los Angeles.

Among the other highlights of Philadelphia's QFest are:

  • Tribute to Sharon Gless, followed by a screening of Hannah Free.
  • Doris Day Day featuring a screening of Pillow Talk, Day's first pairing with Rock Hudson, and the film that earned the actress her only Academy Award nomination. Pillow Talk will be preceded by the new German documentary What a Difference a Day Made: Doris Day Superstar, directed by Andrew Davies and André Schäfer.
  • Panel discussions on screenwriting, Philadelphia-based filmmakers, and what's like to be out in the film industry.
  • Screenings of Julián Hernández's Raging Sun, Raging Sky, winner of the Teddy Award for best gay-themed narrative film at the 2009 Berlin Film Festival; Lucia Puenzo's El Niño pez, about an illicit love affair between two women; Frameline 2009 Audience Award winner Patrik, Age 1.5, about a male gay couple eager to adopt an infant but ending up with a teen thug at home; and Megan Siler and Ellen Seidler's And Then Came Lola, set among gay women in San Francisco, and told in three different scenarios much like Run, Lola, Run.

Autopsy by Jerome Anger

And here's wondering what sort of reception Jérôme Anger's made-for-TV, French police thriller Autopsy (above) will get, as it's been described as even less flattering about gay men and their sexual and emotional relationships than William Friedkin's much-lambasted Cruising. (Anger, for his part, has described the film as a tale about self-acceptance – or lack thereof.)

The Philadelphia QFest runs through July 20, with screenings at the Prince Music Theatre and the Ritz East.

By the way, the festival was formerly known as the "Philadelphia International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival," but there were complaints that by being labeled "gay and lesbian" the festival wasn't being truly inclusive: what about bisexuals and transgendered people – not to mention trisexuals, multisexuals, asexuals, pansexuals, hermaphrodites, and the like?

Well, the "Q" in the festival's new title stands for the (unfortunate) label "queer," which someone, somewhere, decided would become the all-encompassing, politically correct label to describe all non-100 percent heterosexuals (and that's a whole lot of fucking people, something that would make the 100 percent heteros the "queer" ones). Anyhow, as so often happens with politically motivated labeling, "queer" has been adopted by politically correct lemmings everywhere. (Until someone else, somewhere else, comes up with a new – and hopefully less sour-sounding – politically correct stamp and the lemmings start following that lead.)

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