The annual Outfest Film Festival, a celebration of LGBT cinema now in its 30th year, kicks off tonight in Los Angeles. Here are six of the films we are most excited to see.
Outfest's Opening Night film is the poignant documentary of activist, writer, and film historian Vito Russo. The film documents the early days of the Gay Liberation movement through Russo's involvement as a spokesperson and activist. Vito wrote the book The Celluloid Closet, which exposed Hollywood's role in shaping the world's perception of LGBT people and issues. His life is documented through archival footage and touching interviews with his family and famous friends.
STRUCK BY LIGHTNING
Outfests’ Closing Night Gala features the dark comedy Struck By Lightning, starring Glee's Chris Colfer. Feeling trapped in his high school, Colfer's character Carson develops a plan to blackmail his bullying classmates in order to get into the college of his dreams. The performance of Rebel Wilson (Bridesmaids) as his sidekick looks to be a highlight.
Wildness follows one of the most complex queer parties in Los Angeles nightlife. The unusual documentary shows queer avant-garde artists of color who cross paths with a community of transgender immigrant women at The Silver Platter, a Los Angeles bar, and paints a mesmerizing picture of creativity and conflict among the partygoers.
JOSHUA TREE, 1951: A PORTRAIT OF JAMES DEAN
We may never know what really went on in the personal life of Hollywood icon James Dean. This U.S. dramatic feature, presented as a fictional story and not a documentary, depicts Dean’s rumored bisexuality through affairs he had before he became famous. Joshua Tree, 1951 is director Matthew Mishory’s feature film debut.
MOSQUITA Y MARI
A first love is always the most dramatic. Mosquita y Mari follows the life of 15-year-old Yolanda, who feels the pressure to live according to the expectations of her immigrant parents. Her world collides with that of Mari, a free-spirited neighbor who rides a BMX bike and brings a sense of excitement to Yolanda’s life. Neither girl can foresee what their close bond will mean, or how it will change their lives. This is the feature film debut from writer-director Aurora Guerrero.
KEEP THE LIGHTS ON
The U.S. dramatic centerpiece at this year’s Outfest is Keep The Lights On, directed by Ira Sachs. The film's story unfolds around Erik, a filmmaker, and Paul, a closeted lawyer. After meeting, their relationship grows and develops into an intense struggle with identity, intimacy, drugs, and sex.