It’s time to dust off your rainbow flags, feather boas and multicolored Mardi Gras beads: June is gay month in NYC. Gay Pride starts June 22, kicking off with a rally in Bryant Park, followed by a street fair and dancing on Pier 54, and ending with the march the following Sunday. By way of foreplay, New Fest, the annual celebration of gay movie making continues through June 15.
To mark the 20th anniversary of LGBT film festivals in the city, New Fest promises to showcase a bunch of burgeoning talent in gay cinema. Bright wannabe Rose Troche and Kimberly Peirce-type directors will be offering up their latest celluloid and digital masterpieces—in fact, Peirce (Boys Don’t Cry) is one of the advisers to the festival).
Movies will be showing at BAM Rose Cinemas, Brooklyn, and the IFC Center in the Village. Of particular note is Italian director Guido Santi’s (Concertino) documentary Chris & Don, an exploration of the relationship between British writer Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy, the American artist. Chris & Don includes footage of the couple unearthed by Santi, along with an interview with the queen of camp, Liza Minnelli.
For the girls, there’s Kyle Schickner’s (Strange Fruit) feature film, Steam (June 14), about female bonding in a Turkish bath. Despite the setting, it looks like the bonding is entirely platonic, but look out for some steamy romance between college freshman Elizabeth (Kate Siegel) and a girl at school who turns her on to the ways of Sapphic love.
Other movies worthy of notice include Johnny Symons’ cleverly titled Ask Not, a documentary about the crappy “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy of the U.S. military, and Clapham Junction, Adrian Shergold’s feature based on the true story of a hate crime perpetrated against a gay man in London in 2005.
To cheer yourself up after these two, try Another Gay Sequel: Gays Gone Wild! as antidote. The man who gave the world Another Gay Movie, director Todd Stevens, takes the piss once again, with a spring break saga that includes evil frat boys and nasty venereal diseases (pictured above). Bring sun block—and condoms.