Third Annual Pride Film Festival
7:30 p.m., Salut Victor
Returning to the festival this year is director Anne-Claire Poirier's sensitive portrayal of the friendship that develops between two gay men in a nursing home during the twilight of their lives. Canada, 84 minutes, French with English subtitles.
Preceding will be Caught Looking, a British comedy built around a virtual reality home computer game that allows gays to enjoy their wildest sexual fantasies. Originally made for Britain's Channel 4, director Constantine Giannaris' Caught Looking was never aired after being deemed too racy for television.
10 p.m., Claire of the Moon _ Writer-director Nicole Conn explores the initial dislike and eventual bond that develops between a reserved lesbian therapist (Karen Trumbo) and a blatantly heterosexual satirist (Trisha Todd) at a writer's camp in the Pacific Northwest. Claire has been favorably compared to Desert Hearts as a lesbian love story that seeks to explore why certain men become attracted to one another. U.S.A., 90 minutes. Florida premiere.
Pratbha Parmar's 24-minute documentary Khush, about South Asian lesbians and gays living in Britain, North America, and India, opens the program.
Midnight, Desert Hearts _ The seminal lesbian movie of the 1980s, Desert Hearts recounts the sexual awakening of a woman who comes to Reno, Nev. in 1958 for a quickie divorce. Donna Deitch directs. U.S.A., 97 minutes.
2 p.m. Swoon _ First-time director Tom Kalin explores what people will do for love _ and why people need to hate _ in this super-stylized black-and-white drama about the infamous Leopold-Loeb murder case of 1924. Daniel Schlachet and Craig Chester play Richard Loeb and Nathan Leopold Jr., 18-year-old lovers who kidnapped and murdered a 13-year-old Chicago boy to flaunt their disdain for convention. With defense attorney Clarence Darrow claiming they were innocent by virtue of insanity _ homosexuality _ Leopold and Loeb's case roused homophobic and anti-Semitic sentiments nationwide. Swoon is the first movie to look at the case through gay sensibilities. It follows the McCarthy era Compulsion (1959) and Alfred Hitchcock's Rope (1948). U.S.A., 92 minutes. Florida premiere.
Preceding Swoon is the Australian short Elevation, about two men who meet in an elevator and acknowledge their mutual attraction, but find the constant parade of passengers distracting at best.
5 p.m., Strangers in Good Company _ Cynthia Scott's lyrical tale about a busload of older women stranded in the Canadian wilderness returns to the Bay area. The movie is a celebration of womanhood, resourcefulness, aging and thinking young. Canada, 100 minutes.
Australian director Amanda Walliss' Transportations, about two women in rapt contemplation of an evening together, opens the program.
7:30 p.m., Domestic Blues and A Certain Grace.
Domestic Blues _ Director Joy Chamberlain contemplates the hassles of daily lesbian life _ mothering, class differences, ex-husbands _ in this mock soap opera made for British television. Great Britain, 52 minutes.
A Certain Grace _ Writer-director Sandra Nettelbeck tells the story of Zelda, a photographer who discovers her own creative power and sexual identity when she grows apart from her boyfriend and toward a woman she meets while composing a photographic essay. U.S.A., 40 minutes.
10 p.m., The Living End _ Greg Araki's bitterly funny gay road movie follows two HIV positive men as they challenged destiny and the rules of society during a passionate spree across a morally bankrupt America. The Living End is a disturbing and purposely reckless film that challenges conventions about gay cinema and appropriate behavior by gays on film. U.S.A., 85 minutes, Florida premiere.
In a similarly irreverent vein, Beauties Without a Cause, a comedy about our lawless drag queens, with hairdos to die for, will be shown first.
Midnight, The Hunger _ The love scene between Susan Sarandon and Catherine Deneuve is so sensual that it elevates everything that precedes and follows it in director Tony Scott's tale of vampires living through the ages. David Bowie co-stars as a man who has lived longer than the pyramids and who, unexplainably, begins to age. U.S.A., 94 minutes.
Noon, Claire of the Moon _ See 10:25 p.m. Friday.
2 p.m., The Hours and Times _ A special jury prize winner at this year's Sundance Film Festival, Christopher Munch's 60-minute black-and-white film speculates on what happened during John Lennon's and Beatles manager Brian Epstein's weekend trip to Barcelona in 1963. The movie, set as the Beatles were embarking on superstardom, revolves around Epstein's (David Angus) unrequited love for Lennon (Ian Hart) and Lennon's fascination with the world the elder, upper-middle-class Epstein opened up for him. U.S.A., 58 minutes.
Hours and Times will be preceded by Ten Cents a Dance, a three-part, split-screen reflection on lesbian, gay and heterosexual attraction and sex, and First Comes Love, a collage of four weddings.
5 p.m., Double bill, Because the Dawn and Common Threads
Common Threads _ Robert Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman focus on five people who have died of AIDS as a symbol for the tens of thousands who die ever year. This Academy Award-winning documentary uses home movies, photographs and interviews with family members and companions to tell their life stories and recount the goverment's legacy of neglect. U.S.A., 75 minutes.
Because the Dawn _ Amy Goldstein's film noir vampire musical comedy set in New York. U.S.A., 40 minutes
Also on the bill is Sleepin' Around, a serio-comic primer on the pleasures and perils of being single.
7:30 p.m., Before Stonewall: The Making of the Gay and Lesbian Community _ Director Greta Shiller delves into the roots of the Gay Liberation Movement which galvanized during three nights of rioting following a 1969 police raid on the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village. The movie examines the social, political and cultural factors from the 1920s through the 1960s that gave birth to the gay and lesbian community.
Changing Our Minds _ See 8:30 p.m. Thursday.