Reeling 2004: The 23rd Chicago Lesbian and Gay International Film Festival kicks off this year on November 4th, and runs through November 11th. This is the world’s second oldest gay and lesbian film festival, and screens almost 100 titles this year at Landmark’s Century Centre Cinema, 2828 N. Clark, and Chicago Filmmakers, at 5243 N. Clark.
Opening night at the Music Box Theatre features Angela Robinson’s D.E.B.S., a comic first feature. This spoof of female power spies tracks some super sexy secret agents, as they save the world, and seduce each other. Holland Taylor (Legally Blond, Two and a Half Men) is the headmistress, and The Green Mile’s Michael Clarke Duncan is the president of D.E.B.S. Academy. (Event Details)
The Opening Night Festivities include a kick-off reception hosted by Pink Pages in the Music Box Theatre’s lobby at 6:30, followed by the movie at 7:30. An after party follows at Izzo/Jones Arena and Studio for the Arts, a large and rambling gallery space at 1806 W. Cuyler, where I have witnessed many drunken partygoers at events in the past. I am sure you will be able to observe or participate at this event as well.
Other highlights include The 24th Day, a psychological thriller on Friday, November 5th, at 6:00pm at the Landmark Century Theatres. (Event Details) X-Men’s James Marsden is meets a cute guy at the bar – in this case, Felicity’s Scott Speedman – and hopes for more than a one night stand. Well, he gets a whole lot more, as Speedman turns out to be pretty nasty, and Marsden has to figure out a way to escape him.
Following, at 8:00pm, is Cowboys and Angels, an Irish feature about a couple of flat mates, who find their lives turned upside down by the unwanted attentions of the drug dealers who live downstairs. On top of that, witness several fashion faux pas in this romantic comic adventure. (Event Details)
I always enjoy the shorts programs, each themed to provide some framework. Look for Dyke Drama and Other Comedies showing twice on the night of Friday, November 5th, and From Boys to Men on November 6th. Always intriguing, are shorts from around the world, and this year, you can see a bunch of them collected under the title, International Boys Shorts, on November 8th at 9:45pm. France, Australia, Norway, Germany, and Israel all contribute, and it’s amazing to see the different attitudes to sex and sexuality represented in these movies.
One of the more intriguingly titled features is The Adventures of Iron Pussy, from Thailand. I don’t want to disappoint some of you, but the title refers to a 7-Eleven clerk. The good part is, that at night, she transforms herself into a karate chopping cross dressing she spy, who loves to kick-ass and fix her hair and make-up. Later, she goes undercover as a maid, where she finds herself falling for the son of the high class family she works for. The Adventures of Iron Pussy screens at Chicago Filmmakers on November 11th, at 6:30. (Event Details)
The closing night film is Straight-Jacket, showing at the Landmark Century Theatres on November 11th. Set in the 1950’s, a closeted Hollywood star is set to make another action adventure movie, which requires, more than ever, that he rein in his love of the boys. For his fame and for his career, he does as told. He does, that is, until he discovers that the write he has taken a fancy to has other ideas. A sweet, romantic drama, with some nice period detail. Go with a date. (Event Details)
Check the ChicagoPride.com Event Calendar for a complete listing of titles and show times and for complete ticket information, discount multi-passes, directions, and more visit http://www.reelingfilmfestival.org/reeling2004/index.html
This article originally appeared in Boi Magazine. Reprinted with permission.