BAMcinématek in Brooklyn is looking back to the nineties for a celebration of the period in American and British independent cinema when a wide array of gay and lesbian artists built their own movement. The series Born in Flames: New Queer Cinema reminds moviegoers of the LGBT community’s struggles to be seen and heard during and following the Reagan and Thatcher years, with entertaining, artful, and often angry films by such directors as Todd Haynes, Cheryl Dunye, Isaac Julien, Derek Jarman, and Gregg Araki. One of the benchmark films of the era was My Own Private Idaho (showing October 14), Gus Van Sant’s brave love story starring River Phoenix as a narcoleptic hustler and Keanu Reeves as the object of his affection, a fellow prostitute rebelling against his powerful father. As moving and melancholy as the film is, it also has a terrific sense of humor and sense of the surreal, as you can see in this visually inventive clip, in which My Own Private Idaho’s main characters appear as porno-mag cover boys.
Two Stark Visions of the American Underbelly Hit the Big Screen
A new restoration of the groundbreaking vérité documentary Streetwise joins its companion piece, Tiny: the Life of Eric Blackwell, at New York’s Metrograph theater this weekend.