Opening Night #QFLIXPhilly 2014

4fa1b38a928fb.preview-620The successor to QFest, the festival formerly known as the Philadelphia Independent Gay and Lesbian Film Festival (PIGLFF), opened last night at the Perlman Theater with the film Such Good People. Two weeks ago I expected Philadelphia wouldn’t have a gay film festival this year. According to producer Thom Cardwell, that was true just two months ago.  Will this seedling flourish in the ruin of the economic forest fire that’s decimated film festivals across the country?

Instead of two weeks of films on multiple screens, this will be a long weekend of films at primarily one screen, the Prince Theater. It’s roughly a tenth of the films and even fewer screenings since feature-length films show only once. One festival attendee looking on the bright side said he’s always felt overwhelmed by the magazine-sized program. I didn’t need to break out spreadsheets and algorithms this year: the schedule fits on a single bi-fold pamphlet.

Cardwell called this new festival a labor of love before introducing the opening night film, and it was also largely an act of charity with films even waiving their rental fees. Two months isn’t much time to throw an event like this, and it’s not much time to raise money and sign up sponsors. The results have been a little disorganized; the website was mostly placeholders until very recently, and the social media presence is minimal. I must keep reminding myself that this is not PIGLFF 20.

Since this is a new festival, there is room for it to grow in directions that the established brand perhaps could not.  There is a New Media track for instance, although it seems to be competing with the film line-up rather than being integrated into it. There are new faces among the old (a few of which were conspicuously absent last night) which may address concerns the previous festival organizers had about audience age skewing older and older. qFLIX can grow into something unique if it can maintain its own identity and not try to live up to the pride (or perhaps hubris) of its predecessor’s claim to being the third largest gay film festival in the nation.


Given films only show once, I won’t be tweet-reviewing my reviews this year.  Instead, I hope to make daily posts that include short reviews of films seen and events attended that day.  Opening night only had one film as usual, and I did not attend the also-usual opening night party which was held at Tavern On Camac.

Such Nice People (2/5) — This farce/caper film just didn’t make me laugh. The gags, some mildly amusing on their own, feel forced into the framework of the film’s plot. Some scenes just didn’t work at all, especially the ransom drop-off, because characters need to act in mostly-believable and mostly-consistent ways even in comedies. Another thing hobbling this film is never taking its serious plot elements seriously enough; successful comedies like this can skillfully weave serious and slapstick moments to heighten both.  In general and in film, I prefer Ruthless People to Such Nice People.



Yesterday I turned forty-nine.

I spent that day with my phone turned off and without checking email or social media. My most notable activity was walking in the snow.

I had planned to blog about how forty-nine was the time to decide what my fifty–and fifties–would look like, but you know what? I think I’d rather grab a bite and play some computer games. Ciao!



My QFest 2013 Schedule and Reviews

QFest 2013It didn’t precisely sneak up on me, but I was (again) a little unprepared for the start of this year’s QFest, also known as the 19th Philadelphia International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival (PIGLFF).  So, better late than never …

My QFest 2013 Page

Like previous years, my plan is to tweet-review each film as soon as possible after seeing it.  I’ll move the reviews and update my schedule on the page on a (hopefully) daily basis. I’m also tweeting my day’s schedule before leaving the house, and that tweet will also include a pick of films playing that day that I’ve already seen and can recommend.

Although my tweets are cross-posted to Facebook, I don’t really go to Facebook very much so please use email or Twitter or my blog for festival-related things.

Hope to see you at the festival!

Major Hallo Gila Monster Spaceboy Tom

A particular thing I love about the Internet is how it creates and encourages these Russian nesting dolls of memories and memes: Astronaut Chris Hadfield performs Space Oddity in space and David Bowie tweets to him “Hallo Spaceboy” which the Pet Shop Boys famously remixed and whose video include a few seconds from “The Giant Gila Monster”. Nerdgasm’ed  And now for the gratuitous linking and embedding: 

Chris Hadfield performs Space Oddity.

David Bowie responds.

PSB covers Hallo Spaceboy …

… which includes a few seconds from The Giant Gila Monster

These boots were made for kicking: Texas Leads Secession Requests

The tea-partiers think their boots were made for walking; to them I say THESE boots were made for KICKING.  To those saying “love it or leave it” while in power, it’s time to practice what you preach when you’re not.

Give Texas the boot!

Talk of secession is back in the news with a Texas secession petition on crossing the threshold for White House review [Joe. My. God.: Texas Leads Secession Requests]. An interesting point from the article is that it’s not necessary to be from Texas to sign the petition. His point was that tea partiers from across the country may be signing the Texas partition to drive up the numbers.  I have a slightly different take on this.

Let’s give Texas the boot!

I’m tempted to sign it, too. This is the place where gay panic is a legitimate defense for killing an LGBT person, execution in spite of contrary evidence is cheered, planned parenthood is already defunded, science and history and sex education are systematical censored in text books that will be used by the whole country, etc. Dropping these electoral nincompoops will make electing people interested in good governance at the federal level easier. All that gulf coastline is going to be a financial disaster we can avoid as the increasing natural disasters they’ll suffer from climate change won’t be FEMA’s responsibility and on the federal tab.

We can build a fence around Texas and hire more border patrol officers. Kick Texas rednecks in the United States illegally back to their sorry side of the border. When they start enacting the bat-shit-crazy laws you know they’ll have, we put Iran-style sanctions on them. I’d even subsidize moving the wingnuts from around the rest of these new United States of America (now with less hate and stupidity) to Texas so this nonsense can be once and done.  It might be expensive, but that’s what I’d call “good debt”.

And by the way Texas, you’re going to foot the bill to remove all federal facilities from your side of the border. There’s no way we’re leaving the bat-shit crazies with our Federal military hardware–especially nukes.  The Christianist Fundamanetalist Taliban they’d install would probably try to usher in the rapture by starting a nuclear war.  No thanks.

Texas secede? I say good riddance!