The task of encapsulating the essence of Abraham Lincoln in a single film took Steven Spielberg roughly three times as long as it took the 16th president to win the Civil War, abolish slavery and put the country on the course to recovery.
Like previous festivals, the 2012 Milwaukee LGBT Film and Video Festival presents a fascinating array of feature-length and short-subject queer cinema. Beginning with the Olympia Dukakis vehicle “Cloudburst” and concluding with the Arab-themed British movie “My Brother The Devil,” the selections are international in scope at the festival presented by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Peck School of the Arts Department of Film. The festival runs Oct. 18-21.
With films such as Ira Sachs’ “Keep the Lights On” and David France’s “How To Survive a Plague” drawing solid audiences, 2012 has turned out to be another banner year for LGBT films. The year ends on an especially high note with “Any Day Now,” starring out actor Alan Cumming as Rudy, a gay West Hollywood man who must deal with a prejudicial and antiquated court system as he attempts to adopt a boy with Down syndrome in 1979.
The comedy “Pitch Perfect” is ideally suited for anyone who was disappointed by “Glee: The 3D Concert Movie” and longs for more a cappella. Based on the book by gay writer Mickey Rapkin, “Pitch Perfect” follows Beca (Anna Kendrick, who’s an excellent singer) and Jesse (Skylar Astin), both freshmen at Barden University. Beca wants to be a record producer, but her Barden professor father (out actor John Benjamin Hickey) wants her to get a college education first. Jesse, on the other hand, is determined to follow his dreams and join one of the campus a cappella groups.
In “Cloudburst,” Stella (Olympia Dukakis), a foul-mouthed, old-school dyke and her longtime partner Dottie (Brenda Fricker), a visually-impaired, doughy femme, are threatened with separation after Dottie takes a fall. Dottie’s granddaughter tricks her into signing a legal guardianship document and then proceeds to move Dottie into a long-term care facility. But Stella, who will not be deterred, busts Dottie out of the home.
Beginning with a misguided memorial tribute to the late Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) and concluding with the kind of finale you might expect to see in the “Oceans” or “Bourne” series, “The Dark Knight Rises” would rise to the occasion sooner if director Christopher Nolan had shaved off about 30 minutes.
As we’ve come to expect with anything regarding the Batman, nothing is ever as it seems. Ruthlessly brutal, virtually indestructible and often indecipherably masked and muscled villain Bane (Tom Hardy) rigs an ingenious plot to elude his government captors and kidnap nuclear physicist Dr. Pavel (Alon Aboutboul). Bane and his multiple (and surprising!) accomplices plan Gotham’s reckoning in the form of a multi-mega-ton atomic bomb. The bomb-making components just happen to be stored at Applied Sciences, run by Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman), who’s employed by the reclusive and eccentric millionaire Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale), aka Batman.
Gay documentary filmmaker Macky Alston, director of “Questioning Faith: Confessions of a Seminarian,” returns to the religious arena for his latest film. The Sundance Award-winner “Love Free or Die” is an intimate and emotional portrait of Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Anglican bishop in the history of Christendom.
“Steel Magnolias” was originally a play that chronicled the friendship of six Louisiana women who congregate at Truvy’s Beauty Shop to ponder the mysteries of life and death, husbands and children, hair and nails. The 1989 film version, which starred Olympia Dukakis, Sally Field, Julia Roberts, Dolly Parton, Shirley MacLaine and Daryl Hannah, has become something of a gay camp classic for its catty dialogue interspersed within a tear-jerking plot.
In the late 21st century, following catastrophic destruction caused by a global chemical war, Doug (a fit Colin Farrell) works in a factory in the Colony that manufactures a synthetic police force. The Colony, one of two surviving nations – the other being the United Federation of Britain – is basically a territory of workers. The Fall, a transport vehicle that shuttles people back and forth between the two continents, is both a modern convenience and means of enslavement.