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The 15th annual Portland Lesbian and Gay Film Festival opens Friday the 1st with ‘We Were Here’

Photo from Director David Weissmen of Haight Ashbury 1978. "The two sweet guys on the left both died of AIDS in the 80s, I (Weissman) am on the right in the headband. The bearded beauty in the middle is thankfully a long-term survivor of it all, and one of the worlds great kissers."

One might feel compelled to express excitement for the lineup of Portland‘s Annual Lesbian and Gay Film Fest but I am truly and deeply sincere when I say that this year, now 15th of the festival, has me even more excited than the past. There’s isn’t a night where I wouldn’t go out to see 1 or more of the films being shown at Cinema 21, although I am particularly excited about the women in rock anthem Trigger playing Monday night, the high school musical type comedy Mangus, (Wednesday night), and the 2 films showcasing trans young people of different ages Romeos (Sunday afternoon) and Tomboy playing Wednesday. So stay tuned for previews of each night of fabulous flicks published 2 days before the screenings.

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Portland Lesbian and Gay Film Festival premieres with ‘Howl’

Aaron Tveit as Peter Orlovsky and James Franco as Allen Ginsberg in 'Howl'

Portland’s celebration of all things queer and filmic, well one of them (don’t you love this town?) is here once again to usher in the season of popcorn and snuggling. This year the Portland Lesbian and Gay Film Festival takes over Cinema 21, Living Room Theaters, and The Hollywood Theater starting with the Allen Ginsberg beat biopic Howl.

Now in its 14th year, PLGFF, has grown out of the struggling film festival that could into a vibrant week and a half long celebration that has already sold out VIP platinum passes.

Artistic Director Gabriel Mendoza says of the progression, “In earlier days, simply finding queer films was a challenge…[Now] the challenge is whittling the selection down to what will work best in Portland.”

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Portland Lesbian and Gay Film Festival starts Friday

program.inddPride may be the gayest time of year but Portland gets another shot at a week of all queer all the time (well, that might be all year truthfully) when the Portland Lesbian and Gay Film Festival rolls into town at the summer’s end.

This year’s fest seems a bit short and sparse but there’s sure to be some gems stuffed in there. I’ll be previewing each night and offering reviews when possible.

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Portland Lesbian and Gay Film Festival begins tomorrow

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Portland Lesbian and Gay Film Festival

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Portland Lesbian and Gay Film Festival

I realize I’m a little late as the 10th annual Portland Lesbian and Gay Film Fest actually started yesterday. Luckily for all late-comers, including myself, the fest rages on for a full week. If you’… […]


Portland Gay and Lesbian Film Festival 12 in review

Splendora and friend at Blow Pony

The Film Fest ended — in true Portland fashion — with two very different feeling weekend nights.

Friday’s Bruce LaBruce film Otto; Or, Up With Dead People brought a plethora of gay zombies, including former members of the Sissyboys, who appeared in their own documentary on Wednesday. Local film celeb Gus Van Sant sat in the front row asking questions during the Q&A with Bruce, but, unfortunately, stayed away from the dark makeup and fake blood.

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Portland Gay & Lesbian Film Festival

One summer I lived in Philadelphia and was so poor that I would sell my clothes to Buffalo Exchange so that I could get a carton of ice cream. Nevertheless, the only thing I spent my ever-dwindling cash on that summer was a 10 ticket pass to the Philadelphia Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. Granted, Portland’s own little screenfest isn’t quite as epic, yet theres nothing quite like the fervor of filmic queerness.

Only two of the scheduled films popped up on my gaydar as familiar, but both of these promise to be worth watching, though on completely different levels. Margaret Cho’s new Assassin shouldn’t be a departure from her usual punchy, omni-queer comedy but that is not to say that our favorite comedienne hag will be any less raucously funny. For the more serious documentary lover among you The Aggressives promises to be a hard and real look into the lives of masculine women of color in NYC. Let’s hope it approaches the subject matter a bit more tactfully than its more famously problematic predecessor Paris is Burning. There’s one last film I look forward to, though I had not heard of it previously. Transamerica, starring Felicity Huffman, (of Desperate Housewives fame) chronicles the experience of a conservative transsexual woman, nearing her surgery, who finds out she has a son from an early sexual encounter as a man.

For the rest of the fest check out the complete schedule.

Besides the projected pleasures, the Portland Gay and Lesbian Film Festival has several opening and closing parties and events that are sure to pique the interest of the boys and girls (and all else).


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The weekend cuts deep with execution parties, feminist birthday parties, and playing like a girl with Fanny

June and Jean Milligton, from the iconic girl band Fanny, play Saturday as part of their "Play Like a Girl" tour

Don’t forget that it’s the last days of the Portland Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, and previews should all be out. You can check that plus any reviews thus far in our complete 15th Annual PLGFF coverage.

Thursday

In Other Words 18th birthday party – One of the last remaining feminist bookstores in the country is still going. I hesitate to say strong, although metaphorically they’re as strong as ever, because in this economy they are in constant need of our love and help. So don’t let the $12 price tag deter you because IOW is not a whole community center and the party’s bound to be hoppin’ with a lineup of performers and DJs. There will also be a raffle, food, beer and wine. The raffle prizes will feature fabulous items from local businesses, restaurants, the Portland Timbers, food carts, bicycle shops, Bitch Media and more

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PLGFF film review: ‘We Were Here’

It’s hard to figure out where to start when meditating on the importance of We Were Here, a documentary by David Weissman. It was the premier movie of the Portland Gay and Lesbian Film Festival which was not only a bold move but an great start to a necessary conversation. Weismann’s film illuminates the social, personal, political and cultural issues of the AIDS epidemic in San Francisco. The film itself has a small scope and because of that scope- it is able to highlight the broader issues of this epidemic. Its characters: Ed Wolf- an AIDS activist and caregiver; Paul Boneberg- executive director of the GLBT Historical Society; Daniel Goldstein- a visual artist and founding President of Under One Roof; Guy Clark- a local queer florist based out of SF’s Castro District; and Eileen Glutzer- a nurse in the height of the crisis and feminist health care activist. Weismann’s focus on these characters and their personal experience allow the film a lot of depth that captures the profound personal stories that highlight a larger collective experience.

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