A Peek at Queer Takes

Dude, bro, that movie was so gay. Er, literally.

Some people like parades ñ Tootsie Rolls, volantes, fire trucks, snow cones – and some people like to sit and get their faces bathed in a cinematic light while surrounded by quiet, like-minded individuals. However you choose to kick off your pride weekend, this preview of the Walker’s “Queer Takes” film festival may get you started.


Directed by: Angelina Maccarone
When: Friday, June 27 at 9:00 p.m.
Admission: $8

Too young and too old, the three women in this film all have one thing in common: They’ve suffered traumatizing abandonment. Finding one another on Christmas Eve, they all end up in a club in Rotterdam with more to do than buy beers and dance to cheesy Dutch rock bands.

The plot is spooled out in many directions, leaving viewers to figure out the connections between events and people. One is chasing her younger sister who has fled to the Netherlands, and both form a mysterious bond with a woman in a crashed car who plays both an erotic figure and a mother figure to their broken family.

Between chases through subway stations and mini-bar-fueled hazes, there are few moments of peace and wonder in this film and more of frustration surrounded by cigarette smoke. The only exception is when the three women lay on a bed and imagine a satellite that all the morons are sent to, wondering if we are not already riding on it. Regardless, “Vivere (Living)” might not be as complicated as they had feared.

“Wild Combination: A portrait of Arthur Russell”

Directed by: Matt Wolf
When: Saturday, June 28 at 1:00 p.m.

A gay Horatio Alger tale, “Wild Combination” follows Arthur Russell, a cellist from Oskaloosa, Iowa, who at a young age runs away from home after a physical altercation with his father over marijuana paraphernalia. Russell heads to Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco during the height of the hippie movement. In San Francisco, Russell becomes friends with Allen Ginsberg, the famous beat poet, whom he begins to work with musically.

This postmortem documentary comes at a time of increased popularity in Russell’s music, much of which has been released since his death from AIDS in 1992. A prolific songwriter, his work was sitting on his boyfriend’s shelves in the form of dust-covered tape recordings.

Swedish indie pop artist Jens Lekman makes a cameo appearance in the documentary, talking about how Russell’s music has become more popular. New York’s Hercules and Love Affair attribute their disco revival sound to Russell’s music.

“Wild Combination” is a rare documentary because it offers a viewpoint not commonly seen: the parents. Between commentary from friends and fellow musicians, Russell’s Mom and Dad reveal deep, emotional thoughts about the life of their son. Not just a documentary about a musician, “Wild Combination” is a direct look into both hippie-commune culture and New York’s disco culture from the eyes of an artist.