Sundance Film Festival Day 3: The Power of Queer Cinema

January 24, 2016

JFI Executive Director Lexi Leban is on the ground at Sundance Film Festival 2016. Follow her on the blog as we work to find the films that will shine a light on the 36th San Francisco Jewish Film Festival

January 22, 2016 | by Lexi Leban, JFI Executive Director

Snow falls in Park City. Luckily I am not on the shuttles tonight. Frameline and Strand Releasing are having a celebration for Bob Hawk and James Schamus at the Windy Ridge Cafe and the party is a who’s who of queer cinema. It feels more like a reunion of the queer cinema class of 1994 and everyone can stop being “on” and just be themselves.

B. Ruby Rich, Shari Frilot and Rose Troche remind me of Go Fish days. The charged feeling of seeing “lesbians like us” on the Castro screen for the very first time seems distant as Transparent comes into focus as the ultimate expression of where queer culture is at today and the gender-neutral singular third person pronoun “they” is named word of the year.

Jewish Film Institute, Frameline and OutFest staff take in a day of queer cinema at Sundance 2016

Sundance Film Festival 2016 features at least 12 films with queer content including the new doc Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures, Kiki, a narrative from Sweden featuring LGBT youths of colors and Spa Night by Andrew Ahn telling the story of a Korean-American man’s burgeoning sexuality in the underground hookup scene in LA. The Newest Wave: Queer Cinema Now panel looks at the question of what stories will be told now that queer images are more ubiquitous in mainstream media. Are the stories more homo-normative? Are recent films like Todd Haynes Carol a nostalgia for stories of repression? Have we lost our political and experimental edge? What is Next?

I don’t know the answer, but tonight the last partygoers empty out of the Windy Ridge Cafe. Snowball fight!

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store