Reeling: The Chicago Lesbian & Gay International Film Festival continues Friday, July 14, through Sunday, July 23, in conjunction with the Gay Games VII Chicago sports and cultural festival. Screenings this week take place at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington, and the rooftop garden of Gallery 37 Center for the Arts, 66 E. Randolph. For a full schedule and ticket information, see www.reelingfilmfestival.org or call 773-293-1447.
Pick Up the Mic (2005, 95 min.) documents the emergence of "homohop," a flourishing queer music/spoken-word/zine scene that defies both homophobic attitudes in the hip-hop world and mainstream images of gay and lesbian culture a la Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. Focusing on performance, recording, and publishing in New York and the Bay Area, this video juxtaposes concert footage with imaginatively shot interviews (director Alex Hinton is also credited as cinematographer). Among those appearing are Rainbow Flava and Deep Dickollective and solo artists Dutchboy, Qboy, God-Des, Juba Kalamka, Johnny Dangerous, Aggracyst, and Katastrophe, a female-to-male transsexual. Sat 7/22, 3 PM, Chicago Cultural Center.
The recommended film Guys and Balls (M9nner Wie Wir) (2004, 106 min.) concerns a German soccer player who seeks to assemble an all-gay team after his regular outfit kicks him out for being homosexual. "Following the same general blueprint as The Bad News Bears or The Longest Yard, this engaging, well-paced German film directed by Sherry Horman includes a vibrantly funny script by Benedikt Gollhardt," writes Reader critic Joshua Katzman. In German with subtitles. Sun 7/23, 9 PM (preceded by a 7:30 PM reception), Gallery 37 rooftop garden.