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Reeling

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Reeling: The 24th Chicago Lesbian & Gay International Film Festival runs Friday, November 4, through Saturday, November 12, at Chicago Filmmakers; Columbia College Ludington Bldg., 1104 S. Wabash; Landmark's Century Centre; and the Music Box. Tickets are $10, $8 for members of Chicago Filmmakers. A schedule for the current week follows; for a complete schedule visit www.chicagoreader.com.

FRIDAY 4

The Gay Marriage Thing

Stephanie Higgins directed this video documentary that follows a lesbian couple after Massachusetts institutes same-sex marriage licenses. Two shorts complete the program. 90 min. (Chicago Filmmakers, 6:00)

R Night Watch

With a few exceptions, I prefer the literature of Edgardo Cozarinsky, an Argentinean based mainly in Paris, to his films, and his nonfiction in both realms to his fiction. But this poetic, atmospheric drama, his first to be shot in Buenos Aires, challenged my bias, mixing the natural and the supernatural, the cinematic and the literary, with such assurance that Cozarinsky no longer seems like a divided artist. Following a teenage street hustler through the night of All Saints' Day, he turns a documentary about his hometown and its street life into a haunting piece of magical realism. (The original title, Ronda Nocturna, translates more accurately as "Nocturnal Rounds.") In Spanish with subtitles. 82 min. (JR) (Landmark's Century Centre, 6:15)

Camellia Project: Three Queer Stories at Bogil Island

Videos documenting contemporary gay life in Korea, by Jun-sung Choi, Joon-moon So, and Hee-il Lee Song. 90 min. (Chicago Filmmakers, 8:00)

Fingersmith, Part 1

Like Tipping the Velvet, which screened at last year's festival, this is a BBC drama adapted from a novel by Sarah Waters, who writes historical novels with lesbian characters. Imelda Staunton (Vera Drake) shines in a key supporting role as a poor Victorian woman who takes in foundlings and raises them as her own, though most of the screen time goes to a supremely treacherous love triangle involving a ruthless con man (Rupert Evans), a hardened street girl who becomes his accomplice (Sally Hawkins), and their mark (Elaine Cassidy), a gullible young woman who will inherit a fortune on her 21st birthday. More grim than its predecessor, this is tastefully mounted but encompasses too many twists of fate to give its characters enough attention. Aisling Walsh directed. (JJ) Screening in two parts, each about 90 minutes; the second screens Sun 11/6. (Landmark's Century Centre, 8:00)

Hate Crime

When a Dallas man is murdered in a gay-bashing incident, his boyfriend teams up with the victim's mother to bring the killer to justice--at any cost. This melodrama by writer-director Tommy Stovall has a good premise, but he undercuts it with contrived plot twists, pedestrian pacing, and mostly two-dimensional characters. Ironically the video's most electrifying performances come from the bad guys: Chad Donella as the gay couple's homophobic, sexually repressed neighbor (a prime suspect) and the superb Bruce Davison as a hate-mongering preacher reminiscent of Topeka pastor Fred Phelps. 106 min. (Albert Williams) (Landmark's Century Centre, 9:45)

Mr. Leather

Competing for the title of Mr. Los Angeles Leather takes a lot of planning, energy, and guts (not to mention shopping), but the nine contestants profiled in this rambling 2004 video documentary are utterly invested in their lifestyle. Director Jason Garrett canvasses the gay leather scene, interviewing white-collar professionals, butch bikers, costume fetishists, and bondage enthusiasts. One thing they share is their exhibitionism, and the climactic contest has enough bare skin, flashy outfits, and inspirational speeches to rival the straight beauty pageants it parodies. 70 min. (AG) (Chicago Filmmakers, 10:00)

SATURDAY 5

The Education of Shelby Knox

Filmmakers Marion Lipschutz and Rose Rosenblatt chronicle the three-year struggle of Shelby Knox, a remarkably tenacious high school student, as she attempts to force the Lubbock, Texas, public schools to implement a basic sex-education program. An evangelical Christian with Republican parents, Knox becomes troubled by Lubbock's "abstinence only" approach to sex education in light of the city's high rate of teenage pregnancies and STDs. Her activism draws the ire of much of the community, including local politicians and her prominent Baptist minister; hackles really get raised when she decides to support a gay-straight alliance group in her school. This would have been a stronger work had the filmmakers more fully explored how Knox arrived at her convictions in light of her deeply conservative Christian roots. Still, it's pretty eye-opening, and it's hard not to be awed by her determination and resilience. 76 min. (Reece Pendleton) (Chicago Filmmakers, noon)

R My Brother . . . Nikhil

Indian director Onir makes an auspicious debut with this sentimental but persuasive drama about a gay champion swimmer (Sanjay Suri) in late-80s Goa who learns that he's HIV positive. His sister (Juhi Chawla) is the only relative to stand by him when he's ostracized, arrested, and held without trial. The musical numbers may suggest standard Bollywood fare, but the subject matter and Onir's sympathetic treatment are relatively new for a country whose constitution still outlaws "unnatural" sexual intercourse. With Victor Banerjee and Purab Kohli. In English and subtitled Hindi. 120 min. (AG) (Landmark's Century Centre, noon)

Generation Q

Shorts Program of short videos about growing up gay. 90 min. (Chicago Filmmakers, 1:45)

R Cold as Summer

A quiet salesgirl (Sarah Grappin), visibly unfit as a single mother, leaves her infant daughter in the care of a neighbor and takes up with a strange man at a dance; the consequences of that affair drive her to the south of France, where she finds love in the arms of a lesbian thief. Nathalie Richard (Up, Down, Fragile) plays a police detective whose feelings toward the delinquent mother are hardened by her own inability to conceive a child. Jacques Maillot directed this subtle, moody 2002 French drama, never forcing the suspense. In French with subtitles. 89 min. (AG) (Landmark's Century Centre, 2:15)

100% Woman

Karen Duthie's intriguing 2004 documentary video profiles Michelle Dumaresq, Canada's reigning female downhill mountain bike champion, who spent her first 20 years as a man before having gender reassignment surgery. Competing across Canada on the amateur women's racing circuit, she provokes antipathy among fellow bikers, who insist that she retains superior strength from having been male. Dumaresq is collegial yet doggedly determined to compete as a professional someday. Also on the bill: Judith Cobb's video short Tomboy, which profiles several women who identify more strongly with the male gender than with their own. Total running time is 77 minutes. (JK) (Chicago Filmmakers, 3:30)

R Three Dancing Slaves

Gael Morel's somber 2004 French feature about three young brothers is thematically similar to S.E. Hinton's stories charting inchoate violence and homoeroticism among young men stuck in working-class environs. Set in a backwoods rural town in the Rhone Alps, the two younger brothers are living with their emotionally distant father and grieving the loss of their recently deceased mother. Marc, the middle brother (played with feral intensity by Nicholas Cazale), is the focus of the first half of the story; when his older brother, Christophe (Stephane Rideau), is released from jail, his self-destructive tendencies take a darker turn. With Thomas Dumerchez. In French with subtitles. 90 min. (JK) (Landmark's Century Centre, 4:00)

Fag Hags: Women Who Love Gay Men

This Canadian video documentary doesn't shed much light on its subject, but the three couples profiled are notable for their range of experiences. One man abandoned his female friend after she fell for him, another couple has a satisfying platonic relationship, and a third have formalized their deep and long-standing friendship by getting married. Justine Pimlott directed, shoehorning in clips from Margaret Cho's I'm the One I Want and the sitcom Will & Grace. 51 min. (AG) Also on the program: the short Gay Pioneers. (Chicago Filmmakers, 5:15)

Beautiful Women

Five women show up to audition for a crappy low-budget erotic thriller, then decide to blow it off, embarking instead on a day and night of fun and adventure. Writer-director Sathyan Ramesh's 2003 debut feature has loads of smart, acerbic dialogue, and its 24-hour structure lends the proceedings a sense of real time. While the film gets bogged down by some improbable plot twists and the contrivance that each character has a major secret to unload, this is partly compensated for by the wonderful camaraderie of the quintet, whose laughter and tears are believable responses to their personal crises. With Floriane Daniel, Julia Jaeger, Caroline Peters, Clelia Sarto, and Ulrike Tscharre. In German with subtitles. 86 min. (JK) (Landmark's Century Centre, 5:45)

Made in Secret: The Story of the East Van Porn Collective

This video gabfest never fulfills the promise of its opening salvo, a funny "anarcho-feminist" statement delivered by a group of clever young Canadians. Film literate and highly articulate, they fire off a list of everything they hate about pornography; never having found a sex flick that's truly sexy, they then decide to shoot one themselves. This oscillates between documentary and mockumentary: the friends are real, but they didn't exist as a pornographic collective until they made this self-parody. The archness quickly grows tiresome, and the sex is mostly verbal. One Tiny Whale, a member of the collective, directed. 84 min. (AG) (Chicago Filmmakers, 7:15)

R Guys and Balls

After getting kicked off his local soccer team when he confesses that he's homosexual, a young German goalie accepts a challenge to assemble an all-gay outfit and play a match in four weeks. Fleeing his provincial hamlet, he moves in with his sister in nearby Dortmund, where he recruits a rogues' gallery of players, including a trio of cuddly bikers into S and M, a young Turk in love with soccer superstar David Beckham, and a closeted barfly. 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. With Maximilian Bruckner and Lisa Potthoff. In German with subtitles. 106 min. (JK) (Landmark's Century Centre, 7:30)

Left Lane: On the Road With Folk Poet Alix Olson

Spoken-word artist Alix Olson has so much wattage she puts many a rock star to shame. Her close friend and tour manager Samantha Farinella directed this fast-paced concert film (2004), a well-staged introduction to the poet and queer activist hailed by historian Howard Zinn as a serious thinker. Furious anthems like "America's for Sale" show one aspect of Olson's charismatic persona, a poetry workshop another, but we don't get to see much in her life beyond politics and art. Still, passionate anger is rarely this attractive, or entertainment this demanding. Video. 94 min. (AG) (Chicago Filmmakers, 9:15)

Boys' Prime Time Shorts

A program of comic videos. 98 min. (Landmark's Century Centre, 9:30)

SUNDAY 6

Keep Not Silent

Winner of Israel's Oscar equivalent for best documentary, Ilil Alexander's 2004 video portrait of three "Ortho-dykes"--lesbians who are religiously observant Jews--faced the same production challenge as 2001's Trembling Before G-d: how to portray subjects who would be community exiles were they identifiable. Two of the women are married and fear for their children; only feisty Yehudit appears unmasked as she plans a commitment ceremony with her partner. On the same bill is Say Amen!, Israeli director David Deri's video journal of his coming out to his Orthodox family; it's less formally organized yet more dynamic. In Hebrew with subtitles. 117 min. (AG) (Landmark's Century Centre, noon)

Transparent

This documentary video begins with assorted tracking shots of American landscapes while several transgendered men recount their arduous personal journeys, and director Jules Rosskam returns to this device throughout. It's worth noting that virtually every former female interviewed sports facial hair, as if the ability to grow a beard is an irrefutable validation of maleness. The primary topic discussed is the impact gender reassignment has on kids; Rosskam's look at the resilience of children is riveting. 61 min. (JK) (Chicago Filmmakers, 12:30)

R Gay Republicans

Though marred by an awful synth score, this 62-minute video documentary provides a fascinating look at the Log Cabin Republicans during a crisis in the organization's history--namely, President Bush's decision in February 2004 to champion a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. The LCR's ensuing debate over whether to endorse the president for reelection forced members to choose between the GOP and the gay community, both of which tend to view them with disgust. Video makers Anne Clements and Wash Westmoreland (The Fluffer) profile members on both sides of the divide, and their remarks are passionate, articulate, and politically astute. (JJ) (Chicago Filmmakers, 1:45)

Fingersmith, Part 2

See listing for "Fingersmith, Part 1" on Fri 11/4. (Landmark's Century Centre, 2:15)

Tammy Faye: Death Defying

Former televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker Messner battles lung cancer in this absorbing TV documentary by Chris McKim, a sequel to Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato's cult favorite The Eyes of Tammy Faye (2000). Chemotherapy has ravaged her fabled eyelashes, but her folksy candor and idiosyncratic fashion sense endure; a magnetic presence, she's gracious and warm--"No pity parties," she insists--even when struggling to sing or cleaning up after her dogs. By the end of the video her cancer is in remission, though it has since returned. 65 min. (AG) (Chicago Filmmakers, 3:15)

The D Word

A lame parody of Showtime's hit The L Word, this video collects six shorts united by their willingness to pound a joke into the ground. The characters, an ethnically diverse group of dykes, engage in idle chatter, very little sex, and way too much buffoonery to generate sufficient momentum between episodes. Just about everyone's name begins with D--Dot, Drea, Dixie--to which one could add Dumb, Dull, and Dismal. With Marga Gomez and Julie Goldman. 79 min. (AG) Two shorts complete the program. (Landmark's Century Centre, 4:00)

R Positively Naked

The title video of this program is Arlene Donnelly Nelson and David Nelson's 38-minute documentary on Spencer Tunick's group photo shoot of 85 naked HIV positive men and women for the tenth-anniversary cover of Poz magazine. The Nelsons spotlight the personal lives of several participants, poignantly demonstrating that HIV and AIDS cross lines of gender, sexual preference, and socioeconomics. The directors do a fine job of explaining the historical significance of Tunick's shoot, as well as documenting the extraordinary camaraderie among the participants. Also featured is Zanele Muholi's stirring Enraged by a Picture, about a South African photographer's sexually candid photographs of lesbians in that country, as well as four other shorts. Total running time is 88 minutes. (JK) (Chicago Filmmakers, 4:45)

R Timbuktu

A gay hustler (Karl Geary) and a young woman (Eva Birthistle) journey from Dublin to Algeria in search of a kidnapped priest--the woman's brother and the man's former lover. Their quest becomes an emotional and spiritual odyssey and leads them to a sexy, mysterious thief (charismatic George Jackos), who promises to guide them across the desert but instead leads them into mortal danger. This haunting, harrowing thriller, directed by Alan Gilsenann from a screenplay by Paul Freaney, turns the Sahara into a bleakly beautiful background for a twisting plot punctuated by shocking outbursts of violence. 94 min. (Albert Williams) (Landmark's Century Centre, 5:45)

R Innocent

This downbeat video drama by writer-director Simon Chung is worth a look for its glimpse of Chinese-Canadian life--and for Timothy Lee's enigmatic performance as Eric, a Hong Kong teen who immigrates to Toronto with his family in search of a better life. While his parents' marriage crumbles, Eric searches for love in a foreign, sometimes hostile environment. Unfortunately he has a knack for choosing the wrong guys, including a fickle, middle-aged white lawyer who has a thing for Asians and a handsome classmate whose rebuff triggers Eric's self-destructive recklessness. In English and subtitled Mandarin and Cantonese. 80 min. (Albert Williams) (Chicago Filmmakers, 6:45)

When I'm 64

A widowed cabdriver and former soccer hooligan (Paul Freeman) strikes up an unlikely friendship with a recently retired Latin teacher (Alun Armstrong), a relationship that has profound repercussions for the cabbie and his family when it appears to be more than platonic. Directed by Jon Jones, this 2004 BBC production is a good example of the intimate, finely crafted drama at which British television excels. The script is a bit precious at times, but it's a pleasure to watch first-rate actors like Freeman and Armstrong turn this into something both appealing and substantive without showboating. 90 min. (Reece Pendleton) (Landmark's Century Centre, 7:45)

Half a Life

Kay Wishoth and Claudia Laszczak's video documentary profiles five Turkish gays and lesbians. Also on the program: Bucu Melekoglu's My First Second Home. Total running time is 73 minutes. (Chicago Filmmakers, 8:30)

Scab

This lurid thriller uses vampirism as a metaphor for AIDS: after being raped by a pickup, the protagonist sprouts fangs and infects friends and strangers alike with his newfound bloodlust. Writer-director Thomas Jason Davis squanders an intriguing premise with his stilted dialogue, contrived plotting, and gratuitous gross-out effects. The only redeeming feature is the actors, who are good-looking and manage to keep straight faces. 101 min. (Albert Williams) (Landmark's Century Centre, 9:30)

MONDAY 7

R Good Boys

"I'm not ashamed of what I do," says Menni (Daniel Efrat), the young Tel Aviv prostitute at the center of this Israeli drama. "I have nice clothes, my own place, I do whatever I feel like, and I make fantasies come true." But Menni's independence is compromised by his relationship with Mika, the drug-addicted mother of his baby, and by his growing affection for a fellow hustler. With candor and documentary simplicity, writer-director Yair Hochner conveys the danger and loneliness of the urban sexual underworld and the fragile bonds that develop among people who can express anything but love. This study of troubled teens can be painful to watch, but the characters' humanity justifies the tentatively hopeful ending. In Hebrew with subtitles. 75 min. (Albert Williams) (Landmark's Century Centre, 6:00)

Unveiled

A woman (Jasmin Tabatabai) forced to flee her native Iran after being exposed as a lesbian seeks political asylum in Germany; when her petition is denied, she disguises herself as a man to work illegally in a small-town factory. Andrea Maccarone's drama begins on an urgent note, then detours from the larger story about human rights tragedies to pursue a sluggish romance between the Iranian and an unsuspecting female coworker. Comparisons with Boys Don't Cry are inevitable, but this film is hardly in that league. In German and Farsi with subtitles. 97 min. (AG) (Columbia College Ludington Bldg., 7:00)

Bowser Makes a Movie

Amateurish comedy video about a college dropout (rising off-Loop actor Nick Lewis) who dreams of making "porn for geniuses" and bankrolls his flaky project by secretly mortgaging his parents' house and cozying up to a rich troll. Local writer-director Toby Ross clutters the story with contrived complications rather than making his characters believable and therefore funny. (Albert Williams) (Landmark's Century Centre, 7:30)

R Life in a Box

As the singing comedy duo Y'all, Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer and James Dean Jay Byrd were folk music's gay ambassadors, combining intricate harmonies and homosexual lyrics with shtick harking back to The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. For years they dreamed of landing their own TV show, a goal that held them together as an act as well as a couple, but the bond between them was strained to the breaking point when they attempted a menage a trois with a hippie they found camping in the California desert. Cheslik-DeMeyer directed this singular video documentary, which weirdly fulfills the act's cherished wish. 92 min. (AG) (Columbia College Ludington Bldg., 9:00)

OpenCam

A serial murderer is menacing users of an Internet porn chat room in Robert Gaston's video. 105 min. (Landmark's Century Centre, 9:30)

TUESDAY 8

R Like a Brother

This sensitive, sometimes steamy French drama chronicles a small-town gay teen's coming of age. Sebastian (Benoit Deliere) has a crush on his straight friend Romain (Thibault Boucaux), who regards him comme un frere. Frustrated, Sebastian runs off to Paris, where he revels in discotheques and casual sex--until Romain arrives for a visit. Writer-directors Bernard Alapetite and Cyril Legann insightfully chart Sebastien's erotic and emotional awakening, exploring the differences between love and longing, affection and appetite, truth and memory. Attractive newcomers Deliere and Boucaux invest their roles with understated credibility. In French with subtitles. 55 min. (Albert Williams) (Landmark's Century Centre, 6:00)

El Favor

When Mora and Roberta, a lesbian couple, set their minds on having a child, they decide that Mora's brother should father the baby. But rather than broach it with him--confronting him with the fact that they're gay--they conspire to have Roberta spike his cocktail with an aphrodisiac and seduce him. Argentinean director Pablo Sofovich poaches on Pedro Almodovar territory with this sexy, ribald 2004 romp, but he lacks that director's incisiveness and never gets much further than the initial outrageous premise. While the talented comic actor Javier Lombardo is fine as the brother, everyone else strains much too hard to be kooky. With Bernarda Pages and Victoria Onetto. In Spanish with subtitles. 78 min. (JK) (Columbia College Ludington Bldg., 6:30)

R Wilby Wonderful

Written and directed by Canadian playwright Daniel MacIvor, this dark but ultimately upbeat comedy unfolds in a small island community whose residents are at odds over preservation versus development. Among the characters: a gay man contemplating suicide because the local paper is planning to publish names of guys seen cruising a local park; a live-and-let-live cop charged with investigating the hyped-up scandal; the cop's wife, a stressed-out real estate agent (the hilarious Sandra Oh); a single mom having an affair with him; and the mom's rebellious teenage daughter. Blending irony and compassion, the film contrasts the island's bucolic beauty with the characters' tragicomic lives, commanding attention with its intricate narrative and finely textured performances. 99 min. (Albert Williams) (Landmark's Century Centre, 7:30)

Boys Will Be Boys Shorts

Seven erotic short videos. 99 min. (Columbia College Ludington Bldg., 8:00)

Transamerica

Duncan Tucker's first feature is an occasionally touching, more often clumsy variation on the formula of crusty oldster and problem child bonding on a road trip. The main reason to see it is Desperate Housewives star Felicity Huffman and her buzz-gathering performance as an anxious pre-op trannie, which tops Dustin Hoffman's Tootsie role--he was just a guy trying to play a woman. But like Hoffman, Huffman offers a quaintly prim, prissy vision of womanhood, one that ties into the film's anachronistic roadside America of wigwam motels and retro eateries and its 50s-style fingering of monstrous mom as the root of family dysfunction. The best thing besides Huffman is Graham Greene's graceful cameo as a courtly rancher. 100 min. (Martin Rubin) (Landmark's Century Centre, 9:30)

WEDNESDAY 9

The Journey

Chicagoan Ligy J. Pullappally wrote and directed this earnest tale of forbidden love set in India, in which two childhood friends, Kiran (Suhasini Nair) and Delilah (Shrruiti Menon), daughters of wealthy neighboring families, find their idyllic lives shaken as their friendship turns into romantic love. Cultural and religious taboos against lesbianism force the girls to hide their relationship, until they're discovered by a nosy, love-struck male classmate. Melodrama occasionally threatens to bury the film in cheese, but the intense emotional relationship between the girls is honest and affecting, thanks in part to fine performances from the two leads. In Malayalam with subtitles. 107 min. (Reece Pendleton) (Columbia College Ludington Bldg., 6:30)

Say Uncle

Peter Paige of the Showtime series Queer as Folk makes his writing and directing debut with this daring but often flat-footed comedy about a young gay man (Paige) whose affinity for children gets him tagged as a pedophile. After being separated from his beloved godson, he starts hanging around playgrounds, exploring adoption, and applying for jobs at child-oriented retail stores; meanwhile a neighborhood busybody (Kathy Najimy) starts organizing local parents against him. Paige scores some solid rhetorical points, exposing the foolishness of those who equate homosexuality with pedophilia, yet the weirdly infantile hero and his shrewish nemesis are so broadly drawn that they reduce the complex situation to a sitcom. With Gabrielle Union, Anthony Clark, and Lisa Edelstein. 90 min. (JJ) Screening as the festival's "Men's Centerpiece" program, to be followed by a party; tickets are $25, $22 for members of Chicago Filmmakers. (Landmark's Century Centre, 7:00)

Strange Fruit

Writer-director Kyle Schickner's 2004 thriller creates a fair amount of suspense and gets the ambience of New Orleans and its environs right--especially several night scenes that take place deep in the bayou. But the story's conclusion feels tacked on, as if Schickner's sole intention had been to ensure that no one would see it coming. Kent Faulcon is solid as a successful gay African-American attorney who returns to his native city from New York after a gay childhood friend has been beaten and hanged from a tree. Immediately he locks horns with a cantankerous local sheriff, whose motives for blocking an investigation remain maddeningly unclear. With Sam Jones, Berlinda Tolbert, and David Raibon. 116 min. (JK) (Columbia College Ludington Bldg., 8:30)

Dyke Delicious Shorts

A program of lesbian-directed short videos. 84 min. (Landmark's Century Centre, 9:15)

THURSDAY 10

R Gay Sex in the '70s

Nostalgic and instructive, this oral history looks at gay New York from the Stonewall riots in the late 60s to the onset of AIDS in the 80s. Video maker Joseph Lovett uses grainy home movies, porn clips, disco tunes, and thoughtful interviews with playwright Larry Kramer and others to evoke an era when the unbridled pursuit of pleasure was an act of defiance against social oppression and internalized homophobia. Survivors of the 70s may find their memories stirred by tales of cruising Studio 54 and the Saint, of abandoned piers and empty Allied vans; younger viewers may be fascinated by the contrast between these balding middle-aged men and their black-and-white snapshots, showing them in tight jeans, flannel shirts, long hair, and Zapata mustaches. 70 min. (Albert Williams) (Landmark's Century Centre, 6:00)

Take the Flame! Gay Games: Grace, Grit, and Glory

David Secter directed this video history of the Gay Games. 85 min. (Columbia College Ludington Bldg., 6:30)

Freshman Orientation

Ryan Shiraki's comedy follows a student who pretends to be gay as a means of getting close to a woman he likes. 93 min. (Landmark's Century Centre, 7:30)

R Bad Girls Behind Bars

For fans of women's prison pictures, this may be the ultimate experience--four steamy examples of the genre from 1933 to '94 have been intercut by an anonymous editor to form one grand narrative. The women commit crimes, are called "new fish" when they arrive in prison, fight, and riot. One of them winds up exonerated and performs her hit song for those still behind bars. The nude scenes include one with a torture device involving metal boots and fire, though I preferred seeing the women pile on top of a lone male guard. Almost anyone should feel at least a tingle or two watching these young beauties explode with anger and desire. 90 min. (FC) (Columbia College Ludington Bldg., 8:30)

R Exposed: The Making of a Legend

This behind-the-scenes video documentary about the hit gay-porn flick BuckleRoos is compulsively watchable, and not just for the hot sex--whether in front of the camera or behind it, everyone looks like he's having fun. Directors John Rutherford and Jerry Douglas, both industry pros, run a smooth set, their technical savvy matched by their rapport with the cast. Even when leading man Dean Phoenix gets food poisoning, the show goes on. The actors (or models, as they're called) give good interviews; from veteran Zak Spears to newcomer Sammy Case, they know who they are. Mr. Pam directed. 95 min. (AG) (Landmark's Century Centre, 9:30)

FRIDAY 11

Both

Lisset Barcellos's U.S.-Peruvian coproduction is about a movie stuntwoman who seeks to find her sexual identity. (Columbia College Ludington Bldg., 5:30)

Original Pride: The Satyrs Motorcycle Club

Scott Bloom's video documentary looks at the 51-year-old gay bikers' group. 56 min. Also on the program: Antonia Kao's Pup. (Columbia College Ludington Bldg., 5:30)

A Love to Hide

Christian Faure's drama concerns a pair of gay lovers in Vichy France who take in a German-Jewish refugee. In French with subtitles. 102 min. (Columbia College Ludington Bldg., 7:00)

Floored By Love

A romantic comedy by Canadian director Desiree Lim. Also on the program: Lim's video Some Real Fangs. Total running time is 74 minutes. (Columbia College Ludington Bldg., 7:15)

Adam & Steve

Craig Chester's comedy looks at a pair of star-crossed lovers who meet again 15 years after a disastrous one-night stand. With Parker Posey and Chris Kattan. (Columbia College Ludington Bdlg., 9:00)

Women in Love

Karen Everett's video explores her sex life, in particular the option of nonmonogamy. 54 min. Also on the program: the shorts Love Is Blind and Tina Paulina: Living on Hope Street. (Columbia College Ludington Bldg., 9:00)

SATURDAY 12

Eighteen

Canadian director Richard Bell's feature follows a street kid sent reeling after the death of his gay younger brother. 104 min. (Columbia College Ludington Bldg., noon)

100% Human

Norwegian directors Trond Winterkjaer and Jon Dalchow's documentary about a young male-to-female transsexual. (Columbia College Ludington Bldg., noon)

Woman to Woman Shorts

Short videos by and about lesbians. 84 min. (Columbia College Ludington Bldg., 1:30)

Where the Boys Are Shorts

A program of 11 short videos. 96 min. (Columbia College Ludington Bldg., 2:00)

Little Man

Nicole Conn's video documentary tracks the fallout after her and her partner's child is born dangerously premature. 112 min. (Columbia College Ludington Bldg., 3:15)

Hard Pill

John Baumgartner's sci-fi thriller imagines that there's a pill capable of making people straight. 95 min. (Columbia College Ludington Bldg., 4:00)

Same Sex, Windy City Shorts

Short videos by locals Jillian Pena, Eau Contraire, David Heckler, Sam Patterson, and Ezra Austin. 81 min. (Columbia College Ludington Bldg., 5:30)

Butterfly

Hong Kong-based director Yan Yan Mak's feature is about a married schoolteacher who finds herself stirred by a young singer. 124 min. (Columbia College Ludington Bldg., 6:00)

Life After Sex Shorts

A program of four short videos. 93 min. (Columbia College Ludington Bldg., 7:15)

The Mostly Unfabulous Social Life of Ethan Green

A comedy adapted from Eric Orner's comic strip, screening as part of the festival's closing-night party. Tickets are $25, $22 for members of Chicago Filmmakers. (Columbia College Ludington Bldg., 8:30)

Show Me

Cassandra Nicolaou's 2004 thriller follows a lesbian couple kidnapped by a couple of teens. (Columbia College Ludington Bldg., 9:15)

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