The Spinning Platters Guide to Frameline34 San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival

by Jason LeRoy on June 15, 2010

Aaron Tveit and James Franco in HOWL

The 34th annual Frameline LGBT Film Festival, which remains the largest of its kind in the world, will take place in San Francisco from June 17-27. Packed into those eleven days will be hundreds of narrative films, documentaries, and shorts covering nearly every conceivable angle of the LGBT experience from just about every corner of the globe. After the jump, Spinning Platters helps you narrow it all down by picking three films from each of four main categories.

OPENING/CLOSING/CENTERPIECE/SHOWCASE FILMS

Candy Darling from BEAUTIFUL DARLING: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF CANDY DARLING, ANDY WARHOL SUPERSTAR

Beautiful Darling: The Life and Times of Candy Darling, Warhol Superstar

Wednesday, June 23, 7:00 PM
Castro Theatre

USA, 2009, 85 min. Transgender pioneer Candy Darling was a queen among muses, inspiring Andy Warhol, Lou Reed, and Richard Avedon, among others. This hypnotically engaging film explores the universal question her life poses: Does anyone see me for who I really am?

The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls

Sunday, June 20, 3:45 PM
Castro Theatre

New Zealand, 2009, 84 min. A documentary escapade about this pair of yodeling, lesbian, comedian, activist twin sisters, The Topp Twins, who have captured the hearts of their home country, New Zealand, and became national treasures. An indisputable audience favorite at film festivals around the world.

Howl

Sunday, June 27, 7:30 PM
Castro Theatre

USA, 2010, 90 min. James Franco stars as a young Allen Ginsberg in this highly-anticipated genre-bender about the spark of a literary revolution. A star-studded cast (including Jon Hamm, Jeff Daniels, and Mary-Louise Parker), spectacular animation, and a minimalist score make this a fascinating portrait of groundbreaking poet Ginsberg and Howl’s obscenity trial.

SAN FRANCISCO CINEMA

Matthew Martin as Baby Jane and J. Conrad Frank as Blanche in BABY JANE?

Baby Jane?

Tuesday, June 22, 9:45 PM
Castro Theatre

USA, 2009, 97 min. Bette and Joan, eat your hearts out! This drag-studded recreation of the 1962 classic What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? drops us back into the depths of sisterly detestation. Featuring a top-notch cast of local queens, including half of the drag Golden Girls cast (Matthew Martin, pictured above, and erstwhile Trannyshack hostess Heklina).

The Stranger in Us

Wednesday, June 23, 6:45 PM
Roxie Theater

USA, 2010, 106 min. This local debut feature is a sympathetic portrait of losing and regaining oneself in the concrete jungle. When a struggling poet leaves his abusive boyfriend, he befriends a mostly-straight hustler, and they forge a new path together through SF’s gritty streets.

Trans Francisco

Saturday, June 19, 11:00 AM
Victoria Theatre

USA, 2009, 54 min. Trans Francisco uncovers the diverse — and often misunderstood — lives of transwomen in the Bay Area. Shown with When I’m Not Alone, the story of a victim of abuse who finds hope at a clubhouse for people with disabilities.

DOCUMENTARIES

The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence in San Francisco from THE SISTERS

The Sisters

Tuesday, June 22, 7:00 PM
Victoria Theatre

Austria, 2009, 74 min. Since their inception to combat HIV and AIDS, the infamous Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence have established missions all over the world with glitter, wit, and charity. Come explore the Sisterhood in locations ranging from Berlin to San Francisco to Uruguay.

8: The Mormon Proposition

Friday, June 18, 7:00 PM
Victoria Theatre

USA, 2010, 78 min. Get ready to get mad all over again. Fresh from Sundance, 8: The Mormon Proposition shows the devastating emotional impact caused by the Mormon Church’s fight against gay marriage in California.

William S. Burroughs: A Man Within

Sunday, June 20, 7:00 PM
Victoria Theatre

USA, 2009, 90 min. This long-awaited documentary follows the life and times of Beat writer, literary outlaw, and ex-junkie William S. Burroughs. Combining never-before-seen footage and interviews with a counterculture who’s-who, A Man Within is a revealing portrait of the man behind the icon.

U.S. FEATURES AND WORLD CINEMA

Brian Keane, Stephen Guarino, James Martinez, Gregory Gunter, Joe Conti and Gerald McCullouch from BEARCITY, a film by Doug Langway

BearCity

Saturday, June 26, 8:30 PM
Castro Theatre

USA, 2010, 100 min. A quirky group of fuzzy, funny friends is getting ready for the annual summer celebration of bears, but plans keep getting turned upside down. It’s a hairy Sex and the City — seriously, sit with that image for a few minutes.

Mädchen in Uniform

Wednesday, June 23, 1:30 PM
Castro Theatre

Germany, 1958, 95 min. A rare and influential gem pulled from the archives! German screen legend Romy Schneider stars as Manuela, the spirited teenage orphan who arrives at a strict all-girls boarding school. Full of sugar, spice, and a nice bunch of hormones, she falls in love with her teacher, Fräulein von Bernburg (the beautiful Lilli Palmer) — much to the dismay of the school’s authoritarian headmistress.

Spring Fever

Thursday, June 24, 9:30 PM
Castro Theatre

Hong Kong, 2009, 115 min. Set in the damp, moody springtime of Nanjing, this Peyton Place-meets-Jules et Jim Cannes award-winning drama follows the clandestine gay and bisexual trysts of five young people in this impressionistic look at modern life in urban China.

For a complete Frameline schedule and ticket information, check out their official site.

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