Sunday, October 09, 2011

See the World through Rainbow-Colored Glasses... Especially on Tuesday!

I know a lot of you movie-heads in Chicago will be trying to hit the new and prodigious-sounding Nuri Bilge Ceylan film on its Tuesday night screening at CIFF. But if you've noticed that screening is already sold out—or if a three-hour Turkish police procedural lit almost entirely by automotive headlights in the pitch-darkness of a rural plain sounds to you like what Justin Vivian Bond would call "a real weenie-shrinker"—then all the more reason to stop by Sidetrack on Halsted this Tuesday night for the kickoff event of Queer Vision, a new program co-sponsored by the popular watering hole and by Chicago's Queer Film Society.

If you've ever been to Sidetrack, there's a 28% chance that you stumbled into Showtune Nights on Sunday or Monday, where the bar broadcasts famous Broadway numbers, Tony performances, clips from movie musicals, and inspired diva turns, and the whole joint sings along, brilliantly, uproariously, and open-heartedly. The Queer Film Society thought a similar blend of cultural history, community, and liquored-up conviviality ought to be possible using clips of some of our favorite movies. Our fearless president Richard Knight—who gives a fuller sense of the QFS, the Queer Vision project, and the expansive range of "queer cinema" in this RedEye interview—has labored with some industrious collaborators to curate a whole range of clips: the fabulous, the hummable, the historic, the barely-seen, the hilarious, the sexy, the romantic, and the overlaps therein.

Please come. Admission is a $10 donation to QFS, which works hard all year long to plan advanced screenings of Hollywood, independent, and international movies of specific interest to queer audiences. This is how LGBT Chicagoans saw A Single Man, Nine, The September Issue, Howl, Quearborn & Perversion, and a bunch of others weeks before anyone else, and in cahoots with a huge theater of people to whom these movies really meant something. The group also lobbies with publicists and distributors to try to secure theatrical playdates for some titles that would otherwise pass us by entirely in the increasingly stressed-out market of commercial exhibition. We also do educational and outreach work around the city whenever possible, such as hosting those sold-out screenings of Chicago-set queer films of recent decades that played in the Cultural Center this past spring, followed by post-film Q&As that we organized and emceed.

It's a great cause, and with your $10 comes a complimentary cocktail, so Mary, lay down that Hamilton. Make this first outing a hit, and we'll be able to reprise regularly, in the good graces of the stellar folks and all-around nice guys who manage Sidetrack. Look forward to seeing you there!

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