Frameline, San Francisco’s iconic LGBTQ film festival, will have its longest run in history, from Thursday, June 10 to June 27. The package includes in-car screenings, streaming across the country, indoor screenings, and even outdoor movie nights at Oracle Park.
Before the program was put in place, organizers feared the pandemic would make it difficult to develop solid programming. But the opposite happened: There weren’t enough niches for all the great work, including big-time productions, romances, and period dramas.
“The hard part was that we didn’t have enough niches for all the work and all the creative energy that people were able to muster while being locked in,” said Allegra Madsen, director of programming for Frameline.
With that in mind, Madsen and film festival lead programmer Peter Stein shared with The Chronicle highlights from Frameline’s schedule to help people navigate this year’s offerings.
“Every movie on this program is here for a reason, because there is something beautiful or exceptional or relevant about the moment,” Madsen said. “Take a leap of faith and trust that you are going to experience something about yourself.”
Q: Have you seen any general movie themes for Frameline 45?
Madsen: One thing I’ve seen in all of the movies is the weird and beautiful machinations people go through to connect with each other and escape loneliness.
Stein: The themes are more complex and complex. The films tackle issues such as alliance, race or xenophobia where homosexuality, in itself, is only one element of life.
Q: Name a hidden gem in the lineup.
Stein: “Nico.” It focuses on a young Persian-German woman in Berlin who is the victim of a xenophobic attack. It’s an exploration of what it takes to become resilient against hate – and it’s uplifting.
Madsen: “Metamorphosis.” It’s an account from the Philippines about a young intersex boy who, until a pivotal moment, identified himself as a man. It’s a beautiful and unusual take on the coming-of-age story.
Q: What films stood out for their acting?
Madsen: I put my money into “language courses”. Literally, the whole movie represents the two characters (played by Natalie Morales and Mark Duplass) on the screens (Zoom). Acting in front of a camera, and not a person, is a real feat.
Stein: In the documentary “Truman and Tennessee”, the performance of the voiceover characters is fantastic. They (Jim Parsons as Truman Capote and Zachary Quinto as Tennessee Williams) capture something about the characters of these two gay literary lions.
Q: What is an interesting romantic film in the lineup?
Stein: “The boy meets the boy.” It’s a breezy summer romance in the style of ‘Weekend’ and ‘Before Sunrise’.
Madsen: I’m going to go with “Noor & Layla”, a lesbian short in the Realness & Revelations program. It is a beautiful marriage of a love affair with culture and prayer.
Q: Name a funny movie.
Madsen: “Sweetheart.” It’s a summer romance that follows a teenager who is in that angsty, self-centered, and also incredibly charming time of life. There are those “Oh, I remember” moments. I am mortified, but I fully understand where she is. It just makes you laugh.
Stein: The “Fun in Shorts” program – all (the movies) made me laugh out loud. The last one is “Sunday Dinner”, about a very noisy Italian family dinner. I’m so excited that people can see these shorts at the Castro Theater and laugh together as a community again.
Q: How about a sexy movie?
Madsen: “L’été 85” by François Ozon. He’s got skinny acid wash jeans, feathered hair, a beach in France, and then it’s dark which may say something about me. (Laughs)
Stein: I will choose the same movie. Super, super sexy. This is drive-in show only – tinted windows are a must!
Q: What movie are people enjoying?
Madsen: “Fanny: The right to rock. He follows this all-female rock group through the 60s and 70s, and then their return. You will walk out of this movie feeling pumped.
Stein: “No Straight Lines”, the closing night film. This is the story of queer comics. It’s fun, upbeat – a discovery film.
Q: My Aunt Mabel is in town in Kansas. What movie should I watch with her?
Madsen: I’m just going to go ahead and say, “Raw! Uncut! Video! “It’s time for Aunt Mabel to know who we are. (Laughs)
Seriously, I would recommend “Jump, Darling,” about a grandmother (Cloris Leachman in her latest movie role) transitioning through the stages of life, and her grandson, a temperamental queer artist.
Stein: “A Sexplanation”, about those squeaky conversations you never really had with your older parents. This will probably open up a very interesting conversation with Aunt Mabel.
5 must-see movies at Frameline 45
Todd Stephens (director of “Edge of Seventeen” and “Another Gay Movie”, two LGBTQ classics) directs this bittersweet comedy-drama about a hairdresser and makeup artist in Sandusky, Ohio, who ventures out of his retirement home for a last hurray. As a hairdresser Udo Kier is exceptional and his memorable interactions with the townspeople make his trip original, funny and moving. Lots of great cameos here.
Broadcast from June 17 to 27. $ 10.
In this very French and sexy film, two teenagers from a coastal town embark on a romance before anxiety attacks take things in tragic directions. There are fingerprints of director François Ozon (“Pool”) everywhere, so strap in for some free expressions of human behavior.
9 p.m. on June 16. $ 49 per vehicle. Fort Mason Flix Drive-In, 2 Marina Blvd., SF
The late Cloris Leachman delivers a luminous performance in this gripping film about the life changes facing an artistic but directionless gay grandmother and grandson. This film combines serious themes of aging and loss with fascinating streak numbers – and it all comes together. It’s a fitting final role for Leachman.
Broadcast from June 17 to 27. $ 10; screening in person at 6 p.m. on June 26. $ 16. Castro Theater, 429 Castro St., SF Limited indoor seating and COVID protocols applied, including required masks indoors.
“Prognosis: Notes on life”
This unforgettable documentary follows Oscar-winning Bay Area documentary legend Debra Chasnoff after being diagnosed with stage four breast cancer. For someone whose career depended on his stories being revealed by others, Chasnoff never hesitates to open up about his private struggles. It is a courageous film.
Broadcast at 4 p.m. on June 19; and 4 p.m. on June 26. Free.
This charming UK movie is about a clumsy teenage girl who falls in love with a lifeguard woman while on summer vacation. It is not only a tale of the joy and awkwardness of first love, but also an effective family drama with heart.
Broadcast from June 17 to 27. $ 10.
Frame line 45
What: 45th San Francisco LGBTQ + International Film Festival
When: June 10-27.
Or: West Wind Solano Drive-in, 1611 Solano Way, Concord; in San Francisco at Oracle Park, 24 Willie Mays Plaza, SF; Drive-in Fort Mason Flix, 2 Marina Blvd., SF; Roxie Theater, 3117 16th St .; Castro Theater, 429 Castro St., SF Also broadcast on frameline.org.
Opening night film: “Fanny: The Right to Rock”, at West Wind Solano Drive-In, June 10th.
Oracle Park Nights: “In the heights”, June 11; “Everybody Loves Jamie,” June 12. Tickets from $ 24.99 (bottom box) to $ 44.99 (club level); The Field Experience package (tickets, food and drinks for up to 12 people) is $ 2,499.96.
Fort Mason Flix Movies: “Potato Dreams of America,” June 15; “Summer 85”, June 16; “Ailey”, June 19. $ 49 per car.
Films from the Roxie Theater: “Genderation”, “Baloney”, June 20. The prices vary.
Films from the Castro Theater: “Fun in Shorts” (short film program), “Invisible”, “Jump, Darling”, June 26; “Homegrown” (short film program), “Firebird”, “No Straight Lines: The Rise of Queer Comics”, June 27. The prices vary.
Virtual projections: Over 50 programs with over 100 movies, available anywhere in the United States. $ 8 to $ 12 per session, with passes starting at $ 95.
Special programs: Focus on Taiwan, three feature films and four short films; Frameline Talks, four discussions, to be broadcast nationwide for free via Frameline’s Facebook and YouTube channels, and on Frameline.org.
For more information: Frameline.org