Quickies

Frameline 2009: Our short, opinionated takes on several featured Frameline flicks
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Training Rules

FRI/19

The Lollipop Generation (G.B. Jones, Canada, 2008) To truly appreciate G.B. Jones' decades-in-the-making solo follow-up to her 1991 queer punk classic collaboration with Bruce LaBruce No Skin Off My Ass, you probably have to be a fan of Doris Wishman. Jones is on record as a major admirer of the woman behind Bad Girls Go to Hell (1965) and the Chesty Morgan vehicle Double Agent 73 (1974), whose singular directorial style had no need for dramatic momentum, synced-up dialogue, or sensible camera angles. (In a scene with dialogue, Wishman was more likely to lavish close-ups on nearby furniture than on the humans involved.) Lollipop Generation skewers the lust for youth at the rotten core of pop culture through its look at a loose gang of candy-licking teen and preteen trick-turners and the suckers who would like to prey on them. The cast includes writer Mark Ewert and Calvin Johnson, but Vaginal Davis steals a sizeable portion of the movie by throwing her all into a molester role in a sequence that shifts back and forth between Super 8 and video. My favorite aspect of Lollipop Generation is Jones' eye for funny or dirty signs or landmarks, from giant smiling balls on the sides of freeways to sites with double entendres for names. By placing what story there is within this framework, she creates her own world with no need for special effects. (Johnny Ray Huston) 10:45 p.m., Roxie.

Making the Boys (Crayton Robey, USA, 2008) Whether you adore it as a nostalgic, pre-HIV throwback or despise it for its self-loathing and slew of gay stereotypes, The Boys in the Band was revolutionary for its time as the first play to revolve around a homosexual circle of friends and to present an honest examination of the gay community. In director Crayton Robey's compelling and insightful new documentary, Mart Crowley, the playwright of Boys, recounts his days rubbing shoulders with the Hollywood elite as a burgeoning screenwriter only to be cast aside after a failed Bette Davis pilot and a film deal fell through. New York theater proved to be his salvation as he struggled with perceived personal and professional failure as well as alcoholism. With nothing to lose, he bravely penned Boys, secured the producer from Edward Albee's equally controversial Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, and released it off-Broadway on April 14, 1968 to commercial acclaim. Robey interviews both Broadway and Hollywood mainstays such as Albee, Terrence McNally, Robert Wagner, and Dominick Dunne, who reflect on the impact of Boys, for better and for worse, and its role in challenging mainstream opinions of homosexuality as a mental illness and in jumpstarting the gay rights movement. In the middle of the film, I started wishing Robey had interviewed more of the cast of Boys. After all, they were the ones who experienced the highs of being in an exciting and subversive new play as well as the lows of later being essentially blacklisted from Hollywood. Then it dawned on me that five of the nine original cast members of Boys have since died from AIDS. Ultimately though, their cause to validate the gay community's presence in society is forever immortalized with the legacy of Boys, the play that Vincent Canby hailed "a landslide of truths." (Laura Swanbeck) 7 p.m., Victoria. Also Mon/22, 1 p.m., Castro.

SAT/20

Greek Pete (Andrew Haigh, U.K., 2009) A deadpan serving of real-life drama, this night-and-day portrait is a 21st-century update of Andy Warhol's Flesh, the 1968 movie that made Joe Dallesandro a star. In Flesh, Dallesandro is a hustler named Joe in New York. Here, Peter Pittaros is an escort named Pete in London.

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