Quickies - Page 2

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

In Flesh, we see Joe school comparatively naïve and weak street corner boys on the tricks of rough trade. Here, Pete is a responsible breadwinner in comparison to his drug-spun chicken boyfriend. Both Flesh's Joe and the title character of Greek Pete hang with trannies, though Candy Darling and Jackie Curtis are more camera-ready than Pete's goth gal pals. But whereas a strange optimism radiates from Flesh, which is understandably too smitten with its charismatic star to knock the hustle, Greek Pete has a strong undertow of melancholy. Its sadness doesn't stem from a moral tut-tut stance about whoring but from a sense of modern emptiness that haunts Pete whether he's with friends, alone in his apartment, or watching footage of himself winning a competition that's the male escort equivalent of Miss America. Well-shot and anchored by a performance that's just deep and ordinary enough to remain compelling, Greek Pete isn't just easy meat. (Huston) 10 p.m., Victoria. Also Tues/23, 2:30 p.m., Castro.


Training Rules (Dee Mosbacher and Fawn Yacker, USA, 2009) Homophobia in sports is, depressingly, still an enormous issue. But compared to the macho world of the NBA, you'd think that women's college basketball would be a comparatively safe realm for queer players. In the case of Penn State, you'd be dead wrong. For 27 years, coach Rene Portland intimidated and harassed players who were lesbians — and those she thought might be lesbians, or who had lesbian friends. As players from past teams recall (often through tears), Portland was an outspoken homophobe who revoked scholarships as she pleased and made basketball a joyless pursuit for those she targeted. In 2006, former player Jennifer Harris, a star athlete and standout student, sued the school for discrimination. Though Harris can't speak at length due to the terms of her settlement (and of course Portland, who resigned in 2007, did not agree to an interview), Training Rules is an eye-opening document, exposing not just the ugly truth about one coach, but a systemwide crisis that those in power (athletic directors, the NCAA) have been painfully slow to address. (Cheryl Eddy) 3:30 p.m., Castro


City of Borders (Yun Suh, USA, 2009) Forty-five minutes away from Middle Eastern "gay mecca" Tel Aviv lies Jerusalem, ancient religious center and, unfortunately, bastion of equally time-tested attitudes toward homosexuality. Many Tel Aviv gays don't even see the point of living, let alone fighting for rights, in Jerusalem. Yet Jerusalem's sole gay bar, Shushan, was one place where Jews and Muslims, Israelis and Palestinians, mingled as equals. Yun Suh's documentary focuses on a few diverse patrons, plus Shushan's owner Sa'ar Netanel, who became Jerusalem's first openly gay elected official (as a city councilman) on the same day it elected its first ultraright Orthodox mayor. He endures routine death threats, Gay Pride parades attract violent protest, and the other principals here have their problems and flaws too: lesbian couple Samira and Ravit try to stay together despite major cultural differences; Palestinian youth Boddy fears he'll eventually have to leave for his own safety; Adam, an Israeli activist since being queer-bashed, doesn't see any ethnical conflict in building a house on occupied territory with his boyfriend. Borders is a vivid snapshot of a gay rights struggle that is still very much an uphill slog. (Dennis Harvey) 7 p.m., Roxie

Patrick, Age 1.5 (Ella Lemhagen, Sweden, 2008) Freshly settled in suburbia, gay couple Goran (Gustaf Skarsgard) and Sven (Torkel Petersson) are eager to adopt a child — or at least Goran is, with Sven reluctantly caving in.

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