Reel World: Sex, Gender And Cinema

Sex, Gender And Cinema

Devin D. O'Leary
3 min read
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Like rainbow-colored clockwork, the annual Southwest Gay & Lesbian Film Festival returns to entertain and educate Albuquerque this Friday, Oct. 7, through Sunday, Oct. 16. The 10-day celebration will spotlight 24 features and more than 50 short films. Germany, Italy, Mexico and Spain are just a few of the nations contributing gender-bending, non-heteronormative, out of the ordinary cinematic treats this year.

The Opening Night film, for example, is Chris Kelly’s debut feature, the tragicomically personal
Other People. The film tells the story of a 29-year-old comedy writer who must abandon his life in New York City to return home to Sacramento and care for his religious conservative mother (comedienne Molly Shannon) who is battling cancer. The film has already snagged awards at several film festivals. You can catch it Friday, Oct. 7, starting at 7pm.

The Closing Night film is
Pushing Dead, a macabre comedy about a struggling HIV-positive poet (Dan Roday from USA Network’s “Psych”) who cashes a birthday check from his mother, unwittingly kicks his bank account over the limit and has his lifesaving insurance coverage dropped. This self-proclaimed “AIDS comedy” finds laughs and still manages to take a serious look at today’s broken heath care system. Like Other People, it’s snapped up plenty of awards at other film fests. It screens Sunday, Oct. 16, at 7:30pm.

In between
Other People and Pushing Dead, SWGLFF offers up plenty of other cinematic delights. There’s the International Centerpiece film Don’t Call Me Son, a Brazilian drama—based on a true story—about a crossdressing teenager who learns he was kidnapped at birth and struggles to readjust to his affluent biological parents. The Hollywood Reporter called it “a warmhearted study of genetics, gender and the true meaning of home.” That’s Wednesday, Oct. 12, at 9pm.

Documentaries make an appearance in the form of
Strike a Pose, which reunites Madonna’s backup dancers from the landmark 1990 Blond Ambition tour to see what that seminal moment in pop cultural history was like behind-the-scenes. Friday, Oct. 14, at 7pm will see the premiere of this Showcase Documentary.

Short films show up in a number of popular annual showcases, including
Fun in Girls Shorts, Where the Boys Are, Gender Fabulous and Foreign Bodies (which takes viewers on a trip to Austria, Sweden, Norway and more). New this year is Oh The Horror!, a cheeky collection of scary shorts with an LGBTQ bent. Where else would you find the zombie bathhouse saga “Sauna the Dead”? Check programs or head over to for times on these and other films.

All screenings take place at Guild Cinema in Nob Hill (3405 Central NE). Tickets are $10 general admission or $8 for SWGLFF members. You can get a four-movie punch-card for $35 or an eight-movie punch-card for $65. All-festival passes will run you $100. Tickets can be purchased in advance online at or in person at Self Serve (3904B Central SE). Day of show tickets can be purchased (if available) at the venue starting one hour before showtime.

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