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Donald J. Levit

Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer

Three young women face seven years in a Russian prison for a satirical performance in a Moscow cathedral. But who is really on trial in a case that has gripped the nation and the world beyond, three young artists or the society they live in?

Retro Cinema – The Lower Depths (1936)

Maxim “Gorky” is the famous nom de plume, meaning “the bitter one” in accord with the writer’s Socialist Realism criticism of Mother Russian political and social structures, particularly those prior to the Communist Revolution of 1917. The novelist, short story writer and dramatist’s most popular work for the “gutter” stage, THE LOWER DEPTHS/NA DNIE (1902) […]

La Selva Tranquila

On the low jungle Amazon and closer to Brazil, Colombia and Ecuador than to Lima, Iquitos is at the heart of 140,000 square miles of rain-forest, roughly the size of California. Each wearing various hats for their first film, Christian Chapman, Paul Jason Hoffman and Cody Troyer spent four months in and around this Department […]

Retro Cinema – Testament Of Orpheus

Jean Genet directed only A Song of Love/Un chant d’amour. In that 1950 “realistic documentary of unreal events,” the ex-prisoner and playwright wordlessly pictures homo-eroticism between two prisoners (Coco Le Martiniquais, Lucien Senemaud) who cannot see each other in their adjoining cells but pleasure themselves, exchange cigarette smoke through a straw, embrace clothed and naked […]

How To Survive A Plague

The story of two coalitions -- ACT UP and TAG (Treatment Action Group) -- whose activism and innovation turned AIDS from a death sentence into a manageable condition.

The Old Testament

Made without the cooperation of the Chinese government or official film organizations, this drama in three parts explores the emotional, social and political ramifications of gay relationships in China over the course of three decades. Part one, "Psalm," is set in 1981, and concerns Xiao Bo (Yu Bo), a gay man sharing a home with his brother and his sister-in-law. Unwilling to disguise his lifestyle, Xiao Bo brings his lover home one evening, and soon his family is attempting to "cure" him of his homosexuality. "Proverbs," set in 1991, finds a gay man inching his way out of the closet as he leaves his wife and moves in with the man he loves. Finally, "Song of Solomon," which takes place in 2001, reintroduces Xiao Bo, who is now in a relationship with Da Jian (Zhang Jian). When Xiao Bo learns one of his former lovers has contracted AIDS, he wants to help him however he can, but Da Jian would prefer it if he kept a safe distance from his past. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Vegetarian

A young housewife, finds herself having strange dreams that make her disgusted by meat, leading to trouble with her meat-loving husband and attention from her artist brother in law.

Gay Sex in the 70′s

A chronicle of gay culture in New York during the post-Stonewall, pre-AIDs era.

Cinderellas, Wolves And A Charming Prince

Around 900 thousand people are trafficked a year for international borders only for sexual exploitation. However, despite all the dangers, young Brazilian women to enter the world of sex tourism, believe that they will change their lives and their dream of finding a Charming Prince. A minority find a great love and get married. The film goes from the Brazilian Northeast to Berlin seeking to understand the sexual as well racial imaginary and power of young southern Cinderellas and northern wolves.

Retro Cinema – The Last Command

A Russian with LoveWe eliminated subtitles just as fast as we could if we could possibly tell it in action. Charlie Chaplin and I would have a friendly contest: who could do the feature film with the least subtitles: Charlie won that. He had this picture down to something like twenty-one titles. I had twenty-three. […]

Retro Cinema – The Man Who Laughs

And God Created Me a Man“Now you see me as I really am,” he said. “Your love has saved me from a terrible spell. I was turned into a beast, and only a heart that loved me for my self could set me free.” “Well, you are very handsome now,” said Beauty, with a smile, […]