Steamy Love, Military Demerits and Venereal Disease: Newfest 2008

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It’s time to dust off your rainbow flags, feather boas and multicolored Mardi Gras beads: June is gay month in NYC. Gay Pride starts June 22, kicking off with a rally in Bryant Park, followed by a street fair and dancing on Pier 54, and ending with the march the following Sunday. By way of foreplay, [New Fest], the annual celebration of gay movie making continues through June 15.
To mark the 20th anniversary of LGBT film festivals in the city, New Fest promises to showcase a bunch of burgeoning talent in gay cinema. Bright wannabe Rose Troche and Kimberly Peirce-type directors will be offering up their latest celluloid and digital masterpieces—in fact, Peirce (Boys Don’t Cry) is one of the advisers to the festival).

Movies will be showing at [BAM Rose Cinemas], Brooklyn, and the [IFC Center]( in the Village. Of particular note is Italian director Guido Santi’s (Concertino) documentary [Chris & Don](, an exploration of the relationship between British writer Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy, the American artist. Chris & Don includes footage of the couple unearthed by Santi, along with an interview with the queen of camp, Liza Minnelli.

For the girls, there’s Kyle Schickner’s (Strange Fruit) feature film, [Steam] (June 14), about female bonding in a Turkish bath. Despite the setting, it looks like the bonding is entirely platonic, but look out for some steamy romance between college freshman Elizabeth (Kate Siegel) and a girl at school who turns her on to the ways of Sapphic love. 

Other movies worthy of notice include Johnny Symons’ cleverly titled Ask Not, a documentary about the crappy “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy of the U.S. military, and [Clapham Junction], Adrian Shergold’s feature based on the true story of a hate crime perpetrated against a gay man in London in 2005.

To cheer yourself up after these two, try Another Gay Sequel: Gays Gone Wild! as antidote. The man who gave the world Another Gay Movie, director Todd Stevens, takes the piss once again, with a spring break saga that includes evil frat boys and nasty venereal diseases (pictured above). Bring sun block—and condoms.

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