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Volume 34
Issue 17
 
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Tough Love Film Series to explore Queer desire in the Wild West Three Dollar Bill Cinema committed to year-round Queer film programing
Tough Love Film Series to explore Queer desire in the Wild West Three Dollar Bill Cinema committed to year-round Queer film programing
As part of Three Dollar Bill Cinema's commitment to year-round Queer film programming, we are proud to present the Tough Love Film Series.

TOUGH LOVE, a film series on Queer desire in the Wild West. Three beautifully preserved film prints will be shown at the Northwest Film Forum on Thursday nights in May. Brief introductions for each film will reveal the homoerotic subtexts, highlight Queer imagery, and share some behind-the-scenes gossip. Round up your posse and revisit these westerns that were wild long before the ride to BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN!

May 4th - JOHNNY GUITAR (1954)

A sell-out when we showed this film years ago. Not surprising when you remember the tension between the commanding Joan Crawford and her equally butch nemesis played by Mercedes McCambridge - and the sparks that fly among the men in Crawford's stable.

Her saloon doesn't make a dime, but Vienna (Crawford) doesn't care because the railroad is going to come in soon, bringing a whole slew of thirsty new customers. This puts her at odds with "tough as nails" rancher Emma Small (McCambridge), who doesn't want any new settlers on her land. Hating Vienna with a passion, Emma will do anything to drive her out of the territory...and even worse, Emma's got the law and the other ranchers on her side. Vienna brings in Johnny Guitar to help defend her property.

May 11th - RED RIVER (1948)

The classic "gun play" scene where Matt (gorgeous Montgomery Clift) and Cherry (John Ireland) stroke and admire each other's piece is reason enough to see this film on the big screen.

Director Howard Hawks' second western is considered by many critics to be one of the ten best westerns ever made. Wayne stars as headstrong frontiersman Tom Dunson, who is taking his leave of a westbound wagon train to seek his fortune in Texas. Not long afterward, Dunson discovers that his fiancee was killed in an Indian raid, and the only survivor is a young orphan named Matthew, whom Dunson unofficially adopts as his son. As the years pass, the tactiturn Dunson becomes the most powerful and feared cattle baron in the territory, but the grown-up Matt eventually rebels against Dunson's stubbornness and autocratic behavior, striking out on his own.

May 18th - LONESOME COWBOYS - (1969)

A rare opportunity to see this classic Warhol film. A funny and erotic spoof on the Western genre, with "just about as much genitalia & sexual union as I AM CURIOUS."

Warhol and Morrissey's Gay-take on the Western centers on the arrival of the "lonesome cowboys" into a small old-west town. Their arrival is not well received by the townspeople, particularly the nurse (played by a deliciously queeny Taylor Mead). At one point, the nurse runs to the Sheriff and asks for protection from a hashish-smoking, mascara-wearing cowboy with a "big bulge in his pants." Warhol and Morrissey toy with the Western genre by both heightening the blatant homoerotic physicality of the cowboys and tossing in moments in which expected gender roles are humorously undermined. One cowboy compliments another on his "sexy jacket" and butch appearance before giving him some advice on what to do with his hair. Campy scenarios and buff bods combine to make a truly Queer Western that can still only be seen on film.



A Three Dollar Bill Cinema press release

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