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April 6, 2007
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Volume 35
Issue 14
 
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Retro film fare: Three Dollar Bill Cinema to presents controversial Queer films of the 50s
Retro film fare: Three Dollar Bill Cinema to presents controversial Queer films of the 50s
These rarely-seen films, some on newly restored 35mm prints, tackled Queer themes like none before, as filmmakers began to challenge the enforced morality of the time by addressing off-limits subjects. From polite lessons in socially acceptable behavior to vicious (and homoerotic) scenes of life behind bars, these taboo-breaking films demand attention.

Erotic, poignant, and occasionally camp - the range of films presented in the SCANDALOUS series are emblematic of their time, yet remain entertaining and relevant today.

"These are important films for anyone wanting to appreciate Queer film history, but also just fun to watch," says Plourde. "We're thrilled to provide a rare opportunity to see them on the big screen, looking as good as they did 50 years ago."

The three-part series begins on Thursday, April 12 with Vincente Minnelli's colorful and gorgeously shot classic, TEA AND SYMPATHY (1956).
The story centers on Tom (John Kerr), a sensitive outsider at an all-boys prep school who struggles to prove his "manhood" and receives some unexpected help from the headmaster's wife (Deborah Kerr). Three Dollar Bill Cinema Programming Director Jason Plourde points out that "while on the surface the film is about changing Tom to be 'less Gay,' it also exposes the masculine facade that other male characters erect to hide their emotional and homoerotic tendencies. It's a fascinating and beautiful film."

The series continues Thursday, April 19 with the multiple Oscar-nominated film, CAGED (1950).
An innocent young girl learns how to survive women's prison the hard way under the iron fist of a cruel matron. Agnes Moorehead (Bewitched), Eleanor Parker (THE SOUND OF MUSIC) and the ultra-imposing Hope Emerson star in this outrageous noir classic. Three Dollar Bill Cinema Executive Director Rachael Brister adds, "One of the very first (and still considered one of the best) women-in-prison films, CAGED is both classic campy fun and an expertly directed film noir thriller that never disappoints."

The last part of the series presents a rare collection of short films by both Jean Genet and Kenneth Anger on Thursday, April 26.
Each of these renowned artists were cinematic pioneers in bringing explicit Gay imagery to the screen. UN CHANT D'AMOUR (1950), Genet's stunning silent film which was banned for decades, depicts graphic fantasies inside a men's prison. Anger's films feature bold Gay archetypes and use songs in a way that became the standard for films and music videos to follow. Anger shorts include the classic FIREWORKS (1947), and SCORPIO RISING (1964), as well as the world premiere of his latest work, ELLIOTT'S SUICIDE.

All films on Thursday evenings, starting at 7:00 pm at the Northwest Film Forum. The Northwest Film Forum, is located at 1515 12th Avenue (between Pike and Pine Streets on Capitol Hill).

Tickets are $10, and $9 for Three Dollar Bill Cinema members. A series pass for all three programs is only $25. For more information and to purchase tickets, go to www.seattleQueerfilm.org.

A Three Dollar Bill press release

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