As founder of CinemaQ, Sie FilmCenter chief programmer Keith Garcia (and former Westword scribe) considers the comprehensive LGBTQ film festival his baby. Back on the job at the Sie, he’s once again promoting his brainchild — now in its tenth year, running July 18 to 22.
Says Garcia: “Selecting five films from this year's bumper crop is really hard, because we already selected the top of an even bigger crop! The best way to not miss anything is to buy a CinemaQ badge and spend all this week with us. You really won't be sorry, but if I must be Sophie and make a choice, well…” Garcia’s top five not-to-miss CinemaQ screenings follow.
Saturday, July 21, 9:30 p.m.
First, all I need to say is Brazilian. Lesbian. Werewolf movie. If that doesn't make you turn your head, I'll dip further. Good Manners is one of the most fun, original, rich, female and LGBTQ stories I've seen in quite some time — a film that pulls you in with its wild premise: A woman, down on her luck, becomes a pre-nanny for a very pregnant, wealthy single mother-to-be who begins sleepwalking and developing quite a hunger for meat. But it keeps you full with a second act that becomes an engrossing celebration of motherhood and, as promised, lycanthropy. (Returns to the Sie on August 24 for a full run.)
Dykes! Camera! Action!
Friday, July 20, 7:30 p.m.
Cinematic representation of lesbians on-screen has been a long time coming, especially those actually created by female and lesbian directors. This short but chock-full doc chronicles the start of this visibility and showcases the many, many women who had a hand in changing the narrow focus of film that came before them, as well as the state of the lesbian in cinema today. (Spoiler: Representation these days is great but can still be better.)
Wild Nights With Emily
Saturday, July 21, 7:30 p.m.
Say the name "Emily Dickinson" and many think of a great poet who lived a quiet, spinsterly life, frail as a piece of lace and about as warm as one, too. What many don't know is that the real Emily was irreverent, lively and carried on a lifelong romantic relationship with another woman (who would become her sister-in-law). How best to bring this new side of Dickinson to the big screen? Pick one of the most irreverent and lively actresses around to play her: Molly Shannon. Wild Nights With Emily sparkles with its dialogue and the sheer joy of getting to see the softer side of a legend, but with Shannon's performance behind the wheel, the whole thing pops like a firecracker.
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50 Years of Fabulous
Sunday, July 22, 4 p.m.
Colorado is lucky enough to be home to the Imperial Court of the Rocky Mountain Empire, a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the LGBTQ community for decades, with a regal use of drag to upend gender and social politics along the way. But before Colorado's branch could emerge, there was the original Imperial Court born out of the gay epicenter of San Francisco some fifty years ago. This intimate documentary tells the tale of the Imperial Court's origin and how it built a legacy on a simple set of revolutionary values and goals. The screening will feature the film's director and producer along with members of our local Imperial Court in person.
Saturday, July 21, 7 p.m.
The meteoric life and shocking sudden death of famed fashion revolutionary Alexander McQueen is put on display in this expansive and heartbreaking documentary that shows how a shy, chubby kid from East London, brimming with originality and natural talent, would become one of the greatest names to turn fashion on its head. It's that household name that disappears among the tons of home videos and honest and intimate interviews with the many friends and family floating in McQueen's atmosphere, who only refer to him by his given name, Lee. The tale of how young Lee went from his eye-opening debut runway show — funded mostly by his welfare checks — to become the youngest creative director in Givenchy's storied history and become Alexander McQueen, one of the biggest names on any fashionista's lips. This screening will be followed by a high-fashion dance party in our lobby complete with dessert and a runway show. Leave McQueen, and the film's ending, on a high note.
CinemaQ opens on Wednesday, July 18, and runs through Sunday, July 22, at the Sie FilmCenter, 2510 East Colfax Avenue. Find a complete schedule and tickets ($70 to $85 full festival pass, $20 to $25 special events/screenings and $10 to $12 individual screenings) at denverfilm.org.