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By the looks of things, October’s becoming something of a de facto Queer Film Month in New York City. Which is way cool, we’re always happy to see queer goings-on about town beyond Pride Month. And whether you’re a connoisseur of all things old and aging well, or live solely to soak up ever-refreshing nowness, we’ve got a couple of events that offer a slew of opportunities to attend LGBT movie happenings.


NewFest: New York’s LGBT Film Festival
Thursday, Oct. 22 through Tuesday, Oct. 27 at Bow Tie Cinemas (Chelsea) and the LGBT Community Center (West Village): tickets for individual screenings, $12 – $20 each
This film fest officially reaches rock-star old age this year in its 27th annual iteration. I can remember a time not long ago when LGBT films were relegated to a tiny, separate and definitely not equal section at my local video store under the awkward subset “Lifestyles.” Not only has queer cinema begun to blur into the mainstream, it’s expanded and is attracting a bigger audience than ever. This year NewFest is screening close to 100 of the “year’s best LGBT films from around the world” including documentaries, narratives features, and shorts.

The fest actually offers a great opportunity to see films (particularly international ones) that might not have access to traditional distribution channels or could be outright censored altogether. For example Peter Greenaway’s latest film, Eisenstein in Guanajuato, which premiered at the Berlin International film Festival earlier this year and so far has only be released in Finland.

The film offers an embellished and sensationalized take on the life of Sergei Eisenstein, known for making silent films that were epic, experimental takes on Russian history and for pushing well beyond the existing boundaries of a still-fresh medium. The brilliant, highly influential filmmaker was the first to use montage and his work, made during a time when Soviet art was exploding with experimentalism, is actually still watchable. Eisenstein was also apparently a closeted gay man, and Greenaway– ever the taker of extreme liberties when it comes to historical accuracy– takes the opportunity of the filmmaker’s trip to Mexico to imagine for Eisenstein a sexual awakening.

Though the film is rife with historical inaccuracies, critics have fawned over its stylistic qualities, and Greenaway’s no-holds-barred depiction of sexuality could make it hard for the film to get out there in the States. (One sexy scene involving olive oil and Eisenstein losing his virginity at the age of 33 “makes ‘Last Tango in Paris’ seem tame by comparison,” per one critic.) You can catch this film on opening night and get into the opening night party for $40.

The fest’s “centerpiece” film is Carol, starring inimitable goddess Cate Blanchett alongside Rooney Mara who tied for the best actress award at Cannes for her performance as a young photographer who falls in love with a much older married woman played by Blanchett. The story is set in New York City in the 1950s, hardly an accepting place for lesbian romance. Carol is based on The Price of Salt, a semi-memoir novel by Patricia Highsmith– best known for her suspenseful crime thrillers, five of which star Tom Ripley (played by Matt Damon in a rather awesome film adaptation, The Talented Mr. Ripley).

Check out the full line up of films here.

Man in Man II: More Gay Porn Classics From Hand in Hand Studios
Now through Thursday Oct. 29 at Spectacle Theater: $5 at the door per screening
As you may know Williamsburg’s coolest lil’ theater that could is getting mighty close to their Kickstarter goal and tbh we’re really rooting for them. I mean where else can you see stuff like this? Throughout the month of October, Spectacle is taking on their second series of gay porn classics with a focus on Hand in Hand Studios, a production company that made some seriously out-there man-on-man porn films in the ’70s.

In keeping with Spectober’s theme of weird, creepy, bizzaro films, these gay porn films dabble in the occult and exhibit some seriously arty, avant-garde tendencies rarely seen in porn and erotica. We’re heavy into The Destroying Angel — which Spectacle describes as “more horror than porn” in its reconfiguration of an Edgar Allen Poe short story, though with um… some seriously imaginative interpretations. The basic premise is that a Catholic Priest embarks on a “sexy/deadly” mushroom trip where he’s stalked by his doppelganger.

We’re also quite taken with the scenes we’ve glimpsed from The Night Before (see trailer above), a mesmerizingly beautiful film that apparently starts out pretty predictably for a porn, there’s even something of a narrative. But eventually things devolve into the realm of the fantastically weird. Look out for a scene where a dildo disappears into someone’s butt only to pop out of their mouth. We’re guessing you won’t be able to miss that one easily.