This year, the Long Island Gay and Lesbian Film Festival kicks off with a movie about a straight woman.
"Violet Tendencies," playing Friday night at 9:30, focuses on 40-year-old Violet (Mindy Cohn, of NBC's "The Facts of Life"), who has yet to meet Mr. Right. No wonder: Her friends are mostly gay men, whom she may have to abandon if she wants to find a straight one.
This is a gay movie? That depends on your definition. More gay and lesbian filmmakers are broadening their focus, according to festival director Steve Flynn. "A lot of the films are just enjoyable films. Being gay is just a character's trait, as opposed to the whole plot."
That said, several films will address gender identity, civil rights and other important issues. There will also be parties, receptions and a Sunday morning bagel breakfast.
"It's a very straight-friendly festival," adds Flynn. "You don't have to be gay, or even bring a gay person with you."
Here are some of the highlights:
"8: The Mormon Proposition" (Saturday, 3 p.m.)
A documentary on the church's role in convincing Californians to ban gay marriage.
Scream, Queens! (Sunday, 2:30 p.m.)
Brian Juergens, of the gay horror website CampBlood.org, offers an alternative look at the genre you thought you knew.
Charles Busch (Monday, 6:45 p.m.)
The playwright and drag performer appears in person for a screening of "Die Mommie Die!," his 2003 send-up of big-screen melodramas.
"Plan B" (Thursday, 7 p.m.)
In this Argentine drama, young Bruno wants his ex-girlfriend back so badly he considers seducing her new boyfriend. Followed by the fest's Closing Night Gala.
When: Friday through next Thursday, Nov. 18
Joe Gage: sex, lives and videotape
During the late 1970s, Joe Gage's "Kansas City Trilogy" of hard-core gay porn films featured rugged, working-class men who bore little relation to the disco dancers and social butterflies of the urban centers. Gage himself wasn't a typical gay man: He married a woman, raised a family and got divorced. A longtime Amagansett resident and still-active pornographer, the 66-year-old Gage will appear in person Sunday at 6:30 p.m. with his 1979 trilogy-capper, "L.A. Tool & Die," as part of the Long Island Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. Following are excerpts from his recent conversation with Newsday's Rafer Guzmán.
You've been called an "art-porn" director. Would you agree?
Yes, frankly, I would. I did have certain things I wanted to say about sex between men, and what was going on in America at the time. The whole disco revolution was going on, but I didn't want the film to be dated, so there were no bell-bottoms. My guys were like walking out of the Sears, Roebuck catalog, just blue-collar guys who wake up and go about their day, and do what they do, and the sex that may arise.
How did you fit into the gay community in the 1970s?
I was never accepted. I remember when we came to New York to open "Kansas City," I was going to see some friends. And a bunch of people were saying, "We're all going to the Flamingo, it's the hottest club in town." That was what the gay community was about in those days. It's the same kind of shallow thing that goes on on Logo TV, that show "The A-List: New York." That's what a certain group of heterosexuals are most comfortable with when it comes to gay people - the clowns and the court jesters.
Every parent dreads the eventual birds-and-bees talk with their kids. Was that a difficult discussion for you?
I knew that if you looked me up on the Internet, which everyone does now, I'd be busted. So I sat them down and told them: This is one of the things I'd been doing. My older son was fine about it. My younger son said, "Can I just ask you one question? Do you know Jenna Jameson?"