Ah, June is almost over which means that Pride is over and fireworks will soon be polluting the sky. The pomp and circumstance of Pride does not interest me, so my participation is limited to watching parades from the sidelines and going to see movies at the queer film festival, and Frameline 31 screens hundreds of films throughout the Bay Area for two weeks each June.
Itty Bitty Titty Committee was the closing night film I attended. Producer Andrea Sperling won the 2007 Frameline Award which was presented before the movie started with a far too long retrospective followed by a few speeches.
Sperling's wife, Jamie Babbit, is the director of Itty Bitty Titty Committee and was also in the audience to introduce the film. IBTC is a look at a feminist radical group fueled by a soundtrack of all your favorite Riot Grrrl bands. It's a fun film with some fantastical moments at the end that were only forgotten by the making out montage closing the film. If you don't take the film too seriously, it is easy to enjoy. The acting and production values are better than many films with bigger budgets. (Watch the trailer on YouTube.)
A few members of the cast and crew answered questions after the film, including Nicole Vicius, who played Sadie the worst-girlfriend-ever; Daniela Sea, who got the most applause, not for her character Calvin, but for her part on The L Word; and Guinevere Turner, who had a glorified cameo as a reporter. Babbit fielded most of the questions. One audience member was concerned about the excessive smoking by the characters in the film. There is a campaign to keep smoking out of the queer community that is building steam. I've seen posters on the sides of Muni buses in the city. Babbit, a non-smoker, said that the entire cast smoked which contributed, but smoking by twenty-something members of a radical group is not uncommon.
Audience Award Winner, Vier Minuten (Four Minutes), was the stand out of the three showings I attended at Frameline. A story of a piano teacher at a women's prison in Germany as she connects with a jailed prodigy. The film weaved glimpses of the present with Nazi activity in the same prison during WWII. The piano teacher was the common link between the two eras. It's a beautiful story about the relationship between these two very different women. I forgot to vote, so I'm really glad this film won the Audience Award.
The Look of Love was the title of the shorts program at the Roxie described as a "collection of shorts highlight[ing] the ups and downs of searching for love." The shorts ranged from okay to bad to awful. Licorice, Last Exit, Running Home, and Jo FM were the highlights.
It's always potluck when selecting films at Frameline. You have to purchase tickets in advance for most films, and usually, there is very little known about the film. I really happy with my choices this year, and I recommend both full-length features.