Now in its 15th year, Movies Under the Stars is an annual outdoor movie fundraiser for the Melbourne Queer Film Festival (MQFF), and a great opportunity to catch up with friends and some of the films you may have missed at the 2008 film festival! Held at the Fairfield Amphitheatre, Movies Under the Stars predates other outdoor cinema events (such as the Rooftop Cinema and Moonlight Cinema) and remains a unique opportunity for queer audiences.
It's got to be the only remaining cinema experience where you can still smoke (at a respectable distance away from other punters), bring your dog, pack a picnic dinner, bring your own doona, and watch great queer outdoor movies. It's also a fundraiser for the main festival, and I think folk like to come along to support it, says MQFF director Lisa Daniel.
As anyone who has attended the event in the past will know, Movies Under the Stars is a remarkable social experience.
Given that we're screening outside, and the cinematic aspects are at the mercy of the elements, I'd have to say the social element trumps the cinematic, Daniel explains. We get groups on buses from Bendigo, crowds of people who haven't seen each other since before Christmas, all coming along early with their picnics a good two hours before the films start. It's a fantastic atmosphere. Having said that it's important to screen films that people want to see.
JUST THE TWO OF US (Fri Jan 23)
Don't miss this wildly entertaining exploitation film (pictured) about a pair of lonely housewives who fall into bed together after seeing a lesbian couple holding hands at a restaurant on Sunset Boulevard! This vintage lesbian melodrama has it all: contrived dialogue, hilarious early 70s fashion design, and sets to die for (avocado shag carpet, anyone?). Whether you want to re-live the agony of being a lesbian in the 70s, get a bit of perspective on how far we've come, or just have more fun than you've had in ages this is the movie for you.
OUTING RILEY (Sat Jan 24)
This comedy charmer from director Pete Jones is back by popular demand after a successful MQFF 2008 screening. A coming out story with a difference, the film focuses on 30-something Bobby Riley, a knockabout Irish Catholic guy from Chicago who loves beer, the Chicago Cubs, his long term boyfriend, and his family only one of whom, his sister Maggie, know he's gay. Humour replaces the usual angst as Bobby struggles to come out to his brothers: pot-smoking Connor, porn-addicted Luke (Serenity's Nathan Fillion) and priest Father Jack.
SHELTER (Fri Jan 30)
Jonah Markowitz's festival favourite has picked up a swag of awards with good reason: the fledgling romance at the heart of this gently-observed drama will soften the most cynical of hearts. Zach (Trevor Wright) is a working class boy whose dreams of art school have been sacrificed so he can help support his needy sister, Jeanne, and her five year old son, Cody. Into this unhappy existence comes Shaun, the gay older brother of Zach's best friend, Gabe. Before long their mutual attraction turns to love, but when Shaun encourages Zach to start leading his own life, he's faced with a struggle to reconcile his own desires with his family's needs
ITTY BITTY TITTY COMMITTEE (Sat Jan 31)
Dumped by her girlfriend, rejected from the only college to which she applied and wearing an A-cup in a C-cup world, Anna's unhappy life is turned around when she meets Sadie, the sexy leader of radical punk-feminist group CIA (Clits in Action). Things start to go sour when the CIA discover that all of their acts have been co-opted or quickly undone: but the only people who know about their group are its members! Once the CIA becomes disenchanted they dismantle. Can Anna regain her friendships and resurrect the CIA with her brilliant idea?
An entertaining crowd-pleaser that both celebrates and pokes gentle fun at the grungy, punk-rock world it depicts. AfterEllen.com
Movies Under the Stars @ Fairfield Amphitheatre, Fairfield Park Drive, Fairfield (Melway 30/J12). Tickets $13 ($11 concession and MQFF members) at the door. Gates open at 7pm, film starts at dusk.
Refreshments available. Details: 9662 4147 or www.mqff.com.au
Source: "Starlight, starbright" by Sian Cook- The Melbourne Community Voice for Gay and Lesbian Readers. Read full article at: http://mcv.e-p.net.au/features/starlight-starbright-4744.html