Archive for the ‘Transgender’ Category

qFLIX Philadelphia 2018

March 8, 2018

Program line-up just announced for qFLIX Philadelphia 2018: The LGBTQ+ Film Festival on March 19-25, 2018.

Lots of hopeful films including many pansexual/fluid entries coming to the festival this year. Reel Charlie’s go-to list starts here:

HELLO AGAIN directed by Tom Gustafson
HIDDEN KISSES directed by Didier Bivel
A SKIN SO SOFT directed by Denis Côté
FOAM PARTY! directed by Roberto Pérez Toledo
BETWEEN THE SHADES directed by Jill Salvino
STILL WAITING IN THE WINGS directed by Q. Allan Brocka
THE FEELS directed by Jenée LaMarque
AFTER LOUIE directed by Director Vincent Gagliostro

See the complete program at qFLIX.


Gender Revolution: A Journey with Katie Couric

February 14, 2018

I believe the documentary Gender Revolution came about after Katie Couric was slammed by transgender advocates for spending too much time asking about genitals during an interview with Laverne Cox and Janet Mock. I’m remembering this which can be dangerous. So if that’s not how this project came about, you can tell me I didn’t do my homework and I’ll happily edit the post. Meanwhile, I found Gender Revolution to be an easy-to-digest, sensible, and accessible documentary for the general public. That’s a good thing. If you’re unfamiliar or confused by the terms intersex, cisgender, or any other word relating to gender, add this to your to-watch queue. The documentary is an eye-opening look at gender beginning with intersex people and moving into the transgender experience with all its iterations. There are doctors, scientists, parents and college students discussing how the western world is evolving and how our awareness is vital to the safety and happiness of our intersex, trans, and gender variant family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. 3.5 out of 5 for this clear examination of the complexities of gender.

See the Gender Revolution companion page on National Geographic.

The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin

December 27, 2017

The 2017 Armistead Maupin train continues rolling through, this time with Maupin’s documentary based on his incredible life. I have to say his memoir earlier this year didn’t wow me as I hoped it would. Perhaps I prefer the fiction writer Maupin to the memoirist. Whatever, I worried I’d never quite feel the same again. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the book, I just didn’t consume it like a perfect bowl of ice cream. Well worry no more. The documentary, The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin had me smiling proud and weeping uncontrollably over the life of one of my heroes. Told in chapters like the Tales books, Maupin’s life is revealed by himself, his husband Christopher and a trove of intimates – Maupin’s own logical family including his sister Jane, Laura Linney, Olympia Dukakis, Ian McKellan, Amy Tan, Neil Gaiman, and of course San Francisco herself. One of my issues with Maupin’s memoir, Logical Family stemmed from too little about his relationships with Turner (his husband) and Terry Anderson (his former partner). I thought perhaps it was too personal, but the documentary covers both including quite a bit of talking head from husband Chris Turner. I loved it. I want to go back now and read the last three Tales books in preparation for the new Netflix series scheduled for 2018. 4 out of 5 for the delicious documentary, The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin.

Watch Sir Ian McKellan read Maupin’s perfect coming out letter, Dear Mama from his Tales of the City.


Transgender Day of Remembrance

November 20, 2017

Reel Charlie observes Transgender Day of Remembrance. My fellow Ts in the LGBTQ movement may have more visibility, but they still experience discrimination and violence at alarming rates. Transgender violence and death has reached epidemic proportions this year. Today we remember with reflection and commitment for the future.

Browse Reel Charlie’s posts on the Transgender category.

The Fosters: Season 5

October 19, 2017

The Fosters keeps getting better. Hard to believe the kids are so grown up after only five years. Stef and Lena continue to navigate parenting with a home full of teenagers. Each child has their own life, friends, loves, hopes, dreams. Side stories with the legal parents, birth parents, foster parents. It can seem like a lot, but it’s life and love and creators Peter Paige and Bradley Bredeweg do such a great job. I look forward to a new season each year. 4 out of 5 for this heartwarming family drama from Free Form.

The Death And Life Of Marsha P. Johnson

October 15, 2017

David France’s (How to Survive a Plague) sophomore documentary effort, The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson creates an essential conversation. Unfortunately the film meanders in unknown directions. Too bad because the focus of trans people of color, disenfranchised and destitute warrants examination and solutions. How do marginalized people travel in the world? How do we help others out of poverty, homelessness, and a myriad of other issues which keep them stuck in a bad place? How do we empower people while honoring their individuality? France covers all of that. But the focus on the film vacillates between an amateur sleuth story of Johnson’s friend Patricia trying desperately to uncover the truth of her friend’s death, a modern story of a trans woman’s murder, and the chaotic world of Marsha’s friend, Sylvia Rivera. Not sure how a film that features a person’s name can become so convoluted during editing. Watching it proved frustrating knowing that a better focused film would have brought the viewer into a world which desperately needs our respect and support. 3 out of 5 for the film.

Find out more about transgender issues and how you can help:
National Center for Transgender Equality 
Sylvia Rivera Law Project

Transparent: Season 4

October 1, 2017

“Sleep and I shall soothe you, calm you and anoint you…”

Who knew the Pfeffermans were as obsessed with Jesus Christ Superstar as I was when I was a little boy. And they remember the words to the songs after all these years. Even Maura’s sister! Such a magnificent and glorious television series Transparent continues to be. Is this the most loving, dysfunctional family you’ve ever met? Does yours rival them? Mine sure doesn’t. Which is probably why I love watching them tick. This season the family connects with their spiritual and social roots on a trip to Israel. Every one comes together and then proceeds to find their own corner and take some time out to contemplate life: Josh at meetings, Sarah with Len, Ali at the farm, and Maura and Shelly meditating in the midst of the chaos. The only logical family member of Maura’s who gets any back story time this season is the luminous Davina, my favorite non-Pfefferman. We dig deeper into Davina’s past to find her vulnerabilities. I love Davina even more after this season. She is the heart, soul, and calm of the show. Alexandra Billings brings nuance and wisdom to the role. Can’t say enough how much I adore Transparent. 5 out of 5 for this family ensemble.

NewFest 2017

September 29, 2017

Metro NYC peeps: NewFest 2017
The 29th Annual New York LGBT Film Festival

Thursday October 19 – Tuesday October 24

NewFest will be celebrating its 29th annual New York LGBT Film Festival from October 19th – 24th, 2017. The six-day festival will feature over 100 films, panels, and parties that reflect the LGBT experience.

Reel Charlie’s looking forward to:
100 Men
Hot to Trot
My Wonderful West Berlin
One Last Thing

3 Generations

September 10, 2017

Heard some buzz about the film, 3 Generations – a trans coming out story centered around a 16 year-old biological girl who wants to transition to a boy. Starring Elle Fanning as FTM Ray, Naomi Watts as his single mother, and Susan Sarandon as his lesbian grandmother, the casting is certainly strong. There were some obvious choices made in the film which didn’t excite me, but they were balanced with several thoughtful pieces of writing which made the film worth watching especially for anyone looking to explore the trans community through a non-exploitative lens. This isn’t a documentary and there are no trans actors in sight, but what the director and cast do with the material is decent and respectful. 3.5 out of 5 for 3 Generations.

The 20 Best LGBTQ Movies of the 21st Century (Indiewire)

September 5, 2017

From Indiewire,

“Moonlight.” “The Handmaiden.” “Carol.” The last few years have not only brought LGBTQ films and stories further into the mainstream, but queer films have dominated awards seasons and found commercial success. This has been a long time coming: The New Queer Cinema was a major influence on the indie film boom of the ’90s, and set the bar high for the many queer films to follow.

From the list of 20, Reel Charlie favorites include,

Far From Heaven
I Killed My Mother
The Kids Are All Right
Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Stranger by the Lake

Click on the film titles above to read Reel Charlie’s reviews.
Read Reel Charlie’s Best Gay Films 2010 – 2015.
See the complete list at Indiewire.

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