A trend of transgender movies
A feast of transgender and intersex films are highlighted at the Austin Gay and Lesbian International Film Festival
AMERICAN-STATESMAN FILM WRITER
Friday, August 29, 2008
Do nine transgender and intersex films make a trend? They do if they're all playing during the Austin Gay and Lesbian International Film Festival, Wednesday through Sept. 7.
Films about transgender characters are not as rare as you might think. A raft of contemporary features — 'The Crying Game,' 'Boys Don't Cry,' 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch,' 'Transamerica,' to name a few — dealt seriously with the issue. At least two entire film festivals — in Seattle and the Netherlands — are devoted to transgender-themed movies.
And now this bounty at Austin's running-strong gay and lesbian film celebration, movies that walk the tricky line between gender identification, be it physical, psychological, or both. All films screen at the Alamo Ritz. Find more information about each title at www.agliff.org.
'Manuela y Manuel' (5 p.m. Wednesday) — The star of this Puerto Rican feature is the transgender Manuela, a drag-queen performer who finds herself in a heap of difficulties, including having to pose as the father of her best friend's child.
'Trinidad' (8 p.m. Thursday) — An intimate look at three transgender women's lives in the rural burgh of Trinidad, Colo., the unofficial 'sex change capital of the world.' By Austin filmmakers PJ Raval and Jay Hodges.
'Like a Virgin' (8 p.m. Sept. 5 on two screens) — This mainstream South Korean hit blends pathos and comedy to etch a portrait of a fat, Madonna-adoring teenager who's trying to save money for a sex-change operation. Hilarity and heartache follow.
'XXY' (3 p.m. Sept. 7) — Born with an extra chromosome, Alex is an intersex teenager who was raised female in this popular coming-of-age drama from Argentina. Parents, romance, plastic surgery ... And you thought your teen years were tough.
These shorts are part of the Gender Queer Shorts program at 2:30 p.m. Sept. 7:
'Tranny McGuyver' — A trio of rookie cops creates a circus of winky satire.
'Clouded' —A young boy's journey to self-discovery hits dramatic familial hurdles.
'Simply Love' — A woman in Austria looks for a former lover, who is now a woman. Love really is blind in this 50-minute documentary.
'Diva'— Paris isn't always so lovely, as Vincent, in a blinding magenta dress, learns painfully.
'I, I and We' — Surreal identity games on the New York subway. — Chris Garcia