Holiday House

An English teen arrives with his mother at their holiday house in a French village in Departure directed by Andrew Steggall (UK) 2015.

holidayhouse

Elliot soon notices Clément, a handsome, slightly older Parisian, who is living there with his aunt. The two become friends despite their differing sexual orientations.

While Elliot openly declares his love for Clément, Clément replies, I like you; I don’t love you.

The setting is stunning and the relationship of the two young men plays against family complications for each of them.

Departure is available 7 March 2017 in the U.S. and Canada via Wolfe Video on DVD / VOD: across all digital platforms including iTunes, Vimeo On Demand, and WolfeOnDemand.com, and will be on DVD via Wolfe Video and many major retailers.

Contact Wolfe Video for more information and online purchases.

copyright © 2017 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

http://www.nikosdiaman.com

Young Love

Akron directed by Sasha King and Brian O’Donnell (USA) 2015 is an American love story set in Ohio.

akron

Two college freshmen, one Anglo, the other Latino, develop a close relationship over time. Their parents are surprisingly supportive initially but the shadow of a tragic incident in the past threatens to tear them apart.

This was one of my favorite dramatic features during last year’s Frameline Film Festival in San Francisco.

Akron is available 7 February 2017 in the U.S. via Wolfe Video on DVD / VOD: across all digital platforms including iTunes, Vimeo On Demand, and WolfeOnDemand.com, and will be on DVD via Wolfe Video and many major retailers.

Contact Wolfe Video for more information and online purchases.

copyright © 2017 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

http://www.nikosdiaman.com

Sixth Floor

Me, Myself, And Her directed by Maria Sole Tognazzi (Italy) 2015 is an elegant, sophisticated work about two career women with differing views of sexual identity.

sixthfloor

It begins with a christening, one of many family-oriented events that run throughout the film. What seems to be a stable, ideal love relationship slowly unravels.

This excellent, dramatic feature screened earlier this year at Frameline 40, the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival.

Now it’s available on DVD and VOD via Wolfe Video across all digital platforms including iTunes, Vimeo On Demand, WolfeOnDemand.com, and many major retailers, just in time for the holiday season. Contact Wolfe Video for more information.

copyright © 2016 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

www.nikosdiaman.com

Getting Out

Fire Song directed by Adam Garnet Jones (USA) 2016 is set in a remote indigenous Northern Canadian community.

gettingout

Daily life is difficult in this depressed and poor village. Shane is the principal character who struggles to deal with economic hardship, highly charged family issues, but also in affirming his sexual identity.

His dream is to make a better future for himself by going down to university in Toronto and taking his boyfriend with him.

However, the suicide of his sister and the depression of his mother make this move difficult. And the money left by his father may not be available for him.

Fire Song is now available in the U.S. via Wolfe Video on DVD / VOD: across all digital platforms including iTunes, Vimeo On Demand, and WolfeOnDemand.com, and will be on DVD via Wolfe Video and many major retailers.

Contact Wolfe Video for more information and online purchases.

copyright © 2016 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

www.nikosdiaman.com

Gay Phoenix

When We Rise: My Life In The Movement by Cleve Jones is due late November from Hachette Books.

gayphoenix

The title suggests the mythical bird reborn from the ashes and the forthcoming memoir definitely reflects that.

Its author, Cleve Jones, first came to San Francisco from Arizona in 1972, the year I returned to the city from the East Coast. We met in the early 70s and I remember attending a party he and his roommate, Eric Garbor, hosted when we lived half a block from one another on Castro Street.

He’s long been a highly visible member of the community and a prominent activist for over four decades.

The book traces the trajectory of his life beginning with a low point. His experiences at school were so hellish that he was considering suicide during his early teens. He overcame despair after he began working for social change and discovered he was not alone in the world.

Cleve was especially active during the bleakest period of the AIDS-HIV pandemic. He was the founder of the Names Project that created a public memorial for thousands of individuals who died of the disease. The ever-growing quilt was displayed widely both in the US and beyond, helping to mobilize government agencies to fund studies and speed up treatment options.

The movement for social justice not only gave meaning to his life but also provided him with employment over the years. He worked in politics and is presently engaged in labor advocacy.

He was mentored by Harvey Milk and encouraged the development and eventual production of Milk, the narrative film about Harvey directed by Gus Van Sant in 2008.

Earlier this year Dustin Lance Black, the screenwriter of Milk, teamed up again with Van Sant to produce an ABC miniseries partly inspired by the manuscript of When We Rise.

The memoir allowed me to fill in some of the details of Cleve’s life story and will undoubtedly inspire present and future generations of women and men to positive action.

copyright © 2016 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved.

http://www.nikosdiaman.com

Between The Sheets

A casual encounter may lead to surprising consequences.

betweenthesheets

Weekend directed by Andrew Haigh (UK) 2011 opens with Russell in the bath in preparing for a night out. He arrives late at a house party hosted by straight friends and is soon caught up in the celebration. Already intoxicated when he leaves.

But instead of going home he heads to a gay disco in search of a hookup. His attention is focused on a man seated at the bar who he follows to the men’s room but looses sight of on the way out. Consequently willing to settle for a different man who’s attracted to him.

The next morning Russell prepares coffee for himself and his trick. What occurred in the dark is evidently somewhat of a blur to Russell and the audience as well. When he opens the bedroom door the man he came home with is revealed.

His sexual partner Glen holds a small recorder demanding that Russell talk about what led up to their meeting and the follow up but Russell isn’t interested in opening up. When he asks why, Glen says it’s part of an art project he’s working on.

The two men spend 48 challenging, playful, passionate hours together. They share more than sex. Learning quite a bit about each other in the process. Agreeing about some things but also expressing opposing views about relationships and  life goals.

Both Russell and Glen are impacted by their time spent together.

Weekend is available in Blu-Ray and DVD from The Critereon Collection.

copyright © 2016 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved.

www.nikosdiaman.com

Brooklyn Boys

Little Men directed by Ira Sachs (USA) 2016 premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

brooklynboys

It follows the developing relationship of two young boys in a Brooklyn neighborhood as well as the increasingly difficult interactions between their parents. While their own world revolves around shared creative interests, academic responsibilities, and play, the adults must deal with the hard economic realities dominating many American cities.

Money and real estate in a changing residential area are the major obstacles dividing the adults. However it’s not a simple matter of greed and heartless property owners taking advantage of less fortunate individuals. Sachs and co-writer Mauricio Zacharias present a more nuanced situation and sensitive treatment of the entire development.

Jake, a somewhat shy boy with artistic potential, and Tony, an outgoing boy who dreams of becoming an actor, are very real. As are Jake’s parents: Michael, a struggling actor, and Kathy, a working psychotherapist. Also Tony’s mother Leonor, a dressmaker being priced-out of her longtime shop.

New York City, where director Sachs lives with his husband and their two daughters, is beautifully captured

The film opened today at Elinor Bunin Monroe Film Center and IFC Center 5, New York. Additional opening dates this month include: 12 August 2016 at Royal, Los Angeles; Clay Theatre, San Francisco and Avalon 2, Washington. 19 August 2016 at Sundance Cinemas, Seattle and Camelview at Fashion Square, Scottsdale. 26 August 2016 at Century Centre Cinema, Chicago; Angelika Film Center, Dallas; and CCA Cinematheque, Santa Fe.

copyright © 2016 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved.

www.nikosdiaman.com

Hollywood Closet

For much of its history, the Hollywood film industry manufactured and marketed an illusion.

hollywood closet

Movies celebrated young, white, heterosexuals of Northern European ancestry. Ethnically and sexually diverse peoples remained hidden.

The Hayes Code and the excesses of Cold War paranoia silenced dissenting voices. However, this seems to be quickly changing in keeping with significant progress in society as a whole.

Women He’s Undressed directed by Gillian Armstrong (Australia) 2015 documents the long career of costume designer Orry George Kelly (1897-1964), a three-time Oscar winner. He was born in a small town in Australia but soon moved to the United States, first working in New York before settling in Southern California.

Kelly’s work as a designer was praised while his sexual orientation was often mocked. His friendship with the wife of studio executive Jack Warner probably helped keep him employed at a time when gay and lesbian actors were forced to choose between job and personal relationship.

Women He’s Undressed, which screened at Frameline 40, is now available from Wolfe Video.

copyright © 2016 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved.

www.nikosdiaman.com

Fame & Shame

Stardom is intoxicating for performers but may quickly turn from blessing to curse for those unprepared for its unanticipated consequences. It is especially problematic when public image and private reality are at odds.

fame&shame

The packaging and promotion of individuals is a way of monetizing talent. However I find it sad to see people transformed into products. I think the cost to the human spirit of such ventures is not worth the potential damage.

Strike A Pose directed by Ester Gould and Reijeer Zwaan (Netherlands/Belgium) 2016, recently showcased at Frameline 40, looks into the highs and lows of seven dancers who performed with Madonna. They were highly visible during the 1990 Blond Ambition tour but were left adrift after it ended.

The 1991 film Truth Or Dare, was supposed to be a personally revealing behind-the-scenes documentary showing the singer personally interacting with her dancers. The sexual orientation of the young men was publicly exposed during a time when AIDS-HIV was a frightening specter and homosexuality widely condemned in mainstream culture.

Strike A Pose is a beautiful exploration of a multi-layered story that looks at both the remarkable promise of youthful artists and the more difficult phase of their lives as they approach middle age. Secrets are reluctantly shared and the warmth of friendship is rekindled, at least momentarily.

copyright © 2016 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved.

http://www.nikosdiaman.com

San Francisco Treat

Pushing Dead directed by Tom E. Brown (USA) 2015 was showcased at recently concluded Frameline 40 and one of my favorite films at the festival.

sanfranciscotreat

Dan is the bouncer of a neighborhood bar who’s HIV positive and unable to get his meds refilled, while his co-worker Bob is thrown out by his wife and in need of a place to stay.

The two men hang out together and help each other through an unexpected rough period in their lives. This gentle comedy is infused with love and compassion.

Dan’s roommate Paula and Bob’s wife Dot are important characters in the story but their roles are secondary. And the San Francisco setting is understated as well.

James Roday, local celeb Danny Glover, Robin Weigert, and Khandi Alexander work well together in the ensemble cast.

Look out for this cinematic gem!

copyright © 2016 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved.

www.nikosdiaman.com