Southern Comfort

I fully support building bridges to bring people together rather than constructing walls that divide one group from another. I believe diversity is a strength and am disturbed by those unwilling to venture beyond their narrow circle of like-minded individuals.

southerncomfort

In 2017 the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus toured five homophobic states. It was a brave effort sensibly organized. They traveled to the South with open hearts, offering joyful and healing music to all willing to receive it.

Gay Chorus Deep South directed by David Charles Rodriguez (USA) 2019 is a documentary about that amazing tour and watching it I was often moved to tears.

The film includes several relevant personal stories as well as the reactions of people who attended performances. While most of the songs were traditional religious numbers, only one church agreed to host a concert.

Gay Chorus Deep South opens today for a limited theatrical engagement at the Roxie Theater in San Francisco.

copyright © 2019 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

www.nikosdiaman.com/

Arab Films

Saturday 12 October 2019 at 8:30 PM the 23rd San Francisco Arab Film Festival will screen Queer Lens at the Roxie Theater, 3117 16th Street, between Valencia and Guerrero.

arabfilms

The two-hour program of films by and about queer Arabs consists of four shorts and one medium length narrative film.

Brothers directed by Mike Mosallam (USA) 2018, Of A Dancer directed by Georges Hazim (Lebanon) 2018, Dearborn Ash by Hena Ashraf (USA) 2018, Marco directed by Saleem Haddad (UK) 2019, and Label Me directed by Kai Kreuser (Germany) 2019.

For more information and tickets contact Arab Film And Media Institute.

copyright © 2019 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

www.nikosdiaman.com

History Tour

In 1989 I was impressed by the extensive LGBT exhibition at the 42nd Street New York Public Library, which included several items related to organizations or projects I was involved with nearly two decades earlier.

Returning thirty years later I felt very removed from three Stonewall 50 exhibits I visited at Leslie-Loman Gallery, New York Public Library, and New York Historical Society Museum. Having returned to San Francisco nearly half a century ago, my East Coast ties are now in the distant past.

historytour

We Are Everywhere by Matthew Riemer and Leighton Brown published 2019 by Ten Speed Press covers more than a century of LGBTQ activism in the US. The huge collection of photos immediately drew my attention. More than a few are of people I know or knew starting with the one of Marsha P. Johnson on the front cover.

Reading the four-part history was a more demanding experience. I felt I was in a queer studies class. Interested in new material, impatient to get through the parts I already knew, and saddened by the reoccurring instances of infighting and acrimony documented. This isn’t unique to our struggle by any means.

I recommend We Are Everywhere for anyone wanting to learn about the setbacks and progress of queer liberation in the US, in a book profusely illustrated with images of individuals associated with that struggle.

copyright © 2019 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

www.nikosdiaman.com

SFIFF 61

The 2018 San Francisco International Film Festival takes place 4 – 17 April 2018.

sfiff61

Venues this year include the Castro Theatre, Dolby Cinema, Roxie Theater, SFMOMA, Victoria Theatre, and YBCA in San Francisco; BAMPFA in Berkeley; and Grand Lake Theater in Oakland.

Four LGBTQI films to look out for are: Alex Strangelove, How To Talk To Girls At Parties, The Miseducation Of Cameron Post, and My Life With James Dean.

For more information and tickets contact San Francisco Film Society.

copyright © 2018 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

www.nikosdiaman.com

Music Icon

Chavela Vargas (1919 – 2012) was a well-known Mexican, nightclub singer who had affairs with the wives of numerous politicians.

musicicon

Her tequila-fueled songs were distillations of life’s pains in general and the agonizing aspects of romantic love in particular. She undoubtedly drew on her own misery for her dramatic performances in Acapulco.

She retired after a quarter of a century and her fame faded over time.

Chavela, the documentary directed by Catherine Gund and Daresha Kyi, (USA) 2017, began with a video interview of the vocalist made during the 80s. It includes not only historical footage but also a large collection of photos provided by the woman who was her lawyer and long-time companion.

Film director Pedro Almodovar arranged for a concert in Spain in the 90s, and eventually a booking at the Olympia Theater in Paris, relaunching her career’

Despite her initial fear of performing sober, she reached an entirely new audience during her final years.

Chavela played initially to a packed audience at the Castro Theatre and screened again at the Landmark Theatres Piedmont during Frameline 41.

It won the audience award for best documentary at the festival.

Contact Frameline for more information.

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

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