What’s Gay At The 2014 Sundance Film Festival: Murder, Marriage And George Takei

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“Stranger by the Lake”

The Sundance Film Festival starts Thursday, and sees more than 120 feature films, documentaries and shorts screening across Park City, Utah. We’ve meticulously pored through the festival’s slate to find the flicks that ping our gaydar. Find out about them now, before they hit your local cineplex—and next year’s awards shows.


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To Be Takei
Actor, producer, activist, humorist—George Takei is truly a renaissance man. Jennifer Kroot’s  charming documentary explores his life, from his childhood in a Japanese internment camp and fame on Star Trek, to his LGBT advocacy and his daily life with husband Brad Altman.


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The Skeleton Twins
In this quiet dramedy from director Craig Johnson, Bill Hader plays Milo, a gay man trying to reconcile with his estranged twin sister, Maggie (Kristin Wiig), after a family crisis forces them back together. As Maggie struggles in her marriage, Milo tracks down the English teacher with whom he shares a checkered past.



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Lilting
After the sudden death of an Asian gay man in London, his Anglo boyfriend Richard (out actor Ben Whishaw) tries to connect with his Chinese-Cambodian mother, Junn (Pei-Pei Cheng), despite a language barrier and her resistance to his presence.


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Love Is Strange
Ira Sachs follows up his acclaimed Keep The Lights On with this tale of an older gay couple (John Lithgow and Alfred Molina) in New York who find themselves without work or a home after finally tying the knot. This timely tale costars Marisa Tomei and Cheyenne Jackson.


Stranger By The Lake
Both unnerving and erotic, this gripping French thriller got a lot of buzz at Cannes, where it won the Un Certain Regard Best Director Award for Alain Guiraudie. Pierre Deladonchamps and Christophe Paou co-star as two gay men who become suspects in a murder at a lakeside cruising spot.


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Jamie Marks is Dead
High-school athlete Adam becomes fascinated with classmate Jamie Marks after the bullied boy’s body is found by the river in their sleepy little town. Is it morbid curiosity or is he falling for a dead boy?  From Ruins director Carter Smith, director of the award-winning gay short “Bugcrush.”


52 tuesdays

52 Tuesdays
A 16-year-old girl agrees to spend one day a week with her mother, who is transitioning from male to female, and confronts questions about her own identity and sexuality.  .


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Appropriate Behavior
Director Desiree Akhavan stars as Shirin a young Iranian-American woman trying to keep her conservative Persian family and her girlfriend, Maxine, in separate worlds.


The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz

The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz

Before he took his own life in 2013, pansexual Web activist Aaron Swartz helped pioneer Creative Commons and Reddit, and incurred the wrath of federal prosecutors on hacking charges. Director Brian Knappenberger (We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists) creates a fascinating portrait of a complicated young man who helped define the Internet as we know it.


dear white people

Dear White People

Touted as “a satire about being a black face in a white place,” out writer-director Justin Simien’s crowdfunded debut feature follows four African-American students at an Ivy League university.


drunktown's finest

Drunktown’s Finest

Three Navajo teens, including trans aspiring model Felixxia, are at the heart of Sydney Freeland’s debut feature—her response to a news story that characterized her hometown of Gallup, New Mexico, as “Drunktown, USA.” Robert Redford executive produces.


The Case Against 8

The Case Against 8
Filmmakers Ben Cotner and Ryan White go behind the momentous Supreme Court decision that overturned California’s ban on marriage equality, offering new insights and interviews with key figures in this historic legal battle.


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The Foxy Merkins
Down-on-her-luck hooker Margaret meets slumming rich girl Jo and the two embark on an adventure of “bargain-hunting housewives, double-dealing conservative women, husky-voiced seductresses, mumbling erotic accessory salesmen, and shopaholic swingers,” in this quirky offering from director Madeleine Olnek.


Lambert & Stamp

Lambert & Stamp
American fans of the Who can thank aspiring filmmakers Kit Lambert and business partner Chris Stamp for bringing the band stateside. James D. Cooper’s doc investigation into these very different men, and their unique relationship, sheds new light on a seminal era in rock history.


i love your work

 I Love Your Work
The new interactive documentary from filmmaker Jonathan Harris (Feel Fine) introduces viewers to a group of nine women who make amateur lesbian porn.


My Prairie Home

My Prairie Home
Trans singer/songwriter Rae Spoon, who prefers the gender-neutral pronoun “they, reflects on gender identity and religion on her one-person tour of Canada.


SUNDANCE SHORTS

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“Burger”

“Burger,“: Check in with the gay and straight denizens of a late-night hamburger joint in Cardiff, Wales.

 

“Best”: With his wedding just moments away, a man and his best friend have one last hookup.

 

Rat Pack Rat“: A woman hires a Sammy Davis Jr. impersonator to visit her terminally-ill son’s deathbed.

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“MeTube: August Sings Carmen Habanera”

MeTube: August Sings Carmen Habanera“: Drag queens, mama’s boys and others contribute to this outre homage to “Habanera” from the Bizet opera Carmen.