Q-Fest at Proctors

The trailer for The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.

By Liz Clancy Lerner

Q-Fest, Proctors' LGBTQ film festival, begins tonight.

If you're thinking about going, but can't figure out which movie(s) you want to see, we've got the synopses and reviews below. There's a whole range of films -- from serious activist documentaries, to the campy ABBA-soundtracked films...

The campy cult classic The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert will play tonight at 7:30pm. Priscilla is about a two drag queens and a transexual who travel by bus (named Priscilla) from Sydney to a cabaret engagement in the Australian outback. Along with the viewing of the film, an Opening Night celebration will be held featuring the Capital Pride Singers.

The regional premiere of Bullied will play on Thursday night at 7:30pm. Bullied is a documentary that chronicles one students ordeal at the hands of anti-gay bullies. A special panel discussion by the Pride Center of the Capital Region on bullying prevention and discussion will also be held that night.

Another regional premiere, March On!, will take place during the festival. March On! tells the story of the Equality Movement through the lives of five families. It plays on Friday at 7:30pm.

A Jihad for Love plays at 4 pm on Saturday. Here's what New York Magazine's Sara Cardace says about the film: "Ignore the silly title. Parvez Sharma's brave documentary about homosexuality in the Muslim world presents a brutally honest, eye-opening look at gay and lesbian individuals who continue to practice their religion, despite its blunt, often violent rejection of their orientation."

James Franco stars in Howl, a docudrama about beat poet Allen Ginsberg at 6pm on Saturday. Film critic Andrew O'Hehir says it's "an oddly dry fusion of documentary and narrative film that arguably doesn't quite click on either level. But I honestly feel bad about pissing on a movie that has so much beauty and purity of spirit in it."

8pm on Saturday is the regional premiere of A Marine Story, a film about a decorated marine officer who returns home from war and helps train a new recruit for bootcamp. You can watch the trailer on the film's website.

Sunday at 4:30pm is Hannah Free, a film a NYT's Stephen Holden critic calls "a clanking, sudsy tear-jerker about longtime lesbian lovers languishing in the same Michigan nursing home in the 1990s."

Out in the Silence is an award-winning documentary about how a small American town handles a same-sex wedding announcement and the brutal bullying of a gay teen. The film's website explains that the film is also a campaign for fairness, equality and human rights for LGBT individuals. It is playing on Sunday at 6pm.

Undertow (Contracorriente) is a Peruvian drama that was selected as the Sundance Film Festival Audience Award Winner. Steve Rose of the guardian says, "Brokeback Mountain meets Ghost gets you halfway there, but this is a measured, delicate film, set in a vividly evoked landscape." Here's the trailer. Undertow plays at 7:30pm on Sunday.

Rounding out Q-fest is Beautiful Darling at 7:30pm on Monday. Beautiful Darling is a documentary about actress Candy Darling, born James Slattery. The film's director, James Rasin, and producer, Jeremiah Wright, will be there for a Q&A. The AP's Stephen Farber says the film, "makes a larger comment on the lust for celebrity that is one of the enduring, unhappy legacies of the Warhol era."

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BEAUTIFUL DARLING is a must-see, and Jeremiah Newton is much more than "just" the film's producer. I had the pleasure of seeing the movie at a festival earlier this year, and it's really a love letter from Jeremiah to Candy, who was his dearest friend and longtime housemate Jeremiah interviews many famous friends of Candy's for the film, shares her personal letters and family photos, and collects tons of wonderful archival footage. Among those seen or heard are Tennessee Williams, Andy Warhol, Dennis Hopper, John Waters, Lou Reed, Nico, and many, many others. The film is truly a delight.

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