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Nine days of cinema, ten years in the making

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ImageOut, Rochester's Lesbian and Gay Film and Video Festival, celebrates ten years of grassroots success this week with nine days of action-packed cinema unspooling at three theaters in the downtown area. What follows is our take on some of this year's features and shorts programs. Be sure to consult the full ImageOut schedule, and check out our interview with award-winning writer Sherman Alexie, whose new film, The Business of Fancydancing, will screen as part of the festival the night of Sunday, October 6.

By Hook or By Crook

Harry Hodges and Silas Howard, USA, 98 minutes

Friday, October 4, 7 p.m. Little Theatre

Winner of audience awards at LA Outfest and the SXSW Film Festival, By Hook or By Crook is one of the best independently financed bank-robbery flicks since Bottle Rocket, despite the complete absence of any actual bank robberies. The film drops in on three wacky weeks in the life of Shy (Silas Howard), who, as the film opens, is living in Hoxie, Kansas --- the epicenter of rural banality, especially when you're a butch lesbian.

Days away from losing her house to foreclosure, Shy becomes entranced by a bank robbery depicted on the evening news. With dollar signs in her eyes, Shy heads for the big city (San Francisco, natch), but can't afford a gun to pull off any heists. Eventually, Shy meets Valentine (Harriet Dodge), a fellow butch who has a pretty bad case of obsessive-compulsive disorder, some mommy abandonment issues, and a girly sidekick (Stanya Kahn) who is only slightly less crazy than she is. Gritty adventures follow, making Crook kind of like a cross between a gay Thelma and Louise and a gayer Midnight Cowboy (Val is a dead ringer for Ratso Rizzo --- or maybe Harmony Korine --- and Shy shares the wide-eyed innocence of Joe Buck --- or perhaps Conan O'Brien).

Shot using handheld digital video, Crook does limp a bit toward its finale, but the lively soundtrack (featuring the likes of The Make Up, The Mono Men, Buffalo Daughter, and Blonde Redhead) and the cameo by Joan Jett keep things from grinding to a halt. It's extremely well-written, with a couple of very thoughtful, perfectly executed montages. Some might gripe about the portrayal of gender-benders as a mentally unstable lot, but hey, anything is better than the watered-down drivel on Will & Grace every week, right?

Notorious C.H.O.

Lorene Machado, USA, 95 minutes

Friday, October 4, 9:30 p.m. Little Theatre

Reviewing concert films is a tough prospect --- either you like the performance or you don't. A director can do very little to liven things up, other than showing the backstage antics that have practically become a concert film cliché. I'm not the biggest fan of Margaret Cho's standup routines (it might be the extended funny-face freeze after every joke), but I was pleased to discover that the content in Notorious C.H.O. was much less dark than her previous theatrical effort, the gloomy I'm the One ThatI Want, which dealt with alcohol/drug addiction and the weight issues revolving around her short-lived network sitcom.

Filmed during a sold-out Seattle performance, Cho instead concentrates on various reproductive organs and their secretions. And, of course, there's plenty of gay-oriented humor, including a very funny bit about the only gay bar in Scotland, which is named after Bette Midler's character in Beaches.

Unforgettable: Our History-Makers

Total running time: 114 minutes

Saturday, October 5, 11 a.m. Little Theatre

Props all around to important groundbreakers Harry Hay and Joan Nestle. The former, who celebrated his 90th birthday earlier this year, started the country's first gay rights organization (the Mattachine Society) back when McCarthy was rounding up Reds, while the latter formed both the Gay Academic Union and the Lesbian Herstory Archives in the early '70s.

The Unforgettable program includes an hour-long documentary on each of the aforementioned dignitaries (Hand On the Pulse and Hope Along the Wind: The Life of Harry Hay), as well as a neat, five-minute jobber called Cherries in the Snow, which shows women from different eras hanging their undergarments on the same clothesline.

How to Become a Lesbian in 6 Easy Steps

Total running time: 74 minutes

Saturday, October 5, 1:30 p.m. Dryden Theatre

Comedy is on the menu in this shorts program, which features titles like C.L.I.T. and The 10 Rules (A Lesbian Survival Guide). The multi-award-winning Interviews With My Next Girlfriend is also on the slate, along with Size 'Em Up, a very funny short about a top-heavy tomboy whose mother (Julie Brown!) drags her to the store to buy her first bra. The overly helpful employees (including Pearl from Diff'rent Strokes) seem... well, a little overly helpful.

Novela, Novela

Liz Miller, USA, 70 minutes

Saturday, October 5, 3:30 p.m. Little Theatre

The next time you're in Nicaragua and notice something called Sexto Sentido (translation: The Sixth Sense) in the TV listings, you're going to be disappointed if you tune in expecting to find little Haley Joel and his ghostly friends. Sentido is the only homegrown soap opera in Nicaragua, a nation completely enraptured by this particular television format (the other soaps come courtesy of the same wacky, Spanish-language channels we get through Time Warner).

Festival viewers will be treated to one of the show's episodes, along with a few pieces from later shows (so you're not left completely hanging, because that's just cruel), and then a kind of behind-the-scenes documentary that hammers home the importance of the stories, which focus on a group of young adults from various economic backgrounds.

Sing-along Grease

Randal Kleiser, USA, 110 minutes

Saturday, October 5, 7 p.m. Dryden Theatre

This ain't your folks' Grease. Sure, it's the same actors and the same story, but this souped-up special print not only makes John Travolta look thin and Jeff Conaway look like he has a career, it also includes the lyrics for the film's numerous and hella-popular songs. The aim is to have the audience sing along with the characters. I'm not sure how strictly enforced the singing is, but if you have a tin ear, you can probably get away with just mouthing the words.

As an added bonus, a prize will be awarded to the audience member with the best costume. As a super-special added bonus, director Randal Kleiser will be on hand to introduce the film and field your questions afterward. Just don't make fun of his Honey, I Shrunk the Audience, because, you know, he'll frigging shrink you.

Kali's Vibe

Shari Carpenter, USA, 92 minutes

Saturday, October 5, 7:30 p.m. Little Theatre

Kali (Lizzy Cooper Davis) is a state social worker who has been living with popular slam poet Crystal (Phalana Tiller) for three years. We sense the growing distance between the two (an overhead shot of their bed shows enough room to build an actual wall between their bodies), but the relationship doesn't come to a head until the night Crystal doesn't come home.

Kali kicks her out and then suffers through a lot of bad blind dates before finding love in the most unexpected place --- a hetero single dad and full-time playa named Reese (Charles Malik Whitfield), who recently started working with Kali. Oh, save your booing and hissing --- Crystal eventually returns, leaving Kali in quite the quandary. Director Carpenter used to be Spike Lee's script supervisor.

Oliver Button Is a Star

John Scagliotti, USA, 84 minutes

Sunday, October 6, 11 a.m. Little Theatre

Revolving entirely around Tomie dePaola's children's book, Oliver Button Is a Sissy, this interesting documentary shows a first-grade teacher reading the book to her class while, simultaneously, the inspirational story about a boy who prefers singing and dancing to sports is acted out on stage by the Twin Cities Gay Men's Choir. Dispersed throughout are interviews with four people (including dePaola) who describe what the book meant to them when they were little (one is an Arctic explorer named Ann Bancroft!). Producer Dan Hunt will be here to introduce the show.

Swimming Upstream: A Year In the Life of Karen and Jenny

Jennifer Freedman, USA, 74 minutes

Sunday, October 6, 1:30 p.m. Little Theatre

If you're put off by Swimming Upstream's opening scene, which includes a graphic description of conception via turkey baster, you might want to hightail it outta there before the nightmarish childbirth scene at the end. What happens in between is, as the title suggests, a year in the life of parents-to-be Karen and Jenny, a couple comprised of a football-watching butch who, as a youngster, was to Little League what Jackie Robinson was to Major League Baseball; and a formerly straight, blonde hairdresser with enormous lips.

Trouble is, aside from the birth, nothing really happens. I thought the most effective parts were those that had nothing to do with pregnancy or lesbianism (like the scene where Karen and Jenny kid around as they fill out forms at the doctor's office). It's great that their friends and family are so supportive, but the lack of conflict makes for an uninteresting documentary.

This Is NOT Only a Test

Total running time: 87 minutes

Sunday, October 6, 3:30 p.m. Little Theatre

AIDS is the topic of this program, which includes Testing, One... Two, a neat, black-and-white short about a couple and a couple of tests (one is taking a big college exam, the other is waiting for his HIV test results); and Our Brothers, Our Sons, a 25-minute documentary that pits Baby Boomers against Gen-Xers in the age-old barebacking debate.

Ruthie & Connie: Every Room In the House

Deborah Dickson, USA, 56 minutes

Sunday, October 6, 5:30 p.m. Dryden Theatre

Unlike Swimming Upstream's Karen and Jenny, Ruthie and Connie are a charismatic pair who would liven up the dullest documentary. Funnier than the characters in most television sitcoms, the pair discuss their history (abandoning their husbands to be with each other back in the late '50s, in a conservative, Jewish enclave of Brooklyn) as they sit around and kibitz with each other and their old friends from the days when they played it straight. Is there shuffleboard? You bet. Is "I Will Survive" played? You know it.

Whether their stories are heartbreaking (like when they had to destroy their love letters for fear of being caught) or romantic (like their first kiss), Ruthie and Connie are always entertaining. They're also groundbreakers, as evidenced by the 1988 Donohue clips in which they're pitted against an extremely homophobic audience while they describe their lawsuit, a legal battle that eventually helped New York City employees obtain same-sex partner benefits.You'll be able to shout stuff at them, too, because both Ruthie and Connie will attend this screening.

The Business of Fancydancing

Sherman Alexie, USA, 86 minutes

Sunday, October 6, 8 p.m. Dryden Theatre

Evan Adams (Smoke Signals) plays Seymour Polatkin, a very popular, Seattle-based poet who is kind of the Native American David Sedaris. That is, he's gay and he often writes humorous stories about his past. Unlike Sedaris, however, Seymour's stories are all set in the Spokane reservation he called home before ditching it 10 years earlier for the big time. Now commanding $10,000 a pop on the lecture circuit, Seymour is called back home for the funeral of his boyhood friend, Mouse (Swil Kanim).

Despite his celebrity status, Seymour is not welcomed back with open arms. Everyone back on the rez couldn't care less that their prodigal son is gay --- they're pissed because he's so condescending about reservation life in his poetry. They're also not thrilled about his appropriation of a number of first-person stories that actually belong to Aristotle Joseph (Gene Tagaban), Seymour's co-valedictorian and former best friend. Aristotle tried to leave the rez for college, but eventually slunk back for a life of huffing and drinking.

Even though Seymour makes it clear he despised his life on the rez, it's the only subject that comes up in his work, and that central theme is interesting enough to drive Fancydancing as a film. It's also aided by a blazing performance by Adams (he and co-star Michelle St. John will be in attendance at this screening) and some nifty direction by writer Sherman Alexie, who makes his debut behind the camera with this film. Fancydancing, which has won festival audience awards from San Francisco to Philadelphia, also features a bunch of Alexie's powerful poetry (see our interview with Alexie on page XX).

Food Of Love

Ventura Pons, USA, 112 minutes

Monday, October 7, 8 p.m. Little Theatre

When we first meet young Paul (Kevin Bishop), the Juilliard-bound pianist is about to make his big stage debut --- as a page-turner for his idol, superstar Richard Kennington (Paul Rhys). The two share a moment backstage after the show, but it's abbreviated by Paul's suffocating mother, Pamela (the wonderful Juliet Stevenson).

The two get a chance to hook up again several months later, in Barcelona, where Paul is studying and Richard has just ended a grueling world tour. Not knowing her son or his squeeze are gay, Pamela decides to put the moves on Richard after he saves her from some street criminals. You would expect madcap hilarity to ensue, but Love actually takes a pretty serious swing toward the melodramatic in its second half, which depicts Pamela coming to terms with her son's sexuality.

Luster

Everett Lewis, USA, 90 minutes

Monday, October 7, 10:30 p.m. Dryden Theatre

One should ordinarily be very leery of a film with credits that offer only first names, but everyone associated with Luster ought to be proud enough to have both of their names attached to such a cool indie flick. The protagonist is Jackson (Justin Herwick), a 'zine-publishing, record-store employee who has a big crush on a boy named Billy (Jonah Blechman). But Billy is involved with a rock star (Willie Garson), who summons Jackson to write the lyrics for his new record. Also thrown into the mix are Jackson's handsome cousin (b. Wyatt) from Iowa; his straight boss (Shane Powers), who seems to like Jackson a little too much; a stalker (Sean Thibodeau) who is too vanilla for Jackson's tastes; and a pair of scuffling lesbians.

The subject matter and record-store setting make Luster seem like a toned-down Gregg Araki trying to remake an LA-based High Fidelity. It's being shown with a short called The Moment After, an appropriately dark look at committing suicide on one's birthday.

Tom

Mike Hoolboom, Canada, 75 minutes

Tuesday, October 8, 6 p.m. Cinema Theater

If, God forbid, P. Diddy ever made a movie about one of his heroes, the concept would probably sound a lot like Mike Hoolboom's Tom, a dazzling experimental picture that pays tribute to underground artist and filmmaker Tom Chamont. Like his Puffiness, Hoolboom doesn't actually pick up his camera and shoot any new film --- he instead appropriates chunks from Chamont's extraordinarily large catalogue and, unlike Puffy, turns it into something new, exciting, and spellbinding. It's the kind of film that grabs you, sucks you in, and practically hypnotizes you as your jaw gets closer and closer to your lap. I'm not sure what any of it is supposed to mean (especially the jarring finale that features famous Manhattan landmarks blowing up), but I don't care.

No More Drama

Total running time: 96 minutes

Tuesday, October 8, 6 p.m. Little Theatre

This comedic program features two of my favorite festival shorts. Lez Be Friends is a very funny look at a straight filmmaker named Lily (Patricia Welbourne), who decides to make a feature called Dike about her best friend's (Tanya Pillay) recent trip out of the closet. When everyone who sees the film assumes she's gay, Lily finds herself typecast as a lesbian. And there's music by cub! Shut Up, White Boy shows an asshole white boy with Asian tastes getting some comeuppance when he takes his latest Filipino girlfriend to a Vietnamese restaurant, where the kitchen help is apparently mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. It's shot on 16mm black-and-white film, and it looks lovely.

Prom Fight: The Marc Hall Story

Larry Pelesco, Canada, 62 minutes

Wednesday, October 9, 4 p.m. Little Theatre

Prom Fight is making its US debut right here in little ol' Rochester, mostly because it's too new to have been shown anywhere else. Depicting events that occurred less than five months ago, the documentary shows the plight of Oshawa, Ontario, student Marc Hall, who tries to attend his senior prom with his boyfriend, Jean-Paul. His Catholic school immediately puts the kibosh on the idea, and appeals are quickly made to the district school board and, eventually, the courts. Of course, if Marc was devious about the whole thing and said his date was going to be "Jean," nobody would have been the wiser until the night of the prom (see how honesty gets you exactly nowhere these days?).

While the story is somewhat interesting, the real drawing card here is the tall, gangly, blue-haired Marc, who reluctantly found himself the center of a media whirlwind at an awkward age in which most kids would just as soon hide from microphones and lights. He doesn't want to be Rosa Parks --- he just wants to go to his damn prom.

Days

Laura Muscardin, Italy, 80 minutes

Wednesday, October 9, 10 p.m. Little Theatre

Thirty-five-year-old Claudio (Thomas Trabacchi) enjoys strong bonds with his mother, his sister, and his boyfriend, Dario, but his most important relationship is with routine. From his boring, repetitive job at the bank, to his exercise schedule, to the regimented program of pill-taking and doctor visits the HIV-positive Claudio must subject himself to, his days are carefully planned out weeks in advance.

On the eve of Claudio's move to Milan with HIV-negative Dario, Claudio meets and has a fling with a waiter named Andrea (Davide Bechini). As though such affairs were Lays potato chips, Claudio can't stop at just one and reunites with Andrea for another tryst. Their second meeting --- the film's centerpiece --- occurs sans condom, and Claudio's life is turned upside-down. Loose ends are tied up way too neatly at the film's conclusion, but Laura Muscardin's direction, especially where she chooses to shoot some things out of focus (like Claudio, the audience is looking for clarity in his decision-making process), shows great promise.

Gypsy 83

Todd Stephens, USA, 94 minutes

Thursday, October 10, 4 p.m. Little Theatre

Nine days after her new sitcom (Less Than Perfect) debuts on ABC, Sara Rue will display the acting chops that landed her a big network gig. She plays the titular Gypsy, a voluptuous 25-year-old who works at a Sandusky Foto-Hut. Don't worry --- Gypsy doesn't get obsessed with any of her customers, because she's already infatuated with Stevie Nicks. Her best friend is a gay goth named Clive (Kett Turton), who looks more like Robert Smith than Robert Smith has in years (and John Doe plays Gypsy's dad!).

When they learn there's a "Night of a Thousand Stevies" event scheduled in New York City, the dynamic duo hit the road and share experiences with a has-been lounge singer (Karen Black), an Amish boy (Anson Scoville), and a sexually confused frat brother (Paulo Costanzo) while, of course, learning a thing or two about themselves, as well. Gypsy starts off strongly but becomes a bit overly morose. Still, director Todd Stephens, an LA Outfest winner for Edge of Seventeen (Turton won this year for his performance in this film), is a filmmaker to watch in the future.

Fish and Elephant

Li Yu, China, 106 minutes

Thursday, October 10, 6 p.m. Cinema Theatre

Reportedly mainland China's first motion picture about lesbians, Fish and Elephant, which has already won awards from two of the world's biggest film festivals (Berlin and Venice), is about two single women in Beijing who find what they're looking for in each other. Xiao Qun is the elephant keeper at the zoo, and Xiao Ling makes clothing which she then sells at an indoor market.

Two things happen to jeopardize their burgeoning relationship: the arrival of Qun's overbearing mother, who insists on setting her daughter up on a bunch of blind dates with unsavory men; and the return of Qun's ex-lover, Jun Jun, who is being chased by the cops because she killed her sadistic father. The highlights here are the blind dates --- not because they're particularly exciting, but because the guys we see were recruited by phony personal ads director Yu placed in an attempt to elicit authentic, believable dialogue.

Animate My Shorts!

Total running time: 89 minutes

Thursday, October 10, 6 p.m. Little Theatre

Although there aren't any gay LEGO guys this year, ImageOut's animated shorts program still has plenty to offer, including films called Boobie Girl, An Officer and a Yentlman, and Jan-Michael Vincent Is My Muse. Other highlights include Dresscode, which features a women's bathroom symbol come to life; and two shorts (Hi Honey, I'm Homo! and Keep Up With Medicine) that mold various images from life in the '50s into something fun.

A Family Affair

Helen Lesnick, USA, 107 minutes

Thursday, October 10, 8:15 p.m. Cinema Theatre

For the first 45 minutes or so, A Family Affair seemed like it was going to be My Big Fat Jewish Lesbian Wedding. Rachel Rosen (Lesnick) gets tired of her on-again/off-again relationship with the vampy Reggie (Michelle Green) and moves to Southern California to be closer to her extremely supportive PFLAG-member Jewish parents. Mom fixes Rachel up on a series of awful blind dates (dubbed "Looking for Miss Rightowitz"), which is how she meets and falls for the pretty Christine (Erica Shaffer). Cue montage of their first happy year together, which is around the same time Rachel gets freaked out because Christine starts calling her mom "Mom" and talking about converting to Judaism.

From there, things take a very odd dramatic turn that doesn't work well at all. On top of that, Affair is chock-full of moments where Lesnick breaks the fourth wall and pretty much does a stand-up routine right into the camera. It's funny once in a while, but gets extremely grating.

Karmen Geï

Joseph Gaï Ramaka, Senegal, 86 minutes

Friday, October 11, 5:30 p.m. Cinema Theatre

Loosely based on Prosper Mérimée's Carmen, this interesting and thoroughly unfaithful version stars Djeïnaba Diop Gaï in the title role as a Carmen who hits from both sides of the plate. Reportedly the first musical made in sub-Saharan Africa, Karmen Geï is as frustratingly erratic as it is pretty. This time, our protagonist seduces a corrections officer to escape from prison (she's a smuggler), but not before grabbing a hostage, with whom she begins an interesting relationship. She wears fantastic outfits and bursts into song with virtually no warning whatsoever, but this Carmen is strong enough to entertain through the rest of this mess.

The Cockettes

Bill Weber and David Weissman, USA, 100 minutes

Friday, October 11, 7:30 p.m. Cinema Theatre

In true VH-1 Behind the Music fashion, The Cockettes traces the rise and fall of the legendary San Francisco gender-bending performance group. Well, they should have been legendary, anyway. The documentary opens just as the Cockettes (named after the Rockettes) arrive in 1971 New York amid a whirlwind of critical acclaim and enough cult buzz to choke a horse (attendees included the likes of Andy Warhol and Angela Lansbury).

But that's almost the end of the story. We quickly flash back to the late '60s genesis of the group, which began performing in between campy midnight movies at the Palace Theatre to enthused patrons. As the months passed, their productions evolved from wacky clothing, nudity, off-key singing, and bad dancing to scripted, extravagant numbers that featured wacky clothing, nudity, off-key singing, and bad dancing. Or, as early supporter John Waters put it, "Hippie acid-freak drag queens --- complete sexual anarchy." Call them the godfathers of Hedwig or the Mothers of Invention without the musical ability --- just as long as you acknowledge this as one fantastic (and educational) documentary.

For more of Jon's movie ramblings, visit his site, Planet Sick-Boy (www.sick-boy.com).




Sherman Alexie dishes on directing and being a straight Einstein

by Jon Popick

In 1998, Sherman Alexie's story, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven,was turned into Smoke Signals, a picture that took the Sundance Film Festival by storm. It won two top awards and landed a lucrative distribution deal --- a major accomplishment for the first movie ever produced, directed, and written exclusively by Native Americans.

The following year, The New Yorker tagged Alexie one of the top 20 writers for the 21st Century. Already a celebrated author and filmmaker, Alexie also began an incredible run of four straight wins at the World Poetry Bout Championships. His streak finally ended this year, when he retired and gave somebody else a chance to win.

Alexie's latest cinematic offering --- The Business of Fancydancing --- is about a successful Native American writer named Seymour who returns to his reservation for a funeral. It screens Sunday, October 6, as part of the ImageOut Festival.

City:Where did the story for Fancydancing come from?

Alexie: It's semi-autobiographical. The lead character [Seymour] is sort of a combination of Evan Adams (the lead actor) and I. Evan grew up on a reservation and was very successful in the art world, as well as being a doctor --- he's actually in his residency right now. He's gay, I'm straight, so we combined stories, in a sense. It's a mix of us and, of course, a whole lot of fantasy and stuff. If Evan and I had a baby, it would be Seymour

City: You didn't direct Smoke Signals, so why did you end up in the director's chair this time?

Alexie: I didn't want to work with another director.

City:Were you disappointed with it?

Alexie: No, I just don't like directors [laughs]. I really like Smoke Signals. I think it's a good movie. Chris Eyre, the director, was a nice guy. I didn't have serious issues with him at all --- it was other people's reactions.

People are lazy about films; they assume the director does it all. For Smoke Signals, I wrote the screenplay --- it's based on my book, based on a trip I actually took. I co-wrote five of the songs; I was in the editing room the whole time; it was filmed on my reservation; my cousins and family were all extras. Then people ask me, "How much were you involved?"

City:How was it to direct?

Alexie: It was fun. I was the least experienced person on the set, so it was great to be able to ask for help and not feel some arrogant need to try to dominate. I listened to people's ideas. A lot of it is me, but a lot is other people, too. In real life, I'm not very good at listening. I think I was a better person on set than I am in the rest of my life, which I think is the reverse of most directors.

City: Does it bother you that the film is kind of being pigeonholed as a "gay" film?

Alexie: It's been great. A couple of weeks ago, I was at a screening and somebody said I was taking advantage of the gay audience and targeting them economically. I just started laughing and said, "Yeah, that's a really wise move --- make a movie about a gay man and make millions of dollars!"

City: There's a short film called Lez Be Friends playing at the festival here, where a straight filmmaker makes a movie about her best friend coming out of the closet. After she screens it, everyone assumes she's gay. Are you running into a lot of that?

Alexie: Oh, yeah, it's great. I've never been hit on by women in this way. I've never felt more attractive than when I'm at these gay festivals. Then, when they find out I'm not gay, they're mad and want me to be gay.

City: Is it any different receiving criticism about your films than it is receiving criticism about your books?

Alexie: When I talk about movies in the book world, I always tell this story: When I'm among other writers, I'm always, by far, the least educated and the least well-read person. In a room full of movie people, I'm Einstein.

City: How do you feel about the sport mascot debate?

Alexie: They're certainly racist, but more than that, they're blasphemous. Those songs and feathers and drums and dancing --- that's Indian religion. Seeing somebody dressed as an Indian, in an Indian headdress, running across the floor at a football stadium is akin to somebody dressed up as a Jesuit tossing communion wafers into the crowd.

City: Did it bother you when everyone fell all over Denzel and Halle after last year's Oscars, when Native American actors still have so far to go?

Alexie: It doesn't bother me. I'm happy for them, but I think it's interesting they won their Oscars for playing roles that are pretty clichéd --- the single black mother at the sexual mercy of a white man and the psychopathic rogue cop.

City: So what's up next?

Alexie: I'm working on a book of short stories and a biography of Jimi Hendrix. I don't get to make another movie until the accounts for this one are balanced out. I'm the second-largest financer of the film. I'm too old to have this much credit-card debt.




The schedule

Friday, October 4

Little Theatre

By Hook or By Crook, 7 p.m. $8

Notorious C.H.O., 9:30 p.m. $8

Saturday, October 5

Little Theatre

Unforgettable: Our History-Makers (documentary program), 11 a.m. $5

How To Become a Lesbian In 6 Easy Steps (shorts program), 1:30 p.m. $5

Novela, Novela, 3:30 p.m. $5

American Mullet,5:30 p.m. $7

Kali's Vibe, 7:30 p.m. $7

Sugar Sweet, 10 p.m. $7

Dryden Theatre

Sing-along Grease, 7 p.m. $10

Lan Yu, 10:30 p.m. $7

Sunday, October 6

Little Theatre

Oliver Button Is a Star, 11 a.m. $5

Swimming Upstream: A Year In the Life of Karen and Jenny, 1:30 p.m. $5

This Is NOT Only a Test (shorts program), 3:30 p.m. $5

TransVerses (shorts program), 5:30 p.m. $7

Girl King, 8 p.m. $7

Webcam Boys, 10:30 p.m. $7

Dryden Theatre

Ruthie & Connie: Every Room In the House, 5:30 p.m. $8

The Business of Fancydancing, 8 p.m. $8

Monday, October 7

Little Theatre

Speak Up (documentary shorts program), 4 p.m. $5

21, 6 p.m. $7

Food Of Love, 8 p.m. $7

Luster, 10:30 p.m. $7

Cinema Theater

Thelma, 6 p.m. $7

Treading Water, 8 p.m. $7

Tuesday, October 8

Little Theatre

After School Special (shorts program), 4 p.m. $5

No More Drama (shorts program), 6 p.m. $7

Momento Mori, 8 p.m. $7

Trouble In Boys' Town, 10:15 p.m. $7

Cinema Theater

Tom, 6 p.m. $7

The Trip, 8 p.m. $7

Wednesday, October 9

Little Theatre

Prom Fight: The Marc Hall Story, 4 p.m. $5

Guardian Of the Frontier, 6 p.m. $7

Venus Boyz, 8 p.m. $7

Days, 10 p.m. $7

Dryden Theatre

Victim, 6:30 p.m. $7

Some Of My Best Friends Are..., 8:30 p.m. $7

Thursday, October 10

Little Theatre

Gypsy 83, 4 p.m. $5

Animate My Shorts! (shorts program), 6 p.m. $7

Daddy and Papa, 8 p.m. $7

And Now For Something Completely Different... (shorts program), 10:15 p.m. $7

Cinema Theater

Fish and Elephant, 6 p.m. $7

A Family Affair, 8:15 p.m. $7

Friday, October 11

Cinema Theater

Karmen Geï, 5:30 p.m. $7

The Cockettes, 7:30 p.m. $7

Km. O, 9:30 p.m. $7

When Boys Fly, 11:30 p.m. $7

Saturday, October 12

Dryden Theatre

All the Queen's Men, 8 p.m. (with reception) $25

Film Festival Passbooks available for $195. For more information on the festival, ticket availability, or prices, call ImageOut (271-2640), or visit www.imageout.org.

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