Queer-themed flicks from FilmsWeLike, including Studio 54 in theatres now
Films We Like is a Canadian distribution company, co-founded in 2003 by music promoter Gary Topp and filmmaker Ron Mann who set to release, The Academy Nominated film “The Weather Underground” by Sam Green and Bill Siegal which at the time had no distribution in Canada. 14 years and over and over 370 films later, Films We Like has established itself as a boutique distributor of alternative entertainment.
Beyond music and alternative entertainment features, the company releases plenty of queer-themed content as well. Here are a few titles currently available that are worth checking out.
Studio 54 was the epicenter of 70s hedonism–a place that not only redefined the nightclub, but also came to symbolize an entire era. Its co-owners, Ian Schrager and Steve Rubell, two friends from Brooklyn, seemed to come out of nowhere to suddenly preside over a new kind of New York society. Now, 39 years after the velvet rope was first slung across the club’s hallowed threshold, a feature documentary tells the real story behind the greatest club of all time.
The film opens across Canada in select cities below:
Ted Rogers Hot Docs Cinema (Toronto, ON) – Starts October 12
Cineplex Forum (Montreal, QC) – Starts October 12
Broadway Theatre (Saskatoon, SK) – Starts October 12
Globe Cinema (Calgary, AB) – Starts October 12
Winnipeg Cinematheque (Winnipeg, MB) – Starts October 13
Vic, The (Victoria, BC) – Starts October 19
Princess Cinema (Waterloo, ON) – Starts October 19
Bytowne Cinema (Ottawa, ON) – Starts November 21
Danish actor and singer-songwriter Trine Dyrholm stars as Nico, the lead vocalist for several tracks on The Velvet Underground’s 1967 debut album, in the latest from award-winning writer-director Susanna Nicchiarelli. The film centres on the final two years of Nico’s life, in 1987 and 1988, as the artist tours Europe to promote her latest album. As she struggles with her personal demons and the consequences of a chaotic life, she longs to rebuild a relationship with her son, whose custody she lost long ago. Nico, 1988 won the Venice Horizons Award for Best Film at the Venice Film Festival and the Grand Jury Award at Les Arcs European Film Festival.
Set between Paris, Prague, Nuremberg, Manchester, the Polish countryside and the Roman seaside, Nico, 1988 is a road-movie dedicated to the last years of Christa Päffgen, known by her stage name “Nico”. One of Warhol’s muses, singer of The Velvet Underground and a woman of legendary beauty, Nico lived a second life after the story known to all, when she began her career as a solo artist. Nico, 1988 is the story of Nico’s last tours with the band that accompanied her around Europe in the Eighties: years in which the “priestess of darkness”, as she was called, found herself again, shaking off the weight of her beauty and rebuilding the relationship with her only forgotten son. It is the story of a rebirth, of an artist, of a mother, of the woman beyond the icon.
A road-movie dedicated to the last years of Christa Päffgen, known by her stage name “Nico”. One of Warhol’s muses, singer of The Velvet Underground and a woman of legendary beauty. The story of Nico’s last tours with the band that accompanied her around Europe in the Eighties: years in which the “priestess of darkness”, as she was called, found herself again, shaking off the weight of her beauty and rebuilding the relationship with her only forgotten son. It is the story of a rebirth, of an artist, of a mother, of the woman beyond the icon.
The Miseducation of Cameron Post
Cameron Post (Chloë Grace Moretz) looks the part of a perfect high school girl. But after she’s caught with another girl in the back seat of a car on prom night, Cameron is quickly shipped off to a conversion therapy center that treats teens “struggling with same-sex attraction.” At the facility, Cameron is subjected to outlandish discipline, dubious “de-gaying” methods, and earnest Christian rock songs—but this unusual setting also provides her with an unlikely gay community. For the first time, Cameron connects with peers, and she’s able to find her place among fellow outcasts.
Based on the celebrated novel by Emily M. Danforth, The Miseducation of Cameron Post follows the titular character (Moretz) as she is sent to a gay conversion therapy center after getting caught with another girl in the back seat of a car on prom night. Run by the strict and severe Dr. Lydia Marsh (Ehle) and her brother, Reverend Rick (Gallagher Jr.)—himself an example of how those in the program can be “cured”—the center is built upon repenting for “same sex attraction.” In the face of intolerance and denial, Cameron meets a group of fellow sinners including the amputee stoner Jane (Lane), and her friend, the Lakota Two-Spirit, Adam (Goodluck). Together, this group of teenagers form an unlikely family and fight to survive.
Now playing in select theatres and festivals here.
Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood
Having just been mustered out of the Marines Corps after the Second World War, Scotty Bowers came to Hollywood in 1946. Strikingly handsome and personable, he immediately caught the eye of many of the town’s stars, who encountered him at the gas station where he worked on Hollywood Boulevard. Scotty began having sex with many of the key players in the movie colony and soon started connecting many of them with his band of beautiful and promiscuous friends, most of them newly discharged from the military. The cinema vérité documentary is a secret history of Hollywood in the pre-Stonewall era.
Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood is the deliciously scandalous story of Scotty Bowers, a handsome ex-Marine who landed in Hollywood after World War II and became confidante, aide-de-camp and lover to many of Hollywood’s greatest male—and female—stars. In the 1940s and ‘50s, Scotty ran a gas station in the shadow of the studio lots where he would connect his friends with actors and actresses who had to hide their true sexual identities for fear of police raids at gay bars, societal shunning and career suicide. An unsung Hollywood legend, Bowers would cater to the sexual appetites of celebrities—straight and gay–for decades.
In 2012, he finally spilled his secrets in the New York Times best-selling memoir Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Lives of the Stars, which revealed a dramatic, pre-Stonewall alternate history of Hollywood. While the studio PR machines were promoting their stars as wholesome and monogamous, Bowers was fulfilling the true desires of many of them. This cinéma-vérité documentary by director Matt Tyrnauer (Valentino: The Last Emperor) tells his story, as well as presents eye-opening takes on icons from the Hollywood Golden Age including Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Lana Turner, Ava Gardner and many more.
Playing select theatres and festival dates here.
About the Author
Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.