PAPERBOY: Slow-Jamming The Alt-Weeklies

paperboyartthumbnail.jpgBY DAVE ALLEN Like time, news waits for no man. Keeping up with the funny papers has always been an all-day job, even in the pre-Internets era. These days, however, it’s a two-man job. That’s right, these days you need someone to do your reading for you, or risk falling hopelessly behind and, as a result, increasing your chances of dying lonely and somewhat bitter. That’s why every week, PAPERBOY does your alt-weekly reading for you. We pore over those time-consuming cover stories and give you the takeaway, suss out the cover art, warn you off the ink-wasters and steer you towards the gooey center. Why? Because we love you!


CP: To start, I’ll admit it was the subtly provocative cover image that drew me in to CP’s coverage of Q-Fest, formerly known as the Philadelphia International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. I’m straight and not much of a film buff. But much of the story related in Molly Eichel’s profile of Fest founder Ray Murray is applicable to all patrons of the arts, and especially those who follow obscure or marginal forms. The cut in funding the Fest recently suffered will sound familiar, too. When focus shifts to the films’ themes and artistry, in Shaun Brady’s piece, the story grows even more compelling. Doug Metcalfe, chairman of Philadelphia Family Pride, an LGBT parenting organization, lays it out:

“There are many different ways that LGBT folks become parents,” Metcalfe continues. “You could probably cp_2009_07_09.jpgtake the life story and the journey to create a family of any one of these families and make a movie out of it.” Several of the filmmakers in this year’s QFest seem to agree, spawning a veritable baby boom in the current catalog. “There was a glut of films about coming-out stories, and everyone’s so bored of that,” says Alison Reid, director of The Baby Formula. “It used to be that we in the gay community didn’t have characters of our own sexual orientation, but we could still relate to straight characters because there’s so much more than your sexual orientation that goes into being a person. I think we’re getting to the stage now where straight people are able to relate to gay people on screen.”

I was delighted to see Family Pride marching down Market Street in the Pride parade several weeks ago, and I’m even happier to those family values – something society needs, whatever form they take – reflected in this year’s QFest offerings. Scope CP’s listings (in two parts) and maybe you’ll find somethin to open your eyes, too.

PW: More Q-Fest coverage! Liz Spikol looks at how PGLFF has been rebranded and rejiggered, in an effort to appeal to a wider audience.

cover070809thumbnail.jpgThis year, everything is different, and it all starts with a welcome name change: from PIGLFF to QFest—the Q standing in, of course, for queer. White gay men? You’re still welcome. But black lesbians, Jewish transmen, Buddhist intersexuals, straight grandmothers, people who don’t know what the hell they’re feeling—you’re all welcome too.

That’s right: It’s the 15th year of an LGBT film festival in Philly, and it’s finally going to be inclusive. Put another way—in the radical terms of the movement’s beginnings—it’s here, it’s queer, get used to it. Part of what created the impetus for change was really an accident: the Chernobyl in the Philly indie film community (see next page) that had some worried the concept of PIGLIFF would die entirely. Instead, when the dust settled, there was an excellent opportunity for rebranding. “PIGLFF”? Out like last year’s torn and dirty rainbow flag. Time for something new.

Nice work, too, in digging into the name change and the events that “threatened to shut local cinema acronyms down entirely.” (Matt Prigge’s piece is less snarky than the headline.) Carol Coombes weighs in on changes in programming, and there’s even a nod to local fella and figure-skating icon Johnny Weir, though his hometown is spelled Coatesville — y’know, the place with the fires. To cinephiles: it’s here, it’s pop, get used to it.


CP: Things get even gayer, with the cast recording of Oklahoma! and Sacha Baron Cohen’s new movie. This is balanced out with sports talk and the winning, macho combination of beer and scantily-clad women.

PW: I keep seeing “Barnes” and thinking of the art museum in Ardmore… is that wrong? Jewish penicillin hits the spot. Another incident of extremist teabagging. Hi-yo: A tribute to Ed McMahon amid what I hope will be the last Jackson piece I read.

WINNER: CP takes it, for embracing the spirit of QFest and queering the whole darn issue. I’m staying the hell away from the Grease singalong, though.

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