Scene & Heard

Gay film fest: British TV and more

This weekend brings the 2003 Sacramento International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival to the Crest Theatre. The festival runs Wednesday, October 8 through Sunday, October 12 with a range of features, shorts and documentaries on The Life.

The festival’s magnum opus this year, spread out in installments over the whole five days, is Bob & Rose, the six-part miniseries from British TV written by Russell T. Davies, author of the original British Queer as Folk. In this extraordinary comedy-drama, Bob (Alan Davies, no relation), happily and solidly gay all his adult life, finds himself—much to his own surprise and consternation—falling in love with a woman, Rose (Lesley Sharp), whose pleasant but dull boyfriend is slowly boring her to tears. The series may prove controversial, though, by virtue of its very straight-friendliness: Some viewers will take umbrage at the inference that a gay man is only gay until he meets the right woman. But Davies deals with that, and despite his feelings for Rose, Bob still considers himself gay (there’s a hilarious moment when the camera catches them both ogling the same man’s ass). Don’t expect a Manchester version of Will & Grace; Davies’ miniseries is a richly textured, brilliantly acted examination of the nature of sexuality, friendship and love.

Other festival highlights are two features. One is Alex Steyermark’s Prey for Rock & Roll, with Gina Gershon as the leader of a female band on the fringe of L.A.’s punk-rock scene who wonders if she can meet her goal of stardom before she turns 40. The film is convincingly grungy and interesting, even as seething feminist anger contends with California cool for its soul. Then there’s the utterly bizarre Dutch musical Ja zuster, nee zuster (Yes Nurse, No Nurse) a sort of flaming-camp update of the old chestnut You Can’t Take It With You. Wild, clumsy and cheesy, with some of the worst acting ever put on film, it’s still an awful lot of fun, and the songs (even grappling with the goofy English subtitles) are irresistible. This is one of those love-it-or-hate-it-but-never-forget-it movies.

Check the Festival out. The Bob & Rose episodes alone—singly or as a whole—are worth the price of admission. The Crest is located at 1013 K Street.

—Jim Lane

Train kept a-rolling

Dang. Steve Vanoni, local artist and Gallery Horse Cow proprietor, calls, and I’m too busy to talk. Later, when I try to hunt him down, he’s done a Houdini, as Tom Waits might put it.

OK, it’s like this: Vanoni has a bunch of new paintings, and they will be hanging inside Horse Cow, 1409 Del Paso Boulevard, this Second Saturday. His stuff is brash, energetic and worth checking out. And, weather permitting, there will be a bunch of Burning Man-related art in the lot next to Horse Cow. See you there?

—Jackson Grffith