Two recent documentaries, two different coasts, one scary enemy, and hundreds of hours of footage. This is the history and legacy of the AIDS crisis in North America, as told by the cameras and concerned filmmakers who were there.
Straight women: would you ever date a bisexual man? Do you think that bisexual men are more likely to spread STDs than straight men? Do you think that bisexual men are more feminine than straight men? These questions have preoccupied writer and filmmaker Arielle Loren's work for the last few years. After falling in love with a bisexual man, Loren developed The Bi-deology Project, a two-part web series exploring straight women's perceptions of bisexual men, particularly in the context of romantic relationships. The series has since inspired a feature-length documentary, Bideology, which will be premiering at film festivals this spring.
In 2005, Brittany Blockman and Josephine Decker took a road trip across the United States and interviewed people about bisexuality. The result of their project was a documentary film: Bi the Way. In order to understand the fictional images of bisexuality that fill our cinema and television screens, it's important to take some time to analyze the ways in which bisexuality is depicted in nonfiction media. Bi the Way is a good starting place, since it's a film that allows its subjects to speak honestly and freely, without an overt agenda from the filmmakers. But is that enough to make it a compelling film that advances realistic bisexual visibility?
The Greatest Movie Ever Sold is a perfect display of what Spurlock's brand personality analyst calls his mix of "playful and mindful" qualities. He sells himself with a shit-eating grin, riding the wave of his own charm, which is a force unto itself—fueling the camera equipment, feeding the crew, somehow exempting him from an icky breakdown of integrity even while dressed in a suit jacket cluttered with corporate sponsor decals. He convinces you that the film's corporate doublespeak tagline ("he's not selling out, he's buying in") is actually true, that there is a difference.
I have some misgivings about entering into the fourth week of the series and only now addressing a picture with a transgender protagonist. These concerns are made worse by the cruel dramatic irony that the main character in Southern Comfort is a man who dies of ovarian cancer. It is complicated by the fact that the selection in question is also the first documentary I have considered for the Bechdel Test Canon. I meet most documentaries with incredulity, encountering components like editing with skepticism rather than regarding the finished product as truth.
Wif-pdx (Women in Film-Portland, natch) is part activist organization, part information network, and part event sponsor. This very week, for example, they are joining up with NW Documentaries, another kick-ass grassroots film center in Portland, to screen an as-yet-unfinished documentary called Austin Unbound. And if you're in town, I think you should go see it.