Tops and Bottoms (and Some Middles) at Outfest 2007
By Eddie Shapiro
The unveiling of the Outfest Legacy Project's first restoration, Bill Sherwood's 1986 classic, Parting Glances, was not only an opportunity to celebrate the Project's inauguration and revel in this film's new, pristine print, it was a chance to revisit a slice of gay history and discuss it with a panel that included cast members Steve Buscemi, John Bolger, Richard Ganoung, and Kathy Kinney. Twenty years is a long time.
I tried to imagine a filmgoing experience that would top my night at the Ford Amphitheatre. I devoured the picnic my friends prepared, complete with cupcakes and merlot, then saw the under-the-stars screening of Dreamgirls, introduced by director Bill Condon with sing-a-long lyrics at the bottom of the screen, and a live performance by one of Broadway's original Dreamgirls, Loretta Devine. Amazing!
After a TV season that included two new gay favorites, Ugly Betty and Brothers and Sisters, Outfest hosted incisive panels with the casts and creators of each. We knew that America Ferrera and Matthew Rhys would be adorable in person but who could have guessed that Sally Field could be even more luminous than she is onscreen?
So now that it's all over, what happens next? The luckiest and most talented of the filmmakers hash out distribution deals so that audiences all over the country can enjoy the good, the bad, and even the ugly (sorry, but Alexis Arquette does not a pretty documentary subject make). And in Los Angeles, we dry clean all of our party shirts, attempt to decipher the numbers scrawled on cocktail napkins, and start counting the days til Outfest 2008!