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Celebrating Pride Month: The Queen

More than 40 years before RuPaul's Drag Race, this ground-breaking documentary about the 1967 Miss All-American Camp Beauty Pageant introduced audiences to the world of competitive drag. The film takes us backstage to kiki with the contestants as they rehearse, throw shade, and transform into their drag personas in the lead-up to the big event. Organized by LGBTQ icon/activist Flawless Sabrina, the competition boasted a star-studded panel of judges including Andy Warhol, Larry Rivers, and Terry Southern.
Fri, Jun 21 7:00 PM
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Comedians & Comedies: Real Genius

An ‘80s-comedy, college-coming-of-age flick that’s more interested in cerebral matters than ways of the flesh is interesting enough. Then when you cross the outstanding director Martha Coolidge (Valley Girl, Rambling Rose) with the guys who wrote Police Academy, you get….Real Genius.
Sat, Jun 22 7:00 PM
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Celebrating Pride Month: Happy Together

One of the most searing romances of the 1990s, Happy Together, Wong Kar Wai’s emotionally raw, lushly stylized portrait of a relationship in breakdown, casts Hong Kong superstars Tony Leung and Leslie Cheung as a couple traveling through Argentina and locked in a turbulent cycle of infatuation and destructive jealousy as they break up, make up, and fall apart again and again. The title, in case you haven’t guessed, is ironic.
Sat, Jun 29 7:00 PM
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Comedians & Comedies: Design for Living

A brilliant example of all that we lost when the Hays Code landed on Hollywood and prevented anything funny from happening from 1934 to 1968 (with exceptions, sure), Design for Living is sexy comedy for adults…what’s not to love?
Fri, Jul 5 7:00 PM
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Terrestrial Verses (2024)

This audacious film consists of nine scenes, all single-takes from a static camera, yet it is utterly riveting. In the vignettes, all set in Tehran, nine ordinary Iranians from a variety of backgrounds face off against an unseen, uncaring and frequently hostile bureaucrat. The absurdity and horror of authoritarian control is ultimately laid bare.
Sat, Jul 6 7:00 PM
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Green Border

In the treacherous and swampy forests that make up the so-called “green border” between Belarus and Poland, refugees from the Middle East and Africa are lured by government propaganda promising easy passage to the European Union. Unable to cross in Europe and unable to turn back, they find themselves trapped in a rapidly escalating geopolitical stand-off. An unflinching depiction of the migrant crisis captured in stark black and white, this riveting film explores the intractable issue from multiple perspectives: a Syrian family fleeing ISIS caught between cruel border guards in both countries; young guards instructed to brutalize and reject the migrants; and activists who aid the refugees and great personal risk.
Thu, Jul 11 7:00 PM
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West Indies: The Fugitive Slaves of Liberty (1979)

There aren’t too many movies like Med Hondo’s West Indies: The Fugitive Slaves of Liberty. From 1979, this musical dramatizes 400 years of French colonialism in Africa through song and dance. Though the story traverses oceans, the film was shot entirely on a massive replica of a slave ship built in an abandoned factory in Paris. 
Sat, Jul 13 7:00 PM
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Cries & Whispers

Since we’ve been highlighting comedians and comedies in recent weeks, it seemed like a good idea to throw in a movie that has not one single laugh or moment of levity in it anywhere. Plus, it’s Ingmar Bergman’s birthday, so…Cries & Whispers!
Sun, Jul 14 3:00 PM
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Comedians & Comedies: Harold & Maude

Two funeral-crashers – a teenaged boy and an elderly woman (Bud Cort and Ruth Gordon, respectively, both utterly fabulous) – develop a deep relationship in this classic ‘70s comedy from Hal Ashby. The humor is dark-dark-dark – there’s death everywhere, and much of guffaw-humor comes from Harold’s increasingly elaborate and hysterical fake-suicide attempts – but there’s a very human heart in the movie.
Fri, Aug 2 7:00 PM
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Paris Is Burning (1990)

Presented by drag artist Rheed Rhumm as part of the ongoing “Queer Coming-Out Stories,” Paris Is Burning chronicles NYC's ball culture, and addresses some pressing questions, such as: Where does voguing come from, and what, exactly, is throwing shade? This landmark documentary provides a vibrant snapshot of the 1980s through the eyes of New York City’s African American and Latinx Harlem drag ball scene.
Sat, Aug 3 3:00 PM
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Saved! (2004)

As part of VTIFF’s ongoing “Queer Coming-Out Stories,” Emoji Nightmare presents this 2004 comedy, which offers a set-up along the lines of: what if Heathers or Mean Girls took place a Christian school? When Mary (Jena Malone), a Christian high-school student, attempts to 'cure' her friend of his homosexuality, it backfires and she ends up pregnant.
Fri, Aug 9 7:00 PM
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Comedians & Comedies: The Incredible Shrinking Woman

The great Lily Tomlin does her thing in this comedy, written by Tomlin’s longtime creative partner Jane Wagner. This creative mix of physical comedy, satire, sci-fi and social commentary baffled critics when it came out in 1981, but has achieved cult status in the intervening decades.
Sun, Aug 11 3:00 PM
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King Creole

“An Elvis movie? Really?!” Yes, absolutely. It’s true that, as a rule, Elvis movies are terrible. Who’d argue with that? They tend to be lazy enterprises with cookie-cutter scripts, embarrassing songs, mediocre production values, baked-in misogyny, and deeply uninspired – and often utterly indifferent – performances from Big El himself.
Fri, Aug 16 7:00 PM
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