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Pioneers of Queer Cinema at Siskel Film Center

August 2, 2022 - September 4, 2022

In partnership with the UCLA Film & Television Archive, the Gene Siskel Film Center presents differing, often radical explorations of sexual orientation and gender identity. Pioneers of Queer Cinema introduces and reacquaints audiences with landmark queer works and their makers, while inspiring new conversations and renewed action surrounding the complex obstacles LGBTQ+ communities continue to face. The series features works from groundbreaking LGBTQ+ filmmakers, including writer-director-punk archivist-actor Cheryl Dunye ( THE WATERMELON WOMAN); early New Queer Cinema director Gregg Akari (THE LIVING END); the debut feature from lesbian feminist filmmaker and artist Barbara Hammer (NITRATE KISSES on 16mm ); and filmmaker and activist Marlon Riggs’s essential history and intersectional exploration of Black, gay Americans (TONGUES UNTIED). The program’s 35mm and 16mm celluloid features include the groundbreaking oral history WORD IS OUT: STORIES OF SOME OF OUR LIVES on 35mm; the experimental and moving BLACKSTAR: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF FRIENDSHIP on 35mm; “one of the first documentaries to challenge homophobic and sexist attitudes about lesbian parenting,” CHOOSING CHILDREN on 35mm; “the best and most honest film ever made about AIDS,” PARTING GLANCES on 35mm, starring Steve Buscemi; and Robert Epstein’s powerful documentary THE TIMES OF HARVEY MILK on 35mm. Other series highlights include Jennie Livingston’s acclaimed and powerful portrait of NYC’s Ballroom scene in the ’80s PARIS IS BURNING and Donna Deitch’s groundbreaking and tender portrait of queer female intimacy DESERT HEARTS.


August 2, 2022
September 4, 2022
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Gene Siskel Film Center
164 N State St
Chicago, IL 60601
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