Preview: Gay-interest movies at Dallas International Film Fest this week

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David Thorpe, trying not to sound gay

Despite no specific gay programming series, the 2015 of the Dallas International Film Festival — which is going on now through April 19 — is one of the gayest yet, with a lot of diverse and interesting LGBT films, from shorts to narrative features to documentaries. Here’s a brief (but non-exhaustive) rundown of some of what to check out, but there’s tons more as well.

The Amina Profile (documentary). Filmmaker Sophie Deraspe online flirtation with blogger Amina, known to the world as “A Gay Girl in Damascus,” rose to the level of international intrigue when Amina was kidnapped, and Deraspe set out to find out what happened. Screens Friday at 10:15 p.m. and Saturday at 3 p.m.

Margarita with a Straw (feature). An Indian woman with cerebral palsy sets out to make a life for herself in New York, only to discover something about herself when she meets and falls in love with another woman. Screens Saturday at 12:15 p.m. and Saturday, April 18 at 10:30 p.m.

She’s the Best Thing In It (documentary). After years on TV and stage as a reliable character actress (Gypsy, One Day at a Time), Mary Louise Wilson finally scored gold, taking a Tony Award for playing Big Edie Bouvier in the musical adaptation of Grey Gardens. It should have opened even more doors for her, only, she says, “I never worked again.” So, without prior experience teaching, she accepts a position in New Orleans instructing students on the art of acting. Ron Nyswaner (Oscar-nominated screenwriter of Philadelphia) made this look at the actor’s craft through the eyes of one of the best who most folks have never heard of. Screens Saturday at 4 p.m. and Sunday at 12:15 p.m.

Do I Sound Gay? (documentary), pictured. David Thorpe’s personal, comic look at gay stereotypes about what an effeminate voice says about you to the outside world — both the English-speaking and non-English-speaking. Confessional, funny, charming and profound by turn, it includes interviews with the likes of George Takei, Tim Gunn and David Sedaris. Screens Saturday at 10:15 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m.

The Outfit (short). Texas filmmaker and DIFF fave Yen Tan (Ciao, Pit Stop) directed this tight narrative about how clothes suggest something about a public figure’s sexuality. Part of the Shorts Competition Program. Screens Tuesday at 10 p.m. and Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Adjust-a-Dream (short). A gay couple, planning for their big move in together, go searching for the perfect mattress … only the process reveals a lot about their differences and insecurities. Comic and dramatic by turn. Part of the Shorts Competition Program. Screens Friday at 7:45 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m.

The Little Deputy (short). Gay director Trevor Anderson tries to re-take a photo with his dad at a shopping mall kiosk 30 years late in this quirky, quasi-experimental and very personal private history of father-son relationships. Screens Friday at 7:45 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

WATCH: Vanessa Carlton’s “Hear the Bells”; CocoRosie’s “We Are On Fire”

Out bi singer Vanessa Carlton premiered the newest video today from her 2011 album Rabbits on the Run. In “Hear the Bells,” Carlton likens the story of the recluse in the video on the life Little Edie of Grey Gardens fame.

Carlton hit big with her singles “A Thousand Miles” and “Ordinary Day” back in 2002. Although she hasn’t achieved similar success since then, she’s been consistently releasing original work with Rabbits being her fourth. In 2010, she headlined Nashville Pride and came out during her performance proclaiming herself as a “proud bisexual woman.”

The sister duo of CocoRosie released their video today for their latest single “We Are On Fire.” It’s kinda creepy and kinda freaky and just what you should expect from the half-queer team. But the video is also some exquisite stuff.

Watch both videos after the jump.

—  Rich Lopez

DFW Theater Critics bestow annual awards

'Opus' at Circle Theatre took awards for direction and ensemble.

Every year, members of the Dallas-Fort Worth Theater Critics Forum (which this time numbered a record 10 critics participating) gather in an East Dallas house and hash out the best in local theater during the preceding season. It’s usually a spirited debate with tears and blood and regretful recriminations, but this year it went very smoothly. Too smoothly, if you ask me. (I suspect Al Qaeda had a hand in it.) One reason might have been that there were a lot of good shows to agree upon, leading to an astonishing number of awards — more than usual. It was also a strong year for actresses.

For the first time in a long while, the winners’ list was led by the Dallas Theater Center, which took 11 citations (plus a special award) for seven shows, including all three “Beauty Plays:” Reasons to Be Pretty, Fat Pig and The Shape of Things.

Diana Sheehan and Pam Dougherty took actress awards for 'Grey Gardens' at WaterTower Theatre.

Coming up behind was Fort Worth’s Circle Theatre, which took seven awards across three shows (Bach at Leipzig, which just closed, Opus and Something Intangible), and young Upstart Productions, which won six awards for its two shows of the season (Talk Radio and subUrbia). Gay theater troupe Uptown Players took one, for actress Wendy Welch in Forbidden Broadway’s Greatest Hits.

A lot of gay themed shows and out members of the community took honors, including Lyric Stage’s world premiere musical The Road to Qatar!, actors Regan Adair and Elias Taylorson, and three of the four touring production winners (Spring Awakening, Xanadu and The Be(a)st of Taylor Mac).

The critics also announced a new award for emerging artist, presented to actor Joey Folsom for his exceptional season.

The complete list of winners appears after the jump.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones