Q Cinema kicked off with Southern Baptist Sissies, but there are hoards of other movies to screen during the weekend on showings: features, shorts, documentaries and live performances. Here are some highlights.
I Am Divine. John Waters and his muse-paramour Harris Glen Milstead — known to cult film lovers the world over as the audacious drag queen Divine — toiled in relative obscuring for 15 years with underground classics like Mondo Trasho, Female Trouble and Pink Flamingos (where Divine eats, on camera, a freshly laid dog turd). Then in 1988, they finally seemed to hit it with Hairspray, a PG-rated paean to ’60s musical and incipient radicalism. It was a surprise hit when it bowed in February; barely a week, Divine died suddenly in his sleep. He was 42. Featuring interviews with Waters, Tab Hunter, Michael Musto and Divine himself, as well as clips from his films and rare video footage of his live performances, I Am Divine shows the tasteful side of the queens of bad taste. It’s informative and fun and, always, Divine. (Screens Sunday at 2 p.m.)
Birthday Cake. The 2012 short Groom’s Cake was a mockumentary about two gay guys adopting a baby. Now comes its feature-length sequel, where the same characters — high-pressure TV writer Daniel (director Chad Darnell) and laid-back aspiring actor Stephen (Rib Hillis) plan their daughter’s first birthday party while a reality TV crew films it all, from the (unwelcome) arrival of Dan’s religious mother and sister to the reality producers’ insistence that a hot young stud serve as body double for the men. In the post-Modern Family era, this is familiar territory (Dan=Mitch, Stephen=Cam with better pecs), but no less charming and funny for it. The dialogue is witty and naturally delivered by a cast that also includes Peter Paige (Queer as Folk) and lesbian icon Helen Shaver (Desert Hearts). (Screens Friday at 9 p.m.)
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 11,, 2013.