By Hans Pedersen, September 2016 Issue.
Now Playing | PG | 89 minutes
From out Oscar-winning director Roger Ross Williams comes this stellar documentary about an autistic boy who cannot communicate with his family – until one day he blurts out a line from the movie Aladdin. Slowly, but surely, immersing the boy in Disney tales helps to bring him out of his shell. The director of God Loves Uganda helms this marvelous film about Owen Suskind, based on the uplifting best-selling book by his father, Ron Suskind. This heartwarming documentary has earned numerous accolades, including this year’s Directing Award for U.S. Documentary at Sundance.
In theaters Aug. 26 | PG | 85 minutes
Filmmaker Ira Sachs (Love Is Strange, Keep the Lights On) has crafted his latest ode to New York in this tale of two families that clash over high real estate prices. Two young teens, who eventually become friends, find themselves caught in the middle of their parents’ property battle over a dress shop lease. While there’s not any specific gay content here, it’s interesting to see the out director exploring some of the themes from his earlier films. Little Men stars Greg Kinnear and Alfred Molina, and features Theo Taplitz and Michael Barbieri as Jake and Tony, the two young men whose friendship gets tested.
In theaters and available on iTunes Aug. 26 | R | 90 minutes
Out actress Clea Duvall (Argo, But I’m a Cheerleader) directs her first feature, which earned awards at Sundance and plenty of praise as opening night feature at Outfest 2016. Four couples are on a weekend getaway when one of them learns the entire trip was planned as an intervention to help with their troubled marriage. Of course the woes of the other three couples quickly become evident, especially when same-sex couple Sarah (Natasha Lyonne) and Jessie (Duvall) are threatened by sexy seductions from young Lola (Alia Shawkat), unbeknownst to her boyfriend.
Available on DVD and home video Sept. 6
An affectionate portrait of multitalented gay British painter, photographer and printmaker David Hockney, this documentary features oodles of footage from his own personal archive. Filmmaker Randall Wright goes behind the scenes of the artist’s bright acrylic swimming pool scenes and his celebrity persona, which first exploded at the height of the British Pop Art scene. Viewers get a look at his studio and learn of his love life, his time-tested career and his way of coping with the AIDS crisis. This enlightening glimpse at an artist who still paints daily, it’s infused with both humor and a sense of wonder.