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Pioneers of Queer Cinema – November 2022

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The Frida Cinema is proud to partner with Kino Lorber and Vaccinate All 58 to present Pioneers of Queer Cinema, a film retrospective featuring Kino Lorber’s gorgeous new restorations of three of the earliest examples of queer cinema. These three groundbreaking films will all be presented free-of-charge, thanks to the support of Vaccinate All 58.

Victor and Victoria – Nov 2
Directed by Reinhold Schunzel | 1933

Our series opens with director Reinhold Schünzel’s Victor and Victoria, a dazzling, gender-bending musical romance about a female singer posing as a man performing in drag. Produced in the final days of the Weimar Republic, the film received received limited exposure in the United States, and is today best known by Blake Edwards’s 1982 remake and the 1995 Broadway production. Viewers will be delighted to discover that the original is every bit as charming and outrageous, reminiscent of the sly sex comedies of Ernst Lubitsch and Billy Wilder.

Madchen in Uniform – Nov 9
Directed by Leontine Sagan | 1931

The second film in our series is Mädchen in Uniform, the first of just three films directed by Austrian-Hungarian theatre director and actress Leontine Sagan. As a new student at an all-girls boarding school, Manuela falls in love with the compassionate teacher Fräulein von Bernburg, and her feelings are requited. Experiencing her first love, lonely Manuela also discovers the complexities that come with an illicit romance. This artfully composed landmark of lesbian cinema – and important anti-fascist film – won the audience referendum for Best Technical Perfection at the Venice Film Festival in 1932, and received the 1934 Japanese Kinema Junpo Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

Michael – Nov 16
Directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer | 1924

The third and final film in our series is Michael, a mature and visually elegant homoerotic classic by Danish film master Carl Theodor Dreyer (The Passion of Joan of Arc). A famous painter named Claude Zoret falls in love with one of his models, Michael, and for a time the two live happily as partners. Self-conscious of being considerably older than Michael, Zoret acts jealous and possessive – particularly when a bankrupt countess enters the picture to have a portrait made. Michael takes its place alongside Dreyer’s better known masterpieces as an unusually sensitive and decorous work of art, and is one of the earliest and most compassionate overtly gay-themed films in movie history. Serving to inspire the screenplay for Alfred Hitchcock’s 1925 film The Blackguard, Michael is considered an important early work in gay silent cinem

About Vaccinate All 58

A program of the California Department of Public Health, Vaccinate All 58 is a state-wide initiative to ensure communities are informed as to how they can keep their immunities strong with the most protective, updated COVID-19 booster, now available for everyone 5 years+. Staying up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccines, including primary series and updated booster, protects against the worst outcomes of COVID-19 for many months following vaccination. The FDA authorized the updated booster after reviewing data showing the bivalent boosters improved protection against recently circulating variants. Resources, community toolkits, and more can be found at vaccinateall58.com.

Support from Vaccinate All 58 makes it possible for our community to experience all screenings in our Pioneers of Queer Cinema free-of-charge, and we thank them for their partnership.

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