Friday, September 21, 2007
Curry and Bears in Fresno
(with Jon Carroll, Festival Director and Stephen Mintz, Program Director)
Day Two of the Fresno Reel Pride Film Festival
I saw two films at the festival today. I also had a chance to catch up with some folks I've met in previous years, and got to meet some new friends in the LGBT community here in Fresno.
BEARS is a documentary which follows 5 fellas as they compete in the annual Mr International Bear Contest. Just in case you don't know a bear is - to quote the movie - "a big hairy gay man". The film shows an intimate look at the lives of these men in their communities and familes, then follows the competition in San Francisco.
I was wondering why the lesbians don't have this entire sub culture where they celebrate being big and hairy. My friend Sean pointed out that lesbian bears are called PEARS. FYI. Here is the trailer for this documentary, which was made by two straight men. It's actually very well made and if you're a bear, you're going to LOVE it.
I was wondering why two straight men would make such a detailed and quite lovely portrait of the bear culture. Well, the producer was here and he said they were actually shooting a music video for Enrique Inglesias when they had some bears as extras for a gay bar scene. When the director found out what bears were - he took an interest and thought it would make a fascinating documentary.
The most controversial part of this film is when one contestant, Tom, speaks negatively about what he calls the "Will & Grace" homosexuals - meaning effeminate. This has not gone over well in any screening!
Next up was the screening of NINA'S HEAVENLY DELIGHTS, a film about curry and lesbian love in the Indian community in Glasgow.
This is a charming, traditional romance about love, acceptance, family and cooking with two beautiful leading ladies. The cooking is such a huge part of the movie, that all the lesbians in the audience actually "oooed" and "ahhhed" at the dishes more than the lesbian love scenes.
After the second screening, there was a party at Palomino in the Tower district.
Joan and Liz have me beat - they have 15 cats to my 3. I told them that makes them better lesbians than I. Yes, it's true. Anywhere you go on this God's earth, you can find lesbians talking about their cats and dogs.
Fresno Programmer Kathleen Mullen with writer/actor Jesse Archer.
Angela and Tamala are two out lesbian high school teachers here in town. Angela told me a cute story about one of her freshman students who came out to her as gay... she responded, "Well you know the two of us are also gay and a couple!". Can you imagine having LGBT school teachers when you were a kid?! (I mean, out ones!)
(PS: A shout out to Renee and "mom" and all the folks at The Q here...everyone has been so sweet and wonderful!!!)
The following photos are from Tamela Ryatt. www.ryatphoto.com