Calling all queer babies and babes (straights, you can come too!). This week, the Luna Experimental Film Series presents two days of films that focus on queer experiences through folklore, shorts and cartoons.
The program is split into two film sets, called OUT OF THE WOODS: Queer Folk and Fairy Tales for adults, and OVER THE RAINBOW: Queer and Experimental Shorts for Kids of All Ages. Both will be presented by Filmmakers at the Melwood Screening Room on May 11 and 12.
Friday night will be dedicated to showing OUT OF THE WOODS, a set of 16 shorts from filmmakers around the world. Some explore mythology, while others retell traditional fairy tales from a queer perspective.
One film is an interpretation of the story of the Little Mermaid, in which a merman awakens Prince Eric’s love by playing his violin by the shore. Another is a Samoan retelling of Cinderella, or “Sinalela,” presenting a variety of gender expressions through drag and other motifs.
Little Taiko Boy mixes eastern and western influences and traditions as well as Japanese gay culture. The film depicts several men meeting for intimate encounters. Soon the amorous couples are visited by a bejeweled condom-bearing Shinto goddess. A few of the films, like Little Taiko Boy, implicitly or explicitly allude to sexuality, so this showing is for adult audiences only.
Children are welcomed into the theater for Saturday’s OVER THE RAINBOW and “Drag Queen Story Hour” hosted by Akasha L. Van-Chartier. OVER THE RAINBOW includes eight short films, both live-action and animated that address themes like bullying, belonging, coming out, friendship and parental love.
Tomboy uses Spanish and English to tell the story of a young Latina girl who is bullied for being a tomboy and her journey to find acceptance. Some of the films are more whimsical, like the feminist retelling of Sleeping Beauty as Sleeping Betty or the animated film My Mom is an Airplane! about a boy’s love for his adventurous mother. In a Heartbeat tells of the scary feelings around first love when a boy tries to contain his runaway heart and captures so well that feeling we have when we let our heart go to someone else.