February isn’t always a particularly exciting time to go to the movies, unless you’re seeing those award-nominated films that finally get, or return, to theaters. For independent theaters, award season is an exciting time to get audiences out, especially when independent films have been thrust to the center of attention.
This February, the Belcourt is, of course, bringing a lot of those films to Nashville, but it also has a strong selection of films of LGBT interest this month, both a classic and two rising favorites.
My Own Private Idaho
This Gus Van Sant classic, released in 1991, is a loose adaptation of Shakespeare's Henry IV. Mike Waters (River Phoenix) is a gay hustler afflicted with narcolepsy. Scott Favor (Keanu Reeves) is the rebellious son of a mayor. Together, the two travel from Portland, Oregon to Idaho and finally to the coast of Italy in a quest to find Mike's estranged mother. Along the way they turn tricks for money and drugs, eventually attracting the attention of a wealthy benefactor and sexual deviant.
Special showing at midnight on February 9.
A Fantastic Woman
This Chilean film by director Sebastian Lelio was 2017 release and has created a lot of buzz. It was a New York Times Critic’s Pick. This film’s beautiful, enigmatic transgender heroine, Marina (Daniela Vega), is plunged into a precarious situation after her boyfriend dies unexpectedly in her company.
“Making subtle nods toward Almodóvar and Fassbinder, Lelio suffuses his scenes with an air of subversive noir, emphasizing Marina's quest to prove she is not the femme fatale her adversaries make her out to be. *A Fantastic Woman* is an alluring exercise in style, a smart spin on the genre, and a much-needed entry into the category of films that move trans characters from the margins to the spotlight.”
Set to open on Friday, February 23, show times will be posted Monday, February 19.
Robin Campillo’s magnificent film, BPM (Beats Per Minute, photographed above), won the Grand Prix at Cannes and was among the most acclaimed international films of 2017 (snubbed for an Oscar nom to boot). BPM is a harrowing yet inspiring look back at the activism of French ACT UP protesters during the height of the AIDS crisis in the early 1990s. With the disease having claimed countless lives in the past 10 years, the Parisian branch of ACT UP begins to multiply their actions to fight the public’s general indifference to this massive health crisis. Nathan (Arnaud Valois), a newcomer to the group, soon has his world shaken up by the radical militant Sean (Nahuel Perez Biscayart).
BPM opens Sunday, February 4 and runs through Thursday, February 8. Showtimes and tickets are available online.