A Glorious Gabfest

With a (mostly) top-notch lineup, Outtakes Dallas 2000 details how normal (and screwed up) we all are

101 Rent Boys The title says it all--documentarians Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, professional and domestic partners who scored big early this year with the much-discussed The Eyes of Tammy Faye, got funding from Cinemax to interview 101 different hustlers who work Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood. Each is taken to a motel room and paid $50 to talk about their professions, their pasts, their relationships with lovers and families, and what they want for the future, in open-ended segments with titles like "Sex" and "Love" and "Money." Truthfully, Bailey and Barbato and their subjects offer us very little that's surprising, but hey, there are few ways to kill 90 minutes as effortlessly as a discussion about sex and money. 101 Rent Boys works because Bailey and Barbato don't pity these male prostitutes, nor do they attempt to take any position at all on "the issue" of prostitution or "the issue" of drugs (many of them, unsurprisingly, are addicts). Indeed, the film is likely to raise some eyebrows by its eagerness early on to titillate. The more attention-craving, exhibitionist guys flash us their baskets and backsides with sweet, sly smiles. When some of their life details emerge, though, it's hard to stay turned on--No. 24, who has neurofibromatosis and must work extra hard to convince johns the cysts on his back aren't from a venereal disease; No. 33, a speed freak who can't stop crying during the interview because his dealer-boyfriend broke up with him and his regular clients stay away because of his weepiness; and No. 4, who learned weeks later about his mother's death but reasons she has, at least, finally accepted his bisexuality because "she's an angel now." Then there's No. 7, a guy from an "upper-class family" who's "picky" and talks endlessly about his hair, which is "like silk and satin, but nobody knows it, because I won't let them touch it." If nothing else, 101 Rent Boys is a public service announcement for guys who might mistakenly blow 50 bucks on this clown. (Nov. 3, 11 p.m.)

Call to Witness Director Pam Walton takes the ecumenical debate over same-sex relationships and the ordination of gays and lesbians--possibly the two hottest topics for those Protestant denominations honest enough to address them--and looks at them through the prism of The Evangelical Lutheran Church. Congregations in San Francisco and St. Paul are forced to stand by or fall with their pastors when local leaders--knowing full well it will result in church trials--opt to ordain a lesbian and a gay, respectively. They are, to use The Evangelical Lutheran Church Association's giggle-triggering phrase, "actively homosexual" (both are in long-term relationships). In other cities, there are absurd "compromises": one woman pastor, Anita Hall, has to wear her sash irregularly and be called "a pastoral minister" so she can preach from the pulpit. When two churches are expelled after five years because they support their rebel ministers, sympathetic straight and gay dissidents form the Lutheran Gay and Lesbian Ministries to provide financial support for their continued rabble-rousing. As with several of the films at Outtakes, gays and lesbians might feel that they're the choir who is being preached to, that heterosexuals ought to be the ones listening to stories about our lives. Nowhere at the festival is this truer than with Call to Witness. This is not to fault Walton's concise, temperate expose of religious bureaucratic boneheadedness. You just wish a few of the boneheads would be brave enough to confront how this lunacy looks from the outside. (Director Pam Walton will speak. Nov. 5, 1:30 p.m.)

A gay men's amateur softball team--featuring, among others, Dean Cain, bottom center, and Frasier's John Mahoney, far right--is the focus of The Broken Hearts Club.
A gay men's amateur softball team--featuring, among others, Dean Cain, bottom center, and Frasier's John Mahoney, far right--is the focus of The Broken Hearts Club.
Lick it up: Maria Schrader stars in the dizzingly erotic WWII saga Aimee and Jaguar.
Lick it up: Maria Schrader stars in the dizzingly erotic WWII saga Aimee and Jaguar.

Details

Novembr 3-5 and 10-12 For ticket information call (214) 827-TKTS or visit www.outtakesdallas.org on the Web.
Lakewood Theatre, 1825 Abrams Parkway at Gaston.

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