Outfest: Pat Rocco and George Takei

“Outfest is one of the leading nonprofit organizations dedicated to growing, preserving and showcasing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender filmmaking. Beyond its well-known annual festival (its namesake), it screens movies year-round (as part of a regular series), and hosts special events. Outfest’s events draw film aficionados, artists, entertainment industry insiders and celebrities, and boast “some of the hottest parties around!”

The Outfest Film Festival 2014 was from July 10th through July 20th, and it was a great way to see what is going on in the world of LGBT cinema in terms of their content, trends, sensibilities, thoughts.

I only went to two of their showings, and both in a way hark back to the 1960’s, a time where new, radical, innovative, avant garde ideas & concepts were flowing throughout the more liberal, industrially & technologically advanced countries such as Europe, US, Japan.

Pat Rocco celebrated his 80th birthday at the Directors Guild of America theatre.  There was a great retrospective of his works that date back to the late1960’s.  For that time, the depiction of Gays in fictional films as well as documentary style was rare so seeing Pat Rocco’s films, although they may seem a bit naive & amateurish today, was to perceive the Zeitgeist & milieu of that iconoclastic decade.

George Takei (tah keh ee) came to the fore in the 1960’s when he was Hikaru Sulu in the old Star Trek series.  Fearing that he would not be hired as an actor if he came out, George Takei stayed in the closet for many decades as did many other actors such as Liberace, Rock Hudson, etc.

However, California’s Proposition 8 which would forbid same sex marriage fired up George Takei into coming out & promoting the cause for two loving people of any sex to marry.  In fact, George & his husband came on stage to do some questions & answers after the show.

Much of this autobiographical film charts the progress & background to his coming out although there was an inordinate amount of time devoted to grievances against William Shatner, Captain Kirk of Star Trek fame, who apparently slighted Takei on various occasions.

The film festival was spread around Hollywood & Downtown Los Angeles.  The DGA venue was a great place to view both of the movies.  Absolut, one of the festival sponsors, was so kind as to make sure the BOOZE flowed all throughout the weekend. So Bloody Marys, wine, beer, and mixed drinks were enjoyed by all.

3 Cheers to all the beers & Queers!!! 

Gary Idama

About Gary Idama

A gourmet since the mid 1970s, Gary Idama has an extensive knowledge of a variety of cuisines, but is partial to Japanese food. When Gary reviews restaurants, he looks for good food and drink, good bang for the bucks, a clean eatery and kitchen, plus knowledgeable and enthusiastic service. He is a member of Yelp's Elite and spends his time at restaurant and cultural events, hanging out with friends, and attending Sake/Wine tastings. His last meal on earth would be Omakase with premium Sake at Mako Sushi in Little Tokyo and maybe a little salted, preserved Fugu ovary with a Napa Pinot Noir.
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