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Describing herself as a ‘street queen,’ Johnson was a legendary fixture in New York City’s gay ghetto and a tireless voice for LGBT pride since the days of Stonewall, who along with fellow trans icon Sylvia Rivera, founded Street Transvestites Action Revolutionaries (S.T.A.R.), a trans activist group based in the heart of NYC’s Greenwich Village. Her death in 1992 was declared a suicide by the NYPD, but friends never accepted that version of events. Structured as a whodunit, with activist Victoria Cruz cast as detective and audience surrogate, The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson celebrates the lasting political legacy of Johnson, while seeking to finally solve the mystery of her unexplained death.
Clarence Reid is a musician who wrote and produced romantic and spiritual songs for some of the greatest Southern soul and R&B acts of the 1960s and ’70s. He is also the gonzo performer Blowfly, Clarence’s freaky alter ego and the original X-rated rapper. “The Weird World of Blowfly” explores both sides of this hilarious and controversial artist, providing a rare, inside peek at the infamous linguist’s daily life. Now 69-years-old, with a gold-spangled superhero costume and a catalog of the world’s raunchiest tunes, Blowfly tours the world, still struggling for success and recognition after 50 years of making music. The film highlights both Clarence’s and Blowfly’s unique contributions to music history, including Top-10 R&B hits and what might be the world’s first rap song, recorded in 1965.
Toyland apparently does exist. A toy museum in Vermont houses nearly 100,000 toys with the goal of creating a space for people to remember the worry-free days of their childhood. This short documentary will enrapture viewers with nostalgia and newfound curiosity.
In intimate conversations with those involved, including 28-year-old death row inmate Michael Perry (who was scheduled to die eight days after his interview with Herzog), legendary filmmaker Werner Herzog achieves what he describes as “a gaze into the abyss of the human soul.” As he’s so often done before, Herzog’s investigation unveils layers of humanity, making an enlightening trip out of ominous territory.
Atlantis is more visual art than nature film and a ‘must see’ for any Luc Besson fan. The film captures the feel of what it’s actually like to swim underwater better than any film I’ve ever seen, perfectly illustrating the form and texture of sea water. Beautiful. Highly recommended for anyone interested in visual arts or diving.
Timely and wise, this feature documentary explores the state of prostitution laws in Canada. Buying Sex captures the complexity of the issue by listening to the frequently conflicting voices of sex workers, policy-makers, lawyers and even the male buyers who make their claim for why prostitution is good for society. Examining the realities in Sweden and New Zealand, and respecting the differences of ideology as Canada works its way toward an uneasy consensus, the film challenges us to think for ourselves and offers a gripping and invaluable account of just what is at stake for all of us.
The Culture High tears into the very fibre of the modern day marijuana debate to reveal the truth behind the arguments and motives governing both those who support and oppose the existing pot laws.