Dear Biddy B by


Biddy B – Mr. James Bidgood’s advice columnist friend is back this summer, to cool us down with her rapier wit and sagely advice. If you have questions for Biddy B, email!

Dear Biddy B,

This is my first summer in the city, and as a young twenty-something, I was expecting to meet new people and have a lot of fun. Yet I find myself going from home to the train to the office and back again nearly every day, too tired or timid to socialize. I haven’t really had a chance to make many new friends, and bars aren’t really my thing. How can a quiet queer gal bust onto the New York scene?


Nerdy Newbie New Yorker 

Dear Mister Nerdy Newbie,

Well Dahling, I am only slightly dismayed Manhattan and its towers have not turned out to be the merrymaking or should I say Mary-making bacchanal you had so looked forward to. You might have done better had you headed west young man, to San Fransissy, which has been likened by many to one monumental picnic ground, a multifarious fête champˆtre as it were, an incessant outing of full baskets and wieners roasting with potholders at ready, all quite gratifying if you don’t mind the aunties. Pack citronella candles just in case.


United in Anger: A History of ACT UP by

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United in Anger: A History of ACT UP is a unique feature-length documentary that combines startling archival footage that puts the audience on the ground with the activists and the remarkably insightful interviews from the ACT UP Oral History Project to explore ACT UP (the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) from a grassroots perspective – how a small group of men and women of all races and classes, came together to change the world and save each other’s lives.

Keep the Lights On spoke with director Jim Hubbard a few months ago, just before the premiere of United in Anger at the MOMA. Tomorrow, July 6, it will open at the Quad Cinema in Greenwich Village.


Francophrenia – Shots are Thoughts by

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In quantum labs you can see an object in two different places at once. Yes, at the same time. Laugh, I used to, but quantum physics is a radical science. I studied electrical engineering and was taught Heisenberg’s theory that atoms are not things but rather tendencies. Still I can’t totally believe that one object can be in more than one place at the same time. This was the first paradox I came across in my adult life, something I re-lived watching Francophrenia (Or Don’t Kill Me, I Know Where the Baby Is), an experimental film around James Franco’s appearance in a soap opera.


Thank you, ‘In Search of Avery Willard’ Supporters by

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The ISOAW team would like to express gratitude to the generous contributors who made our Kickstarter fundraiser a huge success. It’s been less than three weeks since our world premiere and the film has already screened at FOUR international film festivals on two coasts! The response has been simply overwhelming thus far. We couldn’t be more thrilled to have the opportunity to share and connect with such dynamic audiences around the country. Thanks to your Kickstarter contributions, we are able to continue our journey with upcoming screenings at the Connecticut Film Festival (July 1), Philadelphia QFest (July 14) and Outfest 2012 in Los Angeles (July 15 & 17).


Good Year for Hunters by

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Oh these little earthquakes
Here we go again
These little earthquakes
Doesn’t take much to rip us into pieces
-Tori Amos, ‘Little Earthquakes,’ 1992

Good Year for Hunters, a new play from Jess Barbagallo and Chris Giarmo, opened last night as the debut performance at New Ohio Theatre’s Ice Factory 2012. Inspired by Tori Amos’s seminal album, Little EarthquakesGood Year For Hunters is a queer horror play about a mysteriously orphaned brother and sister who fall in love with a closeted husband and wife. Like Amos, the characters struggle to find their own voices under oppressive religious, cultural, and sexual circumstances. Using a poor theatre aesthetic of minimalist design and physical acting, the Hunters cast creates a darkly comedic landscape of yearning turned nightmare.

Five years ago, Barbagallo approached long-time collaborator Giarmo with the idea to write a play based on Little Earthquakes. “What emerged,” Barbagallo told NYC theater blog Theater in the Now, “was this apocalyptic horror show about growing up queer and closeted.” More…

Matt Wolf’s “I Remember: A Film About Joe Brainard” by


Matt Wolf is a New York filmmaker whose documentaries focus on music, teenagers, and artists who he describes as gentle gays. He made the film Wild Combination (2008) about the avant-garde cellist and disco producer, Arthur Russell (whose music is used in Keep The Lights On). Currently, Wolf is working on Teenage, a documentary about the invention of youth. While working on Teenage, Wolf created a short film, “I Remember: A Film About Joe Brainard”, where he pays tribute to one of his favorite artists and writers, Joe Brainard. Like Arthur Russell, Brainard’s life ended prematurely due to AIDS.


A Pride PSA from Robot House by

It’s New York Gay Pride this weekend,  and  there are plenty of  film screenings (the hilarious Gayby at BAM CinemaFest and Rooftop Films), articles (an excellent piece by David M. Halperin) and parties (too many for parentheticals) to help celebrate.

For a narci, any communal event forces introspection (or more accurately, navel-gazing), and right now, I can’t stop thinking, and cackling, about Robot House, a place that for me as a college underclassman, felt like an  model for living, and the coolest continual Pride Celebration I had ever been too. It was an Evanston, Illinois flop house that felt worlds away from the Northwestern University campus. The upperclassman that lived there – Rachel, Jackie, Stacy, Anna – were film production majors unlike anyone else – mainly because they were always, always creating things and never asking for permission.

They had copies of BITCH Magazine on the table, and  made shorts like Ultimate Dino Remix 2005. It’s a lesbian love story about a nerdy girl in love with a cheerleader who tries  to woo her by wooing her with dinosaurs and a song called Put Your Ballot Inside My Box.

My favorite memory of their house is making this video , Maggie and Judi Make Flapjacks. I played Judi Dench and my friend, Paul, played Maggie Smith, and we made pancakes. It definitely bears the influence of  Jack Smith, without really understanding Jack Smith. At Robot House, I was free to camp, vamp, and eat purple pancakes. It felt like pride.

Don’t forget your party cardigan by

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“Just because it’s over doesn’t mean you’re over it.”

So says the tagline for The Outs, a new web series launched in April from writer-director Adam Goldman. The Outs follows the story of a gay freelance writer and his ex-boyfriend as they try to move on with their lives and find love (or lust) again…with varying degrees of success. From uncomfortable run-ins with exes to unexpected hookups and the search for the perfect party cardigan, Jack (Hunter Canning) and Mitchell (Adam Goldman) and their motley crew of likable twenty-somethings paint an honest picture of single life in the city today.

In a departure from the sketch comedy style that distinguishes most popular web series, The Outs is a primarily character-driven show. Many viewers who expected short, disconnected vignettes on “gay life in New York” were surprised when the story returned to Jack and Mitchell in the second episode. Adam Goldman, however, sees The Outs  as telling a full story from beginning to end, and audiences seem to have embraced his vision.


In Search of Avery Willard New York Premiere this week – 6/19 by

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IN SEARCH OF AVERY WILLARD will have its official New York Premiere at UnionDocs this Tuesday, June 19 at 8:30 pm as part of L Magazine’s 2012 Northside Festival. The screening is presented by Outfest and Newfest, and will precede the feature documentary DZI CROQUETTES about a groundbreaking Brazilian theater & dance group. Much of the ISOAW team will be present for a Q&A following the films! More…

Negative Joy: Keeping it Real by

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443 PAS is a NYC gallery that exhibits emerging and established artists in Kevin Asbec’s interior design firm. Recently they held an event called “Negative Joy”, screening video art portraying our sometimes dark lives in a humorous, ridiculous, and maddening light.

I originally went to the “Negative Joy” video art screening at 443 PAS because I saw Shana Moulton and Tim Davis on the list of artists. As often is the case, I was more engaged by the other artists than those whom I had come to see. Animated works by Rao Heidmets, Jacolby Satterwhite, and Monica Cook were the most grotesque, ridiculous and emotionally truthful animations I had ever seen. The videos’ humorous animations and absurd story lines (or lack of) juxtaposed with their underlying sense of fear and realism, reminded me of dreams I have when I’m sick. The hallucinatory, illogical worlds in these videos engulfed me enough for me to experience and relate to the otherwise nonsensical worlds. More…