OPENING TODAY: The 25th NYC MIX Queer Experimental Film Festival by


Whether it’s archival footage of activists protesting against the release of Hollywood’s offensive film  “Cruising”, or an alien drag queen leading an army of flying penis monsters, NYC’s MIX Queer Experimental Film Festival yet again provides an intriguing program for everyone. Paying homage to its 25 year span, this year’s festival will acknowledge its past while exploring what it means to be a queer person in today’s society.

MIX was founded in 1987 by activist/author Sarah Schulman and filmmaker Jim Hubbard in response to the growing lack of original, limit-pushing films in other LGBTQ festivals. Since then, it has become one of the most anticipated annual events in the New York queer art community.

One of the programs everyone should be sure to check out is the Dirty Looks Selects: The First 25 Years of MIX program, which is guest-curated by Bradford Nordeen, programmer of the monthly queer experimental screening series, Dirty Looks.


Below is a statement from Bradford Nordeen on Dirty Looks and what we can expect from this year’s festival:

“Dirty Looks traces contemporary queer aesthetics through historical works, presenting quintessential GLBTQ film and video alongside up-and-coming artists and filmmakers. We exhibit a lineage of queer tactics and visual styles for younger artists, casual viewers and seasoned avant-garde film-goers, alike. So we’re understandably thrilled to be involved and to celebrate this momentous quarter-centennial! What we’ve done, here at Dirty Looks, is approached the entire back catalogue of the MIX film festival and selected one title per year throughout MIX’s history. In so doing, we tried to highlight works that either had a real significance or bearing over that moment of artistic production – or we selected titles or artists that have exhibited an amazing longevity and growth since their inclusion in the festival. Our “Selects” programs will be a REAL roller coaster, assembling very disparate titles and artists, voices and approaches – much like the festival itself!”     


The festival opens today and runs through Sunday November 18,  and is located at MIX Factory in Brooklyn (339 Butler Street).  Also at MIX NYC will be KTLO’s own In Search of Avery Willard, screening this Saturday the 17th at 8 pm!

Grab your Tickets now!




SIGNIFIED – Premiere and Dance Party this Friday, November 2 by


A lot of our friends, readers, and cast and crew for KEEP THE LIGHTS ON live in Lower Manhattan, so we hope everyone’s safe, and ok.

For those marooned in Brooklyn, we know things are getting a bit nutty, so if you’re in or around Bed-Stuy, check out this dance party tomorrow night for SIGNIFIED, an LGBTQ bilingual multi-media documentary web-series, Friday November 2, at the Freebrook Mansion. Here’s from Anna Barsan, co-creator of SIGNIFIED:

SIGNIFIED, an LGBTQ bilingual multi-media documentary web series, is thrilled to announce its third season. Shot in Colombia, Argentina & Cuba, SIGNIFIED’s latest season is spotlighting LGBTQ artists, activists & academics throughout Latin America.

In conjunction with La Joteria, a community of queer latina@s & QUEEROCRACY, a NYC based grassroots organization promoting social and economic justice, SIGNIFIED will launch the third season with a premiere screening and Latin dance party Friday, November 2nd, 2012 at the Freebrook Mansionin Brooklyn.Through interviews and events, SIGNIFIED works to provide a common space and platform for our diverse queer communities, both nationally and internationally, to participate in discourses regarding strategies of resistance. We seek to redefine resistance with narratives of collective education, radical interpersonal relationships, artistic creation and identity formation.

The inspiration for interviewing queer communities in Latin America came as a result of a number of discussions which took place during Season 1 and 2 which raised questions concerning accessibility, sharing of resources, and the degree to which cross-cultural dialogue was/was not happening between queer communities on an international scale.

Thanks in huge part to Carmen Torres, a member of the SIGNIFIED team originally from Bogotá but currently working in Buenos Aires, as well as Carlos Motta, one of our interviewees from Season 1, we had direct links to a number of individuals and organizations working in queer communities throughout Latin America. Anna and Carmen (half of the SIGNIFIED team) spent 5 months traveling from Winter 2011 to Spring 2012 to document and interview a handful of these community members.  We are now conducting interviews in the U.S. with Latin@ LGBTQ communities to foster and create spaces for international dialogue addressing the very complex issues of immigration/migration and the policing of brown bodies across borders (as well as within our own borders), U.S. imperialism, constructions of citizenship, colonial legacy, and the changing relationship – both culturally, economically and socially – between North and South America.

Our screening this Friday, November 2nd will feature 5 of our interviews from Bogotá, Habana, and Buenos Aires and provide a glimpse into the issues and topics we will be discussing throughout the upcoming season!

Good Ole’ Fashioned Lesbianism by

Back in the early days of Keep the Lights (when, like this weekend, we were faced with a hurricane), we shared our love of the The Slope, a web-based comic series by Desiree Akhavan and Ingrid Jungermann about a superficial homophobic lesbian couple in Park Slope:  ”Like Jonathan Lisecki’s Gayby, Akhavan and Jungermann repurpose the style of deadpan comedy seen in shows like The OfficeParks & Recreation andCurbs Your Enthusiasm with their unique strand of queer humor,” Chelsea Lora wrote.

The Slope went on to find a loyal audience, with Akhavan and Jungermann being named in Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film for 2012. Now, co-creator Jungermann is shooting a spin-off, F To 7TH, a comedy follows her character’s descent into middle age as she struggles to find herself in a world where gender and sexuality have left her old fashioned lesbianism behind. The show also features queer cinema alum Ashlie Atkinson (MY BEST DAY), and Gaby Hoffmann (LOUIE).

The team is in the last week of their kickstarter campaign to raise production funds for their shoot next month. As we know, comedies about lesbian, intersex, and trans issues are a rarity,  so if you can, lend them a hand.  Stay dry this weekend!

Dear Biddy B by

Whenever Mrs. Blatourbotum and I find ourselves in the propinquity of a sector of the city occasionally labeled Little Siberia, without fail we drop into our favorite curio shop, Chotski Chernobyl, to peruse their most recently accumulated whatnots. Chotski Chernobyl is owned by a Mister Ognian Makgivneya and staffed by himself, Vladlena Nonnay the wife, Chapayev the son and Anka the daughter. I feel obliged to make mention there is one peculiarity in evidence at this mom and pop yard sale emporium more curious than the curios, that both Mrs. Blatourbotum and I find difficult to ignore despite the amassment of swag, one more often than not uncovers rummaging through the clutter of salvaged trifles. We strongly suspect Dahling, amongst other disquietudes——–there is only the one Makgivneya!

All the family members are noticeably pint-sized, verging on Lilliputian with rounded out figures much like Russian nesting dolls— each one progressively shorter than the one before. Their somewhat flat facial features are identical as far as one can tell and alarmingly reminiscent of Mister Peter Lorre as Doctor Gogo and whether bald head or with babushka—all have the same neatly groomed, curving upward like lepidopterous antennae, tiniest of mustaches and Dahling, are unconscionably toothless!

We feel vindicated indulging such suspicions being neither of us can recall ever having seen or been attended to by more than one Makgivneya at the same time. As an example Dahling, on our last visit a bell tolled as always as we entered the shop, announcing our arrival, sounding as if we were about to witness the coronation of Boris Godunov, the ensuing near deafening reverberations causing us a brief quaking episode vigorous enough to trigger Mrs. Blatourbotum’s postiche to lean and favor one side. I soon sensed the wife, Vladlena Nonnay, moving as if on wheels across the rear of the store, dusting Dahling, nothing in particular, simply wagging a wad of feathers to and fro, her wary gaze never diverting from the two of us, not for so much as a blink. Then as suddenly as she had materialized she vanished into a garment rack of vintage furs, I must say Dahling, sadly in need of refurbishing.

The stirred up aroma of moth balls had hardly dissipated when I heard a noise to my left where this time it was the daughter, Anka, peering up at us from under the counter top glass whilst clearing a space on one of the crowded shelves for a very collectable Miss Sheryl Flynn Boxing Helena action figure. I had no more than glanced at the welcome mat Mrs. Blatourbotum was pointing out, crafted from the backs of several porcupine which most definitely seemed to be contradicting itself Dahling, one way or another and Miss Anka was disappeared —-nowhere to be seen!

Before I could catch my breath, the father lurched out from behind what I am quite confident was a counterfeit Louis Vuitton steamer trunk, clutching a crock of Amorphophallus in his arms. Having some knowledge of the Amorphophallus’s reputation, Dahling, I turned away so as not to betray my repulsed expression! Mrs. Blatourbotum inquired why I “looked like I’d been sniffin’ goats’ ass?“ She does have a way with words that one. I gestured over my shoulder with an inconspicuous tilt of my head to where by that time neither Mister Ognian Makgivneya nor his potted, putrid smelling shanghaier of insects were —no more.

We had only just completed examining what were purported to be five and a half petrified turds evacuated by no less than Mister Jesus Christ that I momentarily imagined might make divine paperweights Dahling, and had begun picking through a cardboard carton of fragmented white marble private parts amputated in the name of decency of some sort from various statuary centuries ago —I was again thinking paper weights —-when the son, Chapayev entered from the street, once more mobilizing the coronation bells this time jostling Mrs. Blatourbotum so, her hour glass clips came undone and the cotton stockings they supported dropped piling up round her hefty ankles.

The boy nodded to the convulsing pair of us and shuffled towards the family quarters at the back laboriously dragging the one much larger foot behind him. I watched him exit through a curtained doorway pondering what explanation there might be for this rather obvious disability and lo and behold, Dahling, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed an illustration leaned up against a salt lick with a cows tongue and taxidermic head attached that at one time I deduced had been a table lamp.

Never mind that, the subject of the rendering that caught my eye bore a remarkable likeness to my dearest friend Miss Winifred Scruggs and brought to my attention how very much Miss Winifred resembles Mister Richard Milhous Nixon in drag. It was, I discovered one of four prints signed by a T.Howe, gender unspecified, a series of what might be called alternative definitions, Dahling, the content of the art never being quite what its title would lead one to expect. I found them amusing enough that I dared not forego the opportunity. We gathered them up and started toward the cash register where to both our consternations waited the wife, Vladlena Nonnay, her one hand stretched up and poised on the register keys, the other now grasping a fly swatter, flailing at non-existent flies!

I thought I should share them here with all those generous enough with their always so fleeting and most precious time to read my column—a limited gesture to express my boundless gratitude for this experience. Enough said, Dahling, the four illustrations are printed below. Until our paths cross once more one day, I remain your cyberspace collaborator and chum, Miss Biddy B.














Images – all rights reserved,  James Bidgood 2012

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,

Grindr is a cell phone tool that tells you which gay men are in the neighborhood, and who might be interested in euphemistically “hanging out”. This is convenient and easy enough, though I’ve only hooked up with someone once. The problem is, the only way I know how to start a conversation is by opening with jokes. It’s hit or miss, but I’m wondering if you have any advice: when you want to fuck, are jokes oft-putting? Who has more power – the person who asks if you want to have sex – or the one who puns and waits for the other person to ask?

- David 

Dear David,

Well, Dahling, I think it worth noting that in my day one needed to unhook in order to hang out but time marches on or minces on, whichever pace and posture most suits you. The wants and ways of the world have changed and yet they are not all that different really. Grindr (rhymes with hinder finder if your lingo is not au current and you were struggling) is reminiscent of the accommodating Sunday New York Times Apartment To Share advertisements, a convenience used for much the same allying or amalgamating purposes back in the day. One phrased ones notice in a slightly veiled, somewhat camouflaged fashion— “Panoramic view —pretty poof in parlor” or “Musically inclined—pound pink triangle with steel rod.” I once came across, “Oubliette to share. Vaultish. Extensive silly cone toy collection. A cat, a comb, a large box.” I dialed several times however their line was always busy.


Good Odds for “My Best Day”: Interview with Director Erin Greenwell by

my best day high res still

My Best Day may be named after a (fictional) racehorse, but this new film by director Erin Greenwell has little need for luck to come out ahead of the pack. With a cast of quirky yet relatable characters and bittersweet comedic moments, My Best Day delivers a familiar small town slice of Americana while still retaining a unique voice all its own.


FOUR: Interview with Director Joshua Sanchez by

wendell pierce

Fresh off its ensemble award for “Best Performance” at the Los Angeles Film Festival, Brooklyn-based Joshua Sanchez’s debut feature, FOUR, makes its New York premiere this Friday, July 27 as the opening night film for the newly revamped NewFest. The film is spare and elegant, with a real feel for how endless summer-time suburban sprawl seems to extend and exacerbate emotional longing. It’s anchored by Pearce’s excellent performance as Joe, a middle-aged married man on an internet date with a teenage boy. He’s confident, thoughtful, and at times completely repellant, yet always compelling and human.

Adapted from Obie-winning playwright Christopher Shinn’s 1998 play, Four tells the story of four different characters faced with conflicting desires and unexpected emotions on the fourth of July. A white teenage boy, June (Emory Cohen, TV’s Smash), meets up with a married, middle-aged black man, Joe (The Wire’s Wendell Pearce), whose confident mantras and sloganeering are seductive and unsettling in their certainty. Meanwhile, Joe’s daughter, Abigayle (Aja Naomi King) finds herself drawn to the clever Latino basketball player named Dexter (E.J. Bonilla).

Joshua Sanchez grew up in Houston, TX and graduated from Columbia University’s MFA Film Program. His previous shorts, INSIDE/Out and Kill or Be Killed, screened at festivals worldwide.

Among other things, Four is notable for a refreshingly frank sex scene between Pearce and Cohen.  Like Sanchez’s ongoing Screentests series of short video portraits,  it’s a movie with a rare, unassuming emotional intelligence and lack of moral judgement.

KTLO: How were the screenings in Los Angeles and San Francisco?

It was great. It couldn’t have been better, really. The screenings were all great and the audiences were really enthusiastic and seemed to really enjoy the film and get it. In San Francisco and LA, it was really like there were two different audiences, but they were both very enthusiastic. In San Francisco, we played at the Castro Theatre, which was really incredible. It’s like a big old movie theatre in the middle of the Castro that was just a really nice place to play, and the audiences there are always very lively and opinionated, so it was fun to play there.


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.