Eighth Portland Lesbian & Gay Film Festival
dir. Various
Oct 22-31
Cinema 21

Let's face it: there are only so many gay films you can watch. Problem is, the Eighth Portland Lesbian & Gay Film Festival has a huge number of films, all of them overflowing with gayness--so here's a quick rundown of this week's selections. (Other films that play this week--including Goldfish Memory, Slutty Summer, Inescapable, My Mother Likes Women, Boys Shorts, Girls Shorts, and Grand Ecole--are noted in our Film Shorts pages, while perhaps the most anticipated of the films, Tarnation, is reviewed on page 45.)

Friday kicks off with Walk on Water, about a heterosexual hit man (Lior Ashkenazi) who's on the trail of an ex-Nazi officer. Drama strikes when he befriends the officer's gay grandson (Knut Berger). Water is directed by Eytan Fox, whose last film, Yossi & Jagger, was engrossing and beautiful.

Saturday features Road to Love, in which an Algerian sociologist (Karim Tarek) producing a documentary on Islamic homosexuals falls in love with one of his subjects (Farid Tali). Saturday also has shorts from David Weissman (The Cockettes)--expect drag queens, heinous musicals, and public service announcements--and The Raspberry Reich, in which sexual revolutionaries liberate a wealthy businessman's son from his heterosexuality.

Sunday boasts two documentaries: Masha Mom, about a woman who chose to live in Moscow so she could be a lesbian mother, and Freedom to Marry, about the same-sex marriage storm in San Francisco last February. Also on Sunday is Harry and Max, a drama in which a burned-out boy band idol (Bryce Johnson) takes his younger brother (Cole Williams) on a camping trip... and complex sexual relationships come to the fore.

Monday has Beautiful Boxer, a true story-inspired tale of Nong Toom (Asanee Suwan), a Thai kickboxing star who dominated the country's most masculine and brutal sport while pursuing his desire to become a woman. Tuesday features Clara's Summer, which follows two virgin French girls (Selma Brook and Stephanie Sokolinski) as they come of age at summer camp--expect an amusing mix of emotional distress and ennui that defines most French gay coming-of-age films.