Tuesday, May 07, 2013

SFIFF: Before You Know It

Sunday I attended a late night screening at the SF International Film Festival of Before You Know It, a gentle documentary about gay seniors. It interweaves profiles of 3 men in their 60s & 70s, in very different social circumstances. We bounce between a gay retirement home in Oregon, an outreach center for gay elders in Harlem, & a bustling drag bar in Galveston, TX. I like that the film dwells on the present & shows life moving forward for each man. The filmmaker was lucky to capture one of them enviously attending a gay wedding in New York shortly after same-sex marriage was legalized. I worried about the safety of the 76-year-old Dennis Creamer, visiting a bar alone & going on a vacation cruise by himself, while sometimes dressed as a woman.

Rachel Rosen, Director of Programming, introduced the film, calling it "essential." Director PJ Raval & Mr. Creamer were present for a Q&A. Mr. Raval looks far from retirement age, & he can no doubt charm the most reluctant documentary subject. Mr. Creamer, as unassuming in person as in the film, described the process of his participation as an "evolution." The couple seated next to me came equipped with 2 small glasses, which they set in their armrests & filled with their own provisions as the lights went down.

§ Before You Know It
dir: PJ Raval; USA, 2013, 110 mins.

The 56th Annual San Francisco International Film Festival
Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, Sun, 5/5 9:00 PM
Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, Thu, 5/9 5:00 PM

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