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Festival Feasting

Changing Habits
Searching for the Past: Cinequest opening-night feature "Changing Habits" explores the lies and truths we tell ourselves and others.

Cinequest and Lesbian and Gay Film Festival flood local screens this week

IT IS STARTLING how much cinematic activity there is in San Jose this week. The annual San Jose Film Festival, Cinequest (Jan. 30-Feb. 5 at the UA Pavilion and Camera 3 in San Jose), is supersized by the coincidental appearance of the San Jose Lesbian and Gay Film Festival (Jan. 31­Feb. 2, at the Towne Theater in San Jose).

The latter offers both fictional and documentary selections. The Midwife's Tale (Feb. 1, 7pm) is the story of a noblewoman of the Middle Ages trying to use the services of the local wisewoman to rid herself of an arranged marriage. For more contemporary witchery, Camille Paglia shows up for a cameo in Cheryl Dunye's The Watermelon Woman (Jan. 31, 9pm), about a young lesbian's historical search for an imaginary "mammy" character of 1930s films.

The documentary Dream Girls (Feb. 1, 2:30pm) discusses the popularity of the transvestite theater of the famous Takaruzuka Music School. Annabes--Japanese women who live and dress as men--are studied in Jano Williams and Kim Longinotto's follow-up to Dream Girls, Shinjuku Boys.

Alexis Arquette (of the seemingly endless family of thespians) stars in the deliberately camp Scream, Teen, Scream (Feb. 1, 4:30pm) as Lisa Blair (as in Linda), a bad girl matching wits with best friend Jennie Lee Curtis (Robert Ring), during the course of a slumber party massacre. In johns (Jan. 31, 9:30pm), another Arquette, David, co-stars with Lukas Haas as one of a pair of male hustlers working West Hollywood during the dog days of Christmas vacation.

To paraphrase the opening of Babe, once upon a time homosexuals and lesbians were not respected as they are now, and being gay could not only get you beat up but thrown in the mental hospital, too. Richard Schmiechen (The Times of Harvey Milk) directed Changing Our Minds: The Story of Dr. Evelyn Hooker (Feb. 2, 2pm), an unpreviewed documentary about the heroic psychiatrist Dr. Evelyn Hooker, whose studies finally got the American Medical Association to rescind, in 1973, its classification of homosexuality as an illness. Hooker had the satisfaction not only of straightening out the AMA but also of living to the ripe old age of 89.

David Arquette
Do the Hustle: David Arquette stars in "johns," one of the highlighted features at this weekend's Lesbian and Gay Film Festival.

Cine Scene

MEANWHILE, Cinequest begins Thursday (Jan. 30) with several gala events (opening-night audiences can pick between Changing Habits and Luna e l'altra, the new comedy by Maurizio Nichetti). The more interesting (for better or worse) entries are screened by Metroactive's reviewers.

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From the January 30-February 5, 1997 issue of Metro

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