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‘All Out’ film screening series opens Thursday in Greensboro

by Mark Burger

On Thursday, the All Out Film Series will be launched at the Carousel Cinemas, 1305 Battleground Road, Greensboro, with a special screening of Amy Heckerling’s hit comedy Clueless (1995) at 7 p.m.

This monthly LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bi-sexual Transgender) event will feature a major feature film that depicts examines some of the issues confronting LGBT people, although series organizers emphasize that the “All Out” screenings are really designed to appeal to all members of the community, and not just limited to LGBT audiences.

“The whole point of the series was to help generate funding and community for local organizations, from the Triad Health Project to the gay men’s chorus,” explained Shane Lucas, an “All Out” founding member, in an official statement. “To us, All Out is about all of us coming together for the really important things. It’s about standing up and showing people in the community that you support them, in all their diversity.”

After all, the name of the series is “All Out,” and the tagline on the official poster is: “Smart films that celebrate us all.”

Clueless, the award-winning, modern-day send-up of the Jane Austen classic Emma, features Alicia Silverstone (in her breakout performance) as a popular Beverly Hills teenager who’s so busy playing matchmaker that she hasn’t had time to find her own Mr. Right. The film also provided big career boosts for co-stars Brittany Murphy, Paul Rudd, Stacey Dash and Breckin Meyer. Grown-ups on hand include Wallace Shawn, Julie Brown and the always welcome Dan Hedaya. The film is rated PG-13.

Among the upcoming films planned for the series are: The Devil Wears Prada (2006): Meryl Streep earned her 14 th Oscar nomination as Best Actress for this adaptation of the bestselling novel by Lauren Weisberger, co-starring Anne Hathaway, Emily Blunt and Stanley Tucci. Additional Oscar nomination for Best Costume Design. (PG-13) Set It Off (1996): Jada Pinkett Smth, Vivica A. Fox, Kimberly Elise and especially Queen Latifah got big career boosts in this controversial crime drama, produced by Dale Pollock, former dean and current faculty member at the UNCSA School of Filmmaking. (R) Cruel Intentions (1999): Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, Reese Witherspoon and Selma Blair star in this modern-day interpretation of Dangerous Liaisons. (R) RocknRolla (2008): Guy Ritchie (the former Mr. Madonna) wrote and directed this award-winning gangster saga starring Gerard Butler, Thandie Newton, Tom Wilkinson, Tom Hardy and Idris Elba. (R) Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001): John Cameron Mitchell brings his award-winning play about a transsexual punk rocker to the screen in an award-winning adaptation. (R) Silkwood (1983): Director Mike Nichols’ dramatization of the life of corporate whistleblower Karen Silkwood stars Meryl Streep in the title role. Five Oscar nominations: Best Actress (guess who?), Best Supporting Actress (Cher), Best Director, Best Editing and Best Original Screenplay. (R) There are also plans to underway for audience-participation “sing-along” screenings in the series:

Xanadu (1980): A mind-boggling musical extravaganza starring Olivia Newton-John and Gene Kelly. Director Robert Greenwald is now better known for his documentaries. (PG) A Chorus Line (1985): Director Richard Attenborough followed his Oscar-winning triumph Gandhi (1982) with this long-in-development screen version of the Tony Award-winning Broadway smash, starring Michael Douglas and UNCSA graduate Terrence Mann. Oscar nominations for Best Editing, Best Sound and Best Song (“Surprise, Surprise”). (PG) South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut (1999): Trey Parker and Matt Stone bring their small-screen phenomenon to the big screen in self-explanatory fashion, picking up an Oscar nomination along the way for Best Song (the immortal “Blame Canada”). (R)

According to Lucas, it was important for the series to boast a wide variety of films in different genres. “We tend to get inundated with the same films and the same representations over and over and over again.” Therefore, “we really aimed sometimes towards unexpected, less obvious, choices. I think it’s a big step forward in film and storytelling when we have LGBT characters whose identity is not the focus of the film.”

Specific dates and titles for subsequent screenings will be announced at this event.

Tickets are $8. A portion of the proceeds from ticket sales will benefit Triad Health Project. For more information about the All Out Film Series, e-mail alloutfilmseries@ gmail.com.

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