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Mala Noche

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Friday July 8
12:15pm
Director: Gus Van Sant
1986 / 78min / 35mm

Van Sant’s smudgy black-and-white debut, planted firmly on the cracked concrete of the filmmaker’s hometown of Portland, Oregon, prophesizes and breaks ground for the ’90s New Queer Cinema, while also anticipating its filmmaker’s career-long exploration of issues concerning gay life, class, and race. White liquor store clerk Walt (Tim Streeter), living on the city’s tattered fringes, seeks erotic ecstasy in the arms of the undocumented Mexican teenagers who hang around his shop—but any attempt at honest connection with his objects of desire is necessarily complicated by the barriers of language, money, and more. As achingly honest and as uncomfortable a film as Van Sant ever made, addressing the myriad complexions that arise when love and lust face gaping divides.

Part of Pioneers of Queer Cinema

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