Money Chase

All About E directed by Louise Wadley (Australia) 2014 is more than a lesbian romantic thriller. It covers many other issues as its main character, a glamorous DJ, sets out on a road trip after discovering a bag full of money. Along the way it’s revealed that her parents are Lebanese, that she gave up a promising career as a flutist, and also alienated the woman who loved her most.


Even though all the action takes place down under, the actor who plays her father is actually Greek as is the composer whose music plays throughout the film. It played in the recently concluded Frameline 39 and after it finishes the festival circuit it’ll be distributed by Wolfe Releasing.

copyright © 2015 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved.

Spanish Touch

Hidden Away directed by Mikel Rueda (Spain) 2014 is about a tentative relationship that develops between two teens, Rafa, who’s Spanish, and Ibra, a Tunisian immigrant, in the backstreets of Bilboa. They share much despite their cultural differences. Each somewhat distant from his immediate circle. United by a generous spirit.


The film screen a final time Friday evening 26 June 2015 at the Victoria Theater during Frameline 39, the San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival. For more information and tickets contact Frameline.

While this is the only dramatic feature from Spain in the festival, there are a dozen others from Latin America.

In The Gray Scale directed by Claudio Marcone (Chile) 2015 focuses on an architect who questions the traditional life he’s been leading. He withdraws from his wife and young son to assess his emotional condition. While searching Santiago for a likely monument that will deflect attention from the shoddy practices of a construction company, he is accompanied by an openly gay guide who seems to embody the qualities he desires.

This film screens a final time Sunday afternoon 28 June 2015 at the Castro Theatre during Frameline 39.

Liz In September directed by Fina Torres (Venezuela) 2015 is an adaptation of the Jane Chambers play, Last Summer At Bluefish Cove. However, he film version takes place on a beach in the Caribbean. A group of women who gather yearly in a modest resort outside of town welcomes an outsider while her car is being repaired without surprising consequences.

Mariposa directed by Marco Berger (Argentina) 2015 follows the lives of several people in two alternative realities. Hairdos deliniate one version from another but it’s still a challenge to follow. It’s an interesting but challenging concept made more difficult by the quick pace of the subtitles.

Frameline 39 continues through the coming weekend. For more information and tickets contact Frameline.

In The Gray Scale and Liz In September are also on the program of Outfest in Los Angeles next month.

copyright © 2015 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved.

Graphic Normandy

Gemma Bovery directed by Anne Fontaine (France) 2004 is based on the graphic novel by the same name written by Posy Simmonds. It takes place in the village where Flaubert wrote his classic work, Madam Bovary. However, the time is the present.

GEMMA BOVERYRéalisé par Anne Fontaine

GEMMA BOVERYRéalisé par Anne Fontaine

Much of the story is seen through the eyes of a local baker who’s smitten by the young English woman who settles nearby with her husband Charlie. The baker begins to imagine the modern Gemma moving toward a tragic end as did Emma in the Flaubert novel.

The film is now showing at the Sundance Kabuki in San Francisco, Regency Cinemas in San Rafael, Rialto Cinemas Elmwood in Berkeley, and State Theater Modesto in Modesto.

Also Ritz at the Bourne in Philadelphia; Music Hall, Portsmouth in Portsmouth; Enzian Theater in Orlando; Cosford Cinema in Coral Gables; and Varsity Ashland in Ashland.

copyright © 2015 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved.

Greek Life

Three of the films shown at the recently concluded San Francisco Greek Film Festival touched on the current situation in Greece.


Include Women Out directed by Vangelis Seitanidis (Greece) 2014 is essentially a comic, buddy film that doesn’t delve too deeply into social issues. However, at a pivotal moment in the story, the underlying conflict that separates the two main characters is starkly revealed.

The insults they hurl at each other divide Greek society. One man accuses his friend of getting ahead in business with bribes and other corrupt practices. The other points out that his wealthy friend has his money stashed in foreign banks. Both the upper and middle class are responsible for the disastrous conditions of the nation and must contribute to reforms.

The Cure directed by Ifigenia Dimitriou (Greece) 2015 is an amusing, direct assault on government bureaucracy, a hated institution both center-right and center-left administrations used to reward their loyal supporters. It’s filmed in black and white to emphasize the timelessness of the problem. Though arrogance and inflexibility are widespread in businesses as well.

Consideration directed by Nancy Spetsioti (Greece) 2014 is about a middle-aged man whose failing business prompts him to pressure his widowed mother to sell the deteriorating family home to a developer in order to pay his debts.

A common scheme in urban centers such as Athens is for homeowners to give up their homes to builders in exchange for a condominium in the large residential building constructed on the lot. Of course, urban density is preferable to sprawl.  The arrangement may seem like a win win deal but is it?

There’s a lot people within the country need to do to make it a better place for themselves and those around them. Austerity is a doomed policy and focusing narrowly on the Greek debt doesn’t benefit the European Union as a whole. The only viable solution involves looking beyond national boundaries and insuring that all EU citizens are provided with incomes to meet their basic needs.

copyright © 2015 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

Frameline 39

The San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival screens at five Bay Area venues 18 – 28 June 2015. The Castro Theatre, Roxie Theater, and Victoria Theatre in San Francisco, Rialto Cinemas’ Elmwood in Berkeley, and Landmark Theatres Piedmont in Oakland.


I highly recommend Sworn Virgin directed by Laura Bispuri (Italy/Switzerland/Germany/Albania/Kosovo) 2015 and Xenia directed by Panos H. Koutras (Greece/France/Belgium) 2014, both award winning films.

Three other Mediterranean features are Hidden Away directed by Mikel Rueda (Spain) 2014, The New Girlfriend directed by François Ozon (France) 2014, and Summer Nights directed by Mario Fanfani (France) 2014.

Contact Frameline for more information and tickets

copyright © 2015 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

War Cry

Testament Of Youth directed by James Kent (UK) 20015 is based on the First World War memoir by Vera Brittain. It’s an engaging historical drama that reveals the courage and tenacity of its narrator and exposes the savage brutality of a pivotal event in time.



It primarily focuses on upper middle class society, an elegant home in a bucolic setting, the comradery of young men and women who dream of making their mark in the world. Their good intentions betrayed by forces beyond their control.

Unfortunately those who set the course for a conflagration that cost the lives of many on both sides of the conflict evidently cared little for the consequences of their decisions. The Great War was the prelude for even greater disasters involving people throughout the Mediterranean.

The film opens in the Bay Area 12 June 2015 at the Landmark Clay Theatre and Century 9 in San Francisco. 19 June 2015 it opens at the Albany Twin in Albany, Guild in Menlo Park, Century 16 in Pleasant Hill, and Regency Cinema Six in San Rafael.

copyright © 2015 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

Different Strokes

Forever Young directed by Spiros Charalambous (Greece) 2015 was voted the winning short at the 12th Annual San Francisco Greek Film Festival and headed to the prestigious Cannes Film Festival.


Most of the film takes place in a brothel. While his older brother is engaged in a sexual marathon with one of the young prostitutes, the younger brother storms out of the house after an unpleasant encounter with the young woman he paired with.

Waiting for his brother to finish and come outside, he and the madam initiate a conversation that leads to a surprising climax of the film

The prize for best feature-length film at the San Francisco Greek Film Festival went to Xenia directed by Panos Koutras (Greece/France/Belgium) 2014. The co-writer of the screenplay was my friend Panayiotis Evangelidis.

Xenia will screen again in the Bay Area during the upcoming Frameline film festival and is likely to have a theatrical run at some future time.

copyright © 2015 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved