Greek Hospitality

Philoxenia, generous hospitality toward strangers, is a traditional Greek value too often lacking today. Immigrants are seldom welcomed and Albanians especially are the usual scapegoats for crimes and any bad behavior.


Xenia directed by Panos Koutras (Greece/France/Belgium) 2014 boldly overturns common perceptions. The two main characters of the film are teenage brothers, one gay and the other straight, born in Crete to an Albanian mother and a Greek father who abandoned them early on.

Their mother recently died so the young men go in search of their father hoping he will acknowledge them so they can establish legal status.

This journey takes them through some of the darker aspects of the country but they are survivors unwilling to abandon hope for a better future

The film played to a packed house during the 12th San Francisco Greek Film Festival that concludes Sunday. For more information and tickets for the remaining screening contact San Francisco Greek Film Festival.

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

Middle Brother

The Easy Way Out directed by Brice Cauvin (France) 2014 is a French adaptation of the Stephen McCauley novel by the same name.


This family drama is told from the viewpoint of the gay brother who seems to understand and tries to help both his younger and older brother navigate their difficult love relationships while fending off heavy-handed demands of the parents.

However, he’s less able to deal with the realities of his own love life.

The film screened during the final day of French Cinema Now 2014 at the Vogue Theatre in San Francisco. More info is available at SFFS.

copyright © 2014 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

New Yorkers

Neither the content nor the setting of Love is Strange directed by Ira Sachs 2014 has anything to do with the Mediterranean aside from the name of the cinematographer, Christos Voudouris. However, all in all this is a quality production bringing together both wonderful onscreen and off-screen talent.


After nearly forty years together, Ben and George decide to get married in a touching ceremony and celebration that brings together friends and family. But the unexpected consequences of their decision leads to their separation while they try to resolve a difficult housing dilemma.

The film opens 29 August 2014 at three Bay Area venues: Landmark Embarcadero in San Francisco, Landmark Shattuck in Berkeley, and Camera in San Jose.

copyright © 2014 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

Secret Admirer

A handsome college student living with his girlfriend receives anonymous love letters from a secret male admirer in Snails In The Rain directed by Yaris Mozer (Israel) 2013.


The letters invoke memories of his military service and threaten to undermine the foundations of his conventional sexual beliefs and practices.

This unsettling film is the first narrative feature by a promising young director.

It screens a final time Sunday evening 10 August 2014 at the Smith Rafael Film Center in San Rafael during the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival 34.

For more information and tickets contact SFJFF.

copyright © 2014 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

Son And Lover

Gynecologist Fabrizio wants a serious commitment from his photographer boyfriend Diego. Their union will include the planting of a pine tree. While Diego is out to his parents, he hesitates knowing Fabrizio’s father is opposed to their relationship. But before Diego responds he receives word that his teenage son Armando is on the way from Spain to Venezuela.


My Straight Son directed by Miguel Ferrari (Venezuela/Spain) 2012 has all the elements of a telenovela. It includes complex family dynamics, colorful characters, high drama and humor, as well as the tragic consequences of intolerance for those outside the mainstream.

It screened at the recently concluded Frameline 38 film festival.

copyright © 2014 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

Sweet Treat

Cupcakes directed by Eytan Fox (Israel) 2013 is a delightful romantic comedy revolving around a modern European musical tradition.


Six friends gather to watch the annual EuroSong Contest. After the TV show ends, the guests perform a song to cheer up the party host.

The entire group consists of four heterosexual women, a lesbian, and a gay man. Each of the amateur singers, representing Israel the following year, has relationship issues.

The film is timed perfectly after the 2014 Eurovision win of the Austrian entry, Conchita Wurst, made headlines worldwide.

Cupcakes screens at the Castro Theatre Saturday 28 June 2014 at 8:30 PM during Frameline38. For more information and tickets contact Frameline.

copyright © 2014 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

Fashion Leader

Yves Saint Laurent directed by Jalil Lespert (France) 2014 follows the roller coaster life of French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, creative heir to the famous postwar French couturier Christian Dior.


Algerian-born Saint Laurent found himself pushed out of the house of Dior after a nervous breakdown following his refusal to fight in the French army. However, his lover, Pierre Bergé was able to launch a successful new fashion house for him.

While the designer excelled creatively, he could be temperamental and difficult both at work and in his private life. He spent a fortune on expensive purchases and indulged during off-hours in an abundance of alcohol and drugs.

Bergé was alert to the dangers surrounding a decadent lifestyle and jealously quelled the serious erotic entanglements that ensued.

Probably the most interesting part of the film is the opportunity to see the actual gowns Saint Laurent designed.

Yves Saint Laurent was included in this year’s San Francisco International Film Festival and screens again during Frameline 38 at the Victoria Theatre Saturday 21 June 2014 at 7:00 PM.

For more information and tickets contact Frameline.

copyright © 2014 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved