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"Queer Takes" ready to launch

Posted at 5:43 PM on June 26, 2007 by Euan Kerr

Dean Otto was able to chat for a few minutes today, despite going flat out to make sure everything is ready for the "Queer Takes" festival which opens at the Walker Art Center tomorrow.

As curator of the annual series Otto travels to festivals across the country the rest of the year to gather movies. This year he says he's seeing a growing unrest in certain parts of the gay community at the homogenization and commercialization of gay culture.

He says just as some parts of the gay and lesbian community is looking for assimilation, there are still many people who see value in remaining on the outside. For Otto that's become one of the themes of this years event which carries the subtitle "Standing Out."

"I'm most interested in challenging notions of what it means to be queer," he says.

Last year Otto bemoaned the lack of good lesbian films, but this year he has several strong entrants including the opening film "Spider Lilies" (above) from Taiwan. and later features the films with the non-broadcast friendly-title "Itty Bitty Titty Committee," by Jamie Babbit and "Nina's Heavenly Delights" set in a curry house in Glasgow, Scotland.

When asked about the little flap caused by the image of a young woman extending a one fingered salute with leering enthusiasm, Otto says he likes the image because kind of it sums up the attitude of the festival.

June 2007
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