Features

It really is beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Now that we’re in the holiday sweet spot between Thanksgiving and whatever late-December holiday you celebrate, there is no better time to take in all the sights and sounds, pageantry and glitz that come with the season. Philadelphia and its surrounding areas are so loaded with history and tradition that residents and visitors alike can’t help but get a little swept up in how the region shows off for the Christmas season.

Gay fashion designer-turned-filmmaker Tom Ford’s sophomore feature, “Nocturnal Animals,” is a doozy of a movie — both stylish and spellbinding. A nude dancer in the opening credit sequence is eye-catching. So too are the sleek exteriors and interiors of the residence shared by the elegantly dressed Susan Morrow (Amy Adams), an art-gallery owner, and her husband Hutton (Armie Hammer).

“Moonlight,” opening Nov. 4 at the Ritz East, is Barry Jenkins’ extraordinary film adaptation of Tarell Alvin McCraney’s play, “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue.” A key sequence in the film has two teenagers experimenting with their sexuality on a moonlit Miami beach.

Celebrated film critic, professor and author B. Ruby Rich — she coined the term “new queer cinema” — visits the Philadelphia area for three events this month.

At 7 p.m. Oct. 24 at Swarthmore College, Rich will present a talk entitled, “The Public and the Private: Queer Cinema in the Age of Streaming.” In a recent phone interview, Rich explained her interest in how society is consuming cinema via Netflix and Amazon Prime and on personal devices.

“Hollywood Beauty Salon,” screening 7 p.m. Oct. 10 (National Metal Health Day) at International House, is a largely observational documentary about a Germantown program by and for people in recovery for mental-health issues. Gay filmmaker Glenn Holsten chronicles more than a dozen men and women who struggle with depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia as they try to live meaningful lives and show — as one subject says — “they are more than just their diagnosis.”

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