“Cunningham,” Alla Kovgan’s entrancing documentary about out gay choreographer Merce Cunningham, celebrates its subject by tracing his work over 30 years, from 1942 to 1972. (His career spanned 70 years). The film, which was shot in 3D, opens in 2D format today at the Landmark Ritz Five cinema.

 

The Philadelphia-based independent film distribution company, Breaking Glass Pictures, just celebrated its 10-year anniversary. Co-founded by Richard Wolff and the openly gay Richard Ross — and named after a David Bowie song — Breaking Glass has been committed to acquiring and promoting LGBTQ films (among other titles). 

There were some great, several good — or very good — and a handful of bad – or very bad — LGBT films that screened in Philadelphia in 2019. Here is a recap of the year’s best and worst as well as a handful of titles worth watching.

 

Out gay actor Ben Whishaw co-stars in the canny sci-fi drama “Little Joe,” opening Dec. 6 at the Landmark Ritz at the Bourse. Set in the biotechnology world, the film follows Alice (Emily Beecham) and her colleague Chris (Whishaw), who have genetically engineered a special breed of plant. Nicknamed “Little Joe,” the plant promotes happiness if it receives love. Alice and Chris are optimistic that their project will make people’s lives better.

In the queer-tinged “Knives and Skin,” the disappearance of 15-year-old Carolyn Harper (Raven Whitley) sends shockwaves throughout the community. Moreover, although Carolyn’s body is seen periodically throughout writer and director Jennifer Reeder’s mystifying film, the emphasis is less about what happened to Carolyn, and more the strange behavior of Carolyn’s friends, family members and her friends’ family members.

Out gay director Todd Haynes’ new film, “Dark Waters,” is a chilling true story about the unprecedented legal case Robert Bilott (Mark Ruffalo) built against DuPont for poisoning the residents of the town of Parkersburg, West Virginia for decades.

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