Six Films We're Excited to See at Outfest 2012

The annual celebration of LGBT cinema, now in its 30th year, begins this week in Los Angeles. Here are six of the films we're most excited to see.

The annual Outfest Film Festival, a celebration of LGBT cinema now in its 30th year, kicks off tonight in Los Angeles. Here are six of the films we are most excited to see.



Outfest's Opening Night film is the poignant documentary of activist, writer, and film historian Vito Russo. The film documents the early days of the Gay Liberation movement through Russo's involvement as a spokesperson and activist. Vito wrote the book The Celluloid Closet, which exposed Hollywood's role in shaping the world's perception of LGBT people and issues. His life is documented through archival footage and touching interviews with his family and famous friends.



Outfests’ Closing Night Gala features the dark comedy Struck By Lightning, starring Glee's Chris Colfer. Feeling trapped in his high school, Colfer's character Carson develops a plan to blackmail his bullying classmates in order to get into the college of his dreams. The performance of Rebel Wilson (Bridesmaids) as his sidekick looks to be a highlight.



Wildness follows one of the most complex queer parties in Los Angeles nightlife. The unusual documentary shows queer avant-garde artists of color who cross paths with a community of transgender immigrant women at The Silver Platter, a Los Angeles bar, and paints a mesmerizing picture of creativity and conflict among the partygoers.



We may never know what really went on in the personal life of Hollywood icon James Dean. This U.S. dramatic feature, presented as a fictional story and not a documentary, depicts Dean’s rumored bisexuality through affairs he had before he became famous. Joshua Tree, 1951 is director Matthew Mishory’s feature film debut.



A first love is always the most dramatic. Mosquita y Mari follows the life of 15-year-old Yolanda, who feels the pressure to live according to the expectations of her immigrant parents. Her world collides with that of Mari, a free-spirited neighbor who rides a BMX bike and brings a sense of excitement to Yolanda’s life. Neither girl can foresee what their close bond will mean, or how it will change their lives. This is the feature film debut from writer-director Aurora Guerrero.



The U.S. dramatic centerpiece at this year’s Outfest is Keep The Lights On, directed by Ira Sachs. The film's story unfolds around Erik, a filmmaker, and Paul, a closeted lawyer. After meeting, their relationship grows and develops into an intense struggle with identity, intimacy, drugs, and sex.

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The problem with American Sign Language (ASL) is that over 500,000 people in the U.S. use it, but the country has over 330 million people.

So for those with hearing loss, the chances of coming into contact with someone who uses the language are rare. Especially outside of the deaf community.

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Looking back, the year 1995 seems like such an innocent time. America was in the midst of its longest streak of peace and prosperity. September 11, 2001 was six years away, and the internet didn't seem like much more than a passing fad.

Twenty-four years ago, 18 million U.S. homes had modem-equipped computers, 7 million more than the year before. Most logged in through America Online where they got their email or communicated with random strangers in chat rooms.

According to a Pew Research study that year, only 32% of those who go online say they would miss it "a lot" if no longer available.

Imagine what those poll numbers would look like if the question was asked today.

RELATED: Bill and Melinda Gates had a surprising answer when asked about a 70 percent tax on the wealthiest Americans

"Few see online activities as essential to them, and no single online feature, with the exception of E-Mail, is used with any regularity," the Pew article said. "Consumers have yet to begin purchasing goods and services online, and there is little indication that online news features are changing traditional news consumption patterns."

"Late Night" host David Letterman had Microsoft founder and, at that time the richest man in the world, on his show for an interview in '95 to discuss the "the big new thing."

During the interview Letterman chided Gates about the usefulness of the new technology, comparing it to radio and tape recorders.

Gates seems excited by the internet because it will soon allow people to listen to a baseball game on their computer. To which Letterman smugly replies, "Does radio ring a bell?" to laughter from the crowd.

But Gates presses Letterman saying that the new technology allows you to listen to the game "whenever you want," to which Letterman responds, "Do tape recorders ring a bell?"

Gates then tells Letterman he can keep up with the latest in his favorite hobbies such as cigar smoking or race cars through the internet. Letterman shuts him down saying that he reads about his interests in magazines.

RELATED: Bill Gates has five books he thinks you should read this summer.

The discussion ends with the two laughing over meeting like-minded people in "troubled loner chat room on the internet."

The clip brings to mind a 1994 segment on "The Today Show" where host Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric have a similar discussion.

"What is internet anyway?" an exasperated Gumball asks. "What do you write to it like mail?"

"It's a computer billboard but it's nationwide and it's several universities all joined together and it's getting bigger and bigger all the time," a producer explains from off-stage.

Photo by Li-An Lim on Unsplash

The future generations will have to live on this Earth for years to come, and, not surprisingly, they're very concerned about the fate of our planet. We've seen a rise in youth activists, such as Greta Thunberg, who are raising awareness for climate change. A recent survey indicates that those efforts are working, as more and more Americans (especially young Americans) feel concerned about climate change.

A new CBS News poll found that 70% of Americans between 18 and 29 feel climate change is a crisis or a serious problem, while 58% of Americans over the age of 65 share those beliefs. Additionally, younger generations are more likely to feel like it's their personal responsibility to address climate change, as well as think that transitioning to 100% renewable energy is viable. Overall, 25% of Americans feel that climate change is a "crisis," and 35% feel it is a "serious problem." 10% of Americans said they think climate change is a minor problem, and 16% of Americans feel it is not a problem that worries them.

The poll found that concern for the environment isn't a partisan issue – or at least when it comes to younger generations. Two-thirds of Republicans under the age of 45 feel that addressing climate change is their duty, sentiments shared by only 38% of Republicans over the age of 45.

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