Issue:  Vol. 46 / No. 26 / 30 June 2016

Love in all the wrong places?

Out There

Cast of Looking, which played the Castro Theatre for Frameline 40's closing night. Photo: HBO
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And it's a wrap! Frameline 40, the San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival, wound up its 11-day run at the Castro Theatre on Sunday night with the world premiere of Looking, the last installment of the late lamented HBO series about gay men looking for love in San Francisco. Did they look under the sofa cushions?

In the film, Patrick Murray (Jonathan Groff ) faces his relationship issues along with his best buddies Dom Basaluzzo (Murray Bartlett) and Agustin Lanuez (Frankie J. Alvarez ). Agustin is getting married to Bear Community poster boy Eddie (Daniel Franzese). Who will catch the bacon bouquet?

The Looking chaps including the four Musketeers above, looker Russell Tovey, and director Andrew Haigh were among the festive crowd invited to Frameline 40's closing-night party at the intimate Oasis nightclub in SoMa. Live performances from drag impresario Heklina and Alison Ewing from the cast of Roundabout Theatre Company's production of Cabaret rounded out the night.


The Winchester House, pre-1906, in a view from the South, will feature in a new film. Photo: Winchester House

Helen of San Jose

While all the wheeling and movie dealing was happening on the yachts and screening rooms at the Cannes Film Festival this spring, producers of the film Winchester had good news. They announced Academy Award winner Helen Mirren in the role of Sarah Winchester, millionaire heiress to the Winchester Arms fortune in the Spierig Brothers ' new thriller.

Sarah was sure that she and her family were haunted by the souls killed at the barrel of the family rifle. Her real-life obsession led to the 24/7 construction of the enormous 600-room mansion designed to keep evil spirits at bay. Her home, the Winchester Mystery House, still standing today in San Jose, has been named one of the Most Haunted Places in the World by Time magazine. Top that.

Michael and Peter Spierig were announced as writer/directors for the film, based on a script first penned by writer Tom Vaughan . Mirren's most recent screen appearance was in Eye in the Sky opposite Alan Rickman, where she played Colonel Katherine Powell, a UK-based military officer in command of a top-secret drone operation to capture terrorists in Kenya. She was also recently seen in Trumbo and Woman in Gold. We can't wait to see her as Sarah Winchester.


Wining & dining

Last week found Out There back at one of our favorite haunts in the city, the Press Club, for the Taste Wine like a Pro! seminar offered by sommelier and PC wine director Mauro Cirilli. There we learned the rudiments of sensory analysis through a blind tasting of six wines. These turned out to be whites both old world (verdejo) and new (chardonnay), an Oregon pinot noir, a Spanish tempranillo, a fine champagne and a sweet dessert wine. Some of these wines were old friends, but still OT learned a lot, and even the concierge sitting next to us, a pro sommelier in his own right, said the lessons were valuable. The Press Club is offering the class to small groups.

Then, last Friday night, we were invited to the Lucky Rice SF Feast hosted by chef Kathy Fang and prepared by local superstar chefs at the opulent Bently Reserve. The Lucky Rice fest turned out to be quite a good insider's take on contemporary Asian pop food culture. It was a walk-around-and-grab-bites type of affair. Yummy munchies came from Anzu, Asian Box, Azalina's, Burmese Kitchen, Chaya, Dosa, Hakkasan, Hawker Fare, M.Y. China and other starry Asian eateries. Pepi was all patience waiting in a long line for his tataki from Ichi Sushi + Ni Bar: nori stuffed with Hawaiian Big Eye Tuna, avocado and microgreens. Our taste-buds: lucky indeed.


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