House of Boys To Close Tuscon Fest

Film on AIDS crisis to be part of Tucson festival                                                                                                                                                       

A film that explores the impact of the AIDS crisis on go-go dancers and a club owner in Amsterdam will be part of the Loft Cinema Film Festival in Tucson.

House of Boys, directed by directed by Jean-Claude Schlim, will be screened at 7 p.m. Nov. 17, the closing night of the seven-day festival.

Udo Kier, a German actor who portrays the club owner in the film, will receive the festival’s first Lofty Award, which will be presented annually to actors with a notable body of work. The actor will do a question and answer after the screening.

Kier, who has appeared in more than 200 films during his career, said he decided to play the role of the cross-dressing club-owner Madame in House of Boys because he found the message of the film to be powerful and important.

“It is about how people cope when people are first confronted with the virus and AIDS,” Kier said. “It is showing the younger generation how people coped.”

Kier said that professional drag performers transformed him into his character through makeup. He said it was important that he didn’t try to act overly feminine when portraying the club owner.

“You don’t try to be feminine. If you try, it doesn’t work,” Kier said. “You just be yourself and be who you always are.”

Kier also appears in the festival’s opening night film, Melancholia, which was shot in Sweden and stars Kirsten Dunst and was directed by Lars von Trier. The movie 3, a German film about a husband and wife who fall in love with the same man, will also be screened.

Jeff Yanc, program director at the Loft Cinema, said the event will screen full-length and short international films, including Arizona premieres of films that have received acclaim at other film festivals.

“We like to give people a sense of what we play the rest of the year,” Yanc said. “It’s like giving a sampler platter at a restaurant.”

Yanc said that about 1,500 people came to the first film festival in 2010.    -E