Get your pride on with Pride Week screenings

Can’t wait for the 21st annual Vancouver Queer Film Festival to kick off on August 13? Still working out which films you want to go see? In the meantime, there’s a lineup of Pride-related screenings this week at Vancity Theatre (1181 Seymour Street) to whet your appetite.

Things get going with Pride Movie Night on Thursday (July 30, 7 p.m.). The Vancouver Pride Society is presenting two documentaries that take a look at recent North American LGBT history. (Tickets for this special double-bill are $20 at Little Sister’s [1238 Davie Street] or at the door.)

Out of the Past traces how 17-year-old student Kelli Preston formed the first gay-straight alliance in Mormon-founded Salt Lake City, Utah.

Here in Vancouver, local director Aerlyn Weissman chronicled the extensive legal battles that the West End’s Little Sister’s Book & Art Emporium undertook against Canada Customs—due to numerous shipments being seized at the border—in Little Sister’s vs. Big Brother. Janine Fuller of Little Sister’s and Weissman will participate in a post-screening discussion.

After that, there’s also a number of selections with LGBT appeal from Vancity Theatre’s Summer of Sound Music on Film series that will honour Pride Week.

If you ever wanted to see the celebrity-making role that vaulted the iconic Marlene Dietrich to worldwide fame, check out The Blue Angel (July 31, 7 and 9 p.m.). Dietrich stars as cabaret performer Lola, who seduces a hypocritical, sexually-repressed professor, in this classic 1930 German feature, which is copresented by MusicFest Vancouver.

Adding glitter to the mix, David Bowie’s final performance as his androgynous, alien alter-ego Ziggy Stardust is captured by the 1973 concert film Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars (August 1, 5:30 and 10 p.m.; Aug. 3, 9:30 p.m.), shot at the Hammersmith Odeon in London, England.

Stardust became the inspiration for the 1998 film Velvet Goldmine (Aug. 1, 7:30 p.m.; Aug. 2, 1 and 3 p.m.), starring Ewan McGregor, Christian Bale, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, and Toni Collette. Directed by Todd Haynes (Far From Heaven), the dramatic feature follows the story of a newspaper reporter investigating the disappearance of a bisexual glam rocker (a character modelled after Bowie).

These latter two films will be simultaneously broadcast in the licensed atrium lounge for viewers that wish to take the films in with a glass of wine or beer. Later on, over at the Roundhouse Community Centre (181 Roundhouse Mews), the free No Hate: Youth Anti-Homophobia Film Screening and Gala on August 14 (8 p.m.) will simultaneously close the Pride in Art Festival and help start the Vancouver Queer Film Festival.