Contrast Film Festival Flick Picks

Our selection of the cross-media event's boundary-pushing films


Flaming Creatures

Thu., July 18, 8pm @AFS Cinema
With its graphic depictions of sex coupled with an ensemble of lipsticked drag performers and a vampire à la Marilyn Monroe, Jack Smith's erotic experimental film was banned in 22 U.S. states and four countries following its release in 1963. It morphed into a cause célèbre of New York's burgeoning underground film scene when police raided an early screening, arresting and charging avant-garde filmmaker and The Village Voice columnist Jonas Mekas, among others, for showing an "indecent, lewd, and obscene" film. Screening includes an original live score by local experimental act Thor & Friends.


Fri., July 19, 7pm @AFS Cinema
Adapted from Ariel Schrag's eponymous – and controversial – novel, trans filmmaker Rhys Ernst's feature directorial debut flips the rom-com's comedy of errors narrative when Adam (Nicholas Alexander), a cisgender teenage boy, is mistaken for a trans guy and goes along with it, especially because of how it affects his relationship with a young queer woman named Gillian (Bobbi Salvör Menuez).

Brazil in Focus

Fri.-Sun., July 19-21 @multiple locations
Spotlighting Brazilian films and filmmakers, this track is a medley of forward-thinking fiction, documentary, and hybrid shorts and features. In Simon(e) Jaikiriuma Paetau and Thais Guisasola's queer-punk road movie The Whisper of the Jaguar, Ana (Guisasola) embarks on a spiritual journey across the Amazon in search of her indigenous ancestral past, while Claudia Priscilla and Kiko Goifman's Bixa Travesty chronicles São Paulo performer and activist Linn da Quebrada. Obscuro Barroco, directed by Greek filmmaker Evangelia Kranioti, blends documentary and fiction for an ethereal cine-ode to Rio de Janeiro's queer culture, as narrated by the late Brazilian transgender activist Luana Muniz.

Contrast Film Festival, July 18-21. Tickets and info at

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Contrast Film Festival
Contrast Film Festival Pushes Boundaries, Defies Gender
Contrast Film Festival Pushes Boundaries, Defies Gender
New fest presents America: The Remix

Sarah Marloff, July 20, 2018

Filmmaker Bruce LaBruce Gets
Filmmaker Bruce LaBruce Gets "Provocative and Political!"
Getting explicit and merciless in The Misandrists

Sarah Marloff, July 20, 2018

More by Beth Sullivan
Qmmunity: Editor Beth Sullivan's Queer Goodbye
Qmmunity: Editor Beth Sullivan's Queer Goodbye
Closing the chapter with OUTsider Fest and more queer events

Feb. 18, 2022

Clerk Contenders Look to Build on DeBeauvoir’s Legacy
Clerk Contenders Look to Build on DeBeauvoir’s Legacy
Limon-Mercado, Lockhart vying to be county’s next elections official

Feb. 18, 2022


Contrast Film Festival, Adam, Obscuro Barroco, Flaming Creatures, The Whisper of the Jaguar, Bixa Travesty

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle