CHICAGO – The issue of gender identity, especially for those who are born with a vagueness as to what to call themselves between/beyond boy and girl, has come front and center in the U.S., both with the legalization of gay marriage and the callous repudiation of identity by trying to pass laws dismissing it (the North Carolina “bathroom” laws). The performance companies of The Living Canvas and Nothing Without a Company is currently staging “[Trans]formation,” which presents gender identity art by six performers, who perform most of the play in the nude.
CHICAGO – Sebastian Gutierrez is the sort of filmmaker who thrives best on the festival circuit. His work is just quirky and distinctive enough to garner overenthusiastic praise from jaded festival goers in the mood for markedly lighter fare. Yet when screened out of the celebratory atmosphere at SXSW, Gutierrez’s films fail to register as anything more than mediocre trifles.
CHICAGO – The best thing about this alleged comedy is its title, evocative of David Lynch’s signature premise: “A woman in trouble.” Yet while Lynch has been accused of misogyny by some filmgoers, Sebastian Gutierrez’s “Women in Trouble” purports itself to be an empowering portrait of strong female characters. Their strength is often demonstrated by their ability to cuss and talk about sex. Boy, how far we have come.