ONE BRIGHT SHINING MOMENT Before Howard Dean, John McCain, John Anderson, and Jimmy Carter, there was George McGovern, the prairie populist who vowed an immediate end to the Vietnam War in his 1972 presidential campaign against Richard Nixon. But, Nixon, who had allowed tens of thousands of American troops to die since taking office in January 1969, had by mid-’72 convinced America, including a surprising number of its youth, that the war was winding down. McGovern’s peace candidacy became quixotic. The former senator himself comments for this Stephen Vittoria feature, as does Gore Vidal, Gloria Steinem, Warren Beatty, Dick Gregory, Gary Hart, and others. Opens Sep. 16, Quad Cinema.
REMEMBERING SUSAN In tribute to Susan Sontag, the literary lioness who died last year, and on the eve of the New York Film Festival, whose selection committee she sat on for more than a decade in the ‘60s and ‘70s, the Film Society of Lincoln Center will screen two films she wrote and directed—“Duet for Cannibals,” a 1969 Swedish production, and “Brother Carl,” a 1971 film also made in Sweden. Walter Reade Theater, 165 W. 65th St., on the plaza level of Lincoln Center. Thu. Sep. 22 at 6:15 p.m. and 8:45 p.m. Tickets are $10, $6 for Film Society members. To reserve tickets in advance, call 212-875-5600.
TARNATION Jonathan Caouette’s astonishing family portrait of a troubled childhood, woven together from his own childhood Super 8 home movies and video diaries plus snap shots and movies and TV shows of the period is a moving and troubling testament to the difficulties, even in our enlightened age, of growing up gay. Premieres on Sundance Channel, Mon. Sep. 19 9 p.m. Also airs Sep. 22 12:30 a.m., Sep. 27 9:30 p.m., Oct. 1 11 p.m., Oct. 16 9 p.m.
CHILLFEST This film festival bills itself as “the mostly gay and lesbian film festival of Jersey City,” known to locals as Chilltown. Coinciding with the Jersey City Lesbian and Gay Organization’s fifth annual Pride Week, the festival will feature a new film by the event’s organizers John Catania and Charles Ignacio, “The Lady in Question is Charles Busch,” on opening night. A documentary about the beloved playwright and drag artist, who will be on hand for the screening, the film premiered at last spring’s Tribeca Film Festival. Other films screening include: Joan Biren’s “No Secret Anymore: The Times of Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon,” about the pioneering San Francisco lesbian couple; Debra Chasnoff’s “One Wedding and a Revolution”; “The Evolution Will Be Televised,” part of Logo TV’s “Real Momentum” documentary series); and more. Aug. 26-28. at the Jersey City Museum at 350 Montgomery St. at Monmouth St. For a complete schedule, visit jerseycitymuseum.org or call 201-413-0303.
Best of Newfest at BAM The Rose Cinema at the Brooklyn Academy of Arts hosts a weekend of highlights from the June NewFest of gay and lesbian film. Highlights will screen afternoons and evening. For a complete schedule, visit bam.org or call 718.636.4100. Tickets are $10; $6 for seniors, BAM Cinema members, NewFest members. 30 Layayette Ave. btwn. Ashland Pl. and St. Felix St., near Flatbush Ave. Aug. 26-28.
DARWIN’S NIGHTMARE Globalization meets the famed biologist’s notion of survival of the fittest in this eerie, frightening portrait of what consumer capitalism is doing to most of the world’s population. Africa’s Lake Victoria has been stripped of fish suitable for subsistence living in order to deliver Nile perch to European gourmets. IRC Center. (Sam Oglesby)
THE UNTOLD STORY OF EMMETT TILL Emmett Till, age 14, was black, a kid from Chicago who made the mistake of putting a couple of pennies directly into the hand of the young white woman at a grocery store cash register in Money, Mississippi, instead of placing the coins on the counter. The white woman, a 21-year-old small-town beauty-contest winner, went out to her car to get a gun, and Emmett and his two cousins ran off. At 2:30 in the morning, four nights later, August 28, 1955, two white men, including the woman’s husband, went to the Emmett’s great uncle’s home and kidnapped him, then brutally tortured him, including destroying his face, and murdered him. Emmett’s mother insisted on an open casket funeral——“Let the world see it,” said steel-willed Mamie Till-Mobley. It was a photograph of Emmett in that state in Jet magazine that shocked 10-year-old Keith Beauchamp idling through old magazines in Louisiana, 25 years later. He went on produce this stark 70-minute documentary. Opens Aug. 17, Film Forum. (Jerry Tallmer)
JUNE BUG There’s one great scene in this film, a moment worthy of John Ford. At a North Carolina church dinner, the pastor persuades George (Alessandro Nivola), who lives in Chicago with his wife Madeleine (Embeth Davidtz), to sing a hymn. George sings alone, but two other men join in. Their passion is contagious, but they exclude Madeleine, who watches this surprise demonstration of faith, talent,and allegiance with a detached, anthropological gaze. ngelika, Lincoln Plaza. (Steve Erickson)
PRETTY PERSUASION. Evan Rachel Wood pulls out all the stops in “Pretty Persuasion.” Teen sexuality is filmmaking mainstay. Here, Kimberly Joyce (Wood) combines her prurient talents and devious mind to manipulate just about everyone in her orbit to get what she wants. Landmark Sunshine, Chelsea Clearview, Lincoln Square. (Seth J. Bookey)
2046 Wong Kar-wai’s latest film is a film of blurs. More often than not, when two characters share the screen, one’s face is out of focus. Wong’s visual textures are dazzling, but beyond their poetic qualities, they reflect the characters’ power struggles by making it difficult to see two people clearly at the same time. Landmark Sunshine, AMC 25, Lincoln Plaza. (Steve Erickson)