FRAMELINE35 — Sunday, 6/19 – The Muppets Take Manhattan, Spork, Hit So Hard, Cho Dependent, and Ausente

Sean Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

FRAMELINE35 continues its amazing festival today at San Francisco’s Castro Theatre with an agenda that begins with with The Muppets Take Manhattan from 1984 by the great creator and director, Frank Oz. It’s followed by Spork, an intersex tale straight out of middle school. Director P. David Ebersole is expected on-stage to introduce his first documentary, Hit So Hard, a story about Patty Schemel and her connections to the grunge world of Nirvana star Kurt Cobain. Irrepressible comedienne Margaret Cho is back with Cho Dependent based on her 2010 Grammy-award nominated comedy album. The evening concludes with Ausente (Absent), an entry from Argentina, and an appearance by its director, Marco Berger.
Click here for more information: FRAMELINE35

Sunday, June 19th, 10:30 AM
The Muppets Take Manhattan. USA, 1984. 93 minutes
Director: Frank Oz

They’ve graduated college, they’ve written a dynamite variety show, and they’re ready for Broadway—or so they think! But as roadblock after roadblock keeps them from their dream performance, can the Muppets actually take Manhattan by storm?

In a fun and funny throwback for kids and adults alike, The Muppets Take Manhattan brings together Kermit, Miss Piggy, Animal, Fozzie, Scooter and the rest of the gang for a musical unlike any other. When their initial attempts to make it big are thwarted by mean producers and the harsh theater world, the group moves on to other jobs and cities across the country. When Kermit meets some special friends, he thinks he might be able to get the band back together. Kermit realizes that the show needs more “frogs and dogs and bears and chickens and whatever”, not less, and the cast members’ friends from around the country come to help out. But tragedy strikes, and Kermit loses his memory. Will his friends find him in time to make opening night a success?
Click here for ticket information: MUPPETS

Sunday, June 19th, 1:00 PM
SPORK. USA, 2010, 90 minutes
Director: J.B. Ghuman
Expected Guest: J.B. Ghuman

Meet Spork. She’s a girl-identified 13 year old with an intersex condition. Middle school is a dangerous battleground—and dance is Spork’s weapon of choice.

Spork, the frizzy-haired and four-eyed outcast, is determined to win the $236 prize at Cherry Lane Middle School’s upcoming talent show so she can use the money to become beautiful and fit in, for once. Unfortunately, the token gang of mean girls (Betsy Byotch and the Byotches) is determined to come out on top, and they aren’t willing to let anything get in their way. Perhaps worst of all, Spork lacks the coordination and rhythm it takes to win the dance contest. But Spork has more people on her side than she thinks. A mysterious friend named Chunk offers fortune cookie advice—literally—that changes her life. Tootsie Roll, Spork’s foul-mouthed trailer park neighbor, has all the right moves, but she agrees to coach Spork after her own dreams are crushed by a tragic hair-product incident. And Spork’s older brother, Spit, loves her with gruff tenderness. 

The cast of energetic youngsters and cult comedy actors makes for a dazzling coming-of-age film. J.B. Ghuman, Jr.’s directorial debut blends the standard motifs of adolescence—bullying, friendship and perseverance—with sparkling aesthetics, hilarious tweens, and a soundtrack that will leave you wondering why your middle school never knew how to shake it quite like the kids at Cherry Lane. Spork pits our repressed memories of junior high against a booty-shaking soundtrack that oozes with queer dance party goodness.*
Click here for ticket information: SPORK
Text Voting Code: F137

Sunday, June 19th, 3:30 PM
HIT SO HARD. USA, 2011, 101 minutes
Director: P. David Ebersole
Expected guests: P. David Ebersole and subject Patty Schemel

While playing with Hole in the ‘90s, drummer and out lesbian Patty Schemel shot over 40 hours of footage of the band. Twenty years later, her plan was to simply have the Hi-8 tapes transferred to a more sustainable format, but her partner saw something bigger. The result is director P. David Ebersole’s first feature documentary, Hit So Hard, referencing the 1998 Hole song of the same name.

 Although hailing from a small farm town outside of Seattle, Schemel is ever the outsider. Hole fans (and haters) may already familiar with the main plot: the dramatic, drug-filled rise and fall of grunge darlings thrust into the limelight, a story full of darkness, suicides, and overdoses. Schemel’s personal story is gripping, from her time in the early ‘90s Seattle punk scene to the cover of Rolling Stone. From Schemel’s close friendship with Nirvana star Kurt Cobain to her struggles with addiction and survival, Ebersole digs below the surface, alternately splicing the gritty ‘90s footage with more recent interviews. A now-sober Schemel, Hole bandmates Courtney Love, Eric Erlandson, and Melissa Auf der Maur, as well as friends like Nina Gordon (Veruca Salt), piece together a complex picture of a chaotic life. 

Concert footage, a soundtrack of Hole songs, and rare clips of Kurt, Courtney and baby Frances coalesce into a nostalgic documentary that will make you want to dust off your baby barrettes and flannel shirts.**
Click here for ticket information: HIT SO HARD
Text Voting Code: D312

Sunday, June 19th, 6:30 PM
CHO DEPENDENT. USA, 2011, 83 minutes
Director: Lorene Machado
Expected Guest: Lorene Machado

Before queers started knocking each other over to line up for Kathy Griffin, San Francisco native Margaret Cho, the original ass-master, was the queen of cock-talk and hardcore queer rights activism. And she still is. The woman who embraces all the letters of the queer alphabet is back on the big screen, ready to attack the few taboos remaining after previous concert films – I’m the One That I Want (2000), Notorious C.H.O. (2002), and Revolution (2004).

 Cho Dependent, bearing the same name as Cho’s 2010 Grammy-award nominated comedy album, covers it all—from her stint on Dancing With the Stars, to Lady Gaga to the culture shock of moving to the deep south for Drop Dead Diva. In typical Cho fashion, the performance toggles between outrageous bedroom antics to self-deprecating tales of an outsider to impressions of her mother’s latest antics (yay!). 

Come get a “ticket for gaywalking” with the only comedienne who can offend every demographic in our fair city, while somehow making us all laugh out loud.***
Click here for ticket information: CHO DEPENDENT
Text Voting Code: D305

Sunday, June 19th, 9:15 PM
ABSENT (Ausente). Argentina, 2011. 87 minutes
In Spanish with English subtitles
Director: Marco Berger
Expected Guest: Marco Berger 

Sebastiano teaches high school gym classes and coaches swimming. He’s got a job, a girlfriend, and a pretty normal life. But as young Martin starts to infiltrate Sebastiano’s life, his world will get turned upside down. Eerie from the first frame, this Hitchcockian thriller portrays sexual obsession with terrifying realism.

Martin’s manipulative ploys to get closer to Sebastiano succeed as he lies his way into spending the night at his coach’s apartment. The young man’s plans of entrapment are less than subtle, as he lies sprawled on the coach, barely clothed. And when Martin creeps into Sebastiano’s bedroom to touch him in his sleep, things really heat up. Sebastiano resists his charge’s advances, but in the process, his own sexuality comes into question. The two circle each other, one wary, the other sinister and persistent, until tragedy strikes. Toward the end, startling time jumps give us a twist that turns the tables. What we think we’ve seen may in fact bear little resemblance to an even more complicated reality.

 Director Marco Berger (Plan B) uses close-ups on details, which adds mystery and makes you wonder what you’re missing outside the frame. A frantic soundtrack drives the story forward as the characters’ lives reach a boil. The perfect film for anyone who prefers mind games in movies instead of real life.
Click here for ticket information: AUSENTE
Text Voting Code: F100

AT&T is helping Frameline go green and supporting excellence in LGBT film by awarding Frameline35′s AT&T Audience Awards via text voting.  Filmmakers can receive cash prizes for Best Feature, Best Documentary, and Best Short to fuel their filmmaking dreams.  But it’s all up to you!


1. Draft a new text message to phone number 55333.
2. Enter the film’s text voting code as your message. You can find the code on-screen after the show, on, or on the Frameline35 App. You can also ask a staff member of volunteer at the screening.
3. Hit Send!
You’ll have six hours after the start of the screening to vote, and you can vote fora s many films as you want!  But, to keep it fair, you can only vote once for each film.
For those without text-messaging capabilities, paper ballots will be available upon request in the lobby.

* by Alex Chousa
** by Allison Stelly
*** by Alexis Whitham

Photo, S.M.

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Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Seán Martinfield, who also serves as Fine Arts Critic, is a native San Franciscan. He is a Theatre Arts Graduate from San Francisco State University, a professional singer, and well-known private vocal coach to Bay Area actors and singers of all ages and persuasions. His clients have appeared in Broadway National Tours including Wicked, Aïda, Miss Saigon, Rent, Bye Bye Birdie, in theatres and cabarets throughout the Bay Area, and are regularly featured in major City events including Diva Fest, Gay Pride, and Halloween In The Castro. As an Internet consultant in vocal development and audition preparation he has published thousands of responses to those seeking his advice concerning singing techniques, professional and academic auditions, and careers in the Performing Arts. Mr. Martinfield’s Broadway clients have all profited from his vocal methodology, “The Belter’s Method”. If you want answers about your vocal technique, post him a question on If you would like to build up your vocal performance chops and participate in the Bay Area’s rich theatrical scene, e-mail him at:

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