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Scene Here: 35 years celebrated, Afghan justice, Claire Denis in person

Steve Coogan and Paul Rudd in “Ideal Home.”
Steve Coogan and Paul Rudd in “Ideal Home.”

Wicked Queer, Boston’s annual LGBT film festival, is celebrating its 35th year, making it one of the oldest continuously running LGBT events in the country. With screenings through April 7 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Brattle Theatre, and Paramount Center, among other venues, Wicked Queer honors this milestone year by looking back at LGBT classics and forward with boundary-pushing shorts, documentaries, Web series, and scripted features.

The festival presents the US premiere of director Santiago Loza’s “Brief Story From the Green Planet” (March 31, 6:30 p.m., Brattle). It’s a fantasy from Argentina about three outcasts who leave Buenos Aires for rural Argentina when a grandmother dies. The friends decide to honor grandma’s request that her alien companion be returned to its home planet.

Director Jonah Greenstein will be on hand with his debut feature, “Daddy” (April 2, 8:30 p.m., Brattle), about a young homeless man (Alexander Horner) who survives in New York by sleeping in the homes of the older men he meets on Grindr.


Shawn Cotter, who took over from the festival’s longtime executive director James Nadeau earlier this year, has programmed several retrospective screenings. These include Marlon Riggs’s landmark 1989 experimental documentary about black gay culture, “Tongues Untied” (April 2, 7 p.m., Brattle); Christopher Munch’s 1991 film, “The Hours and the Times” (April 3, 6:30 p.m., MFA), a fictionalized account of the holiday that John Lennon (Ian Hart) and Beatles manager Brian Epstein (David Angus) spent in Barcelona in 1963; and Angela Robinson’s 2004 debut feature, “D.E.B.S.,” about a group of schoolgirls who are groomed by a secret government agency to be an elite national-defense group. German director Frank Ripploh’s “Taxi Zum Klo” (April 5, 9:30 p.m., Brattle) caused a sensation when it was released in 1980 for its frank depiction of gay sexuality in its portrait of a West Berlin teacher played by Ripploh.

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The comedy “Ideal Home” (April 5, 8:30 p.m., MFA) stars Steve Coogan as a celebrity chef and Paul Rudd as his longtime partner. The couple’s existence is upended when the chef meets the grandson he never knew he had.

The world premiere of “Second Star on the Right” (April 5, 7 p.m., Paramount Center) will have director Ruth Caudeli and actress Silvia Varón in attendance. It’s about a 30-something bisexual woman who refuses to grow up even as her female friends are settling down with spouses, kids, and careers.

Director Ryan Lonergan will be on hand with “Kill the Monsters” (April 5, 7:30 p.m., Brattle), which centers on a male threesome who hit the road to find a holistic cure for the mysterious illness that has befallen one of the trio.

Marcelo Martinessi’s debut feature, “The Heiresses” (April 6, 7 p.m., MFA), was Paraguay’s 2018 entry for the best foreign language film Oscar. A drama about class, it focuses on Chela (Ana Brun), who shares her well-to-do home with longtime partner Chiquita (Margarita Irún). Their staid life is suddenly thrown into chaos when a bank debt forces them to sell off possessions and Chiquita is jailed on fraud charges. The change in economic status forces Chela to redefine herself, her relationships, and her place in the world.

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Afghanistan, via Australia,
in Belmont


“The Heiresses” will also screen at the Studio Cinema, in Belmont, April 1, at 7:30 p.m., as part of Belmont World Film’s 18th annual International Film Series, running to April 29. The series hosts the East Coast premiere of director Benjamin Gilmour’s “Jirga” (April 8). It’s about a former Australian soldier who returns to Afghanistan to atone for accidentally killing a civilian and puts his life in the hands of the traditional village justice system from which the film takes it title. Shot in Kandahar under dangerous conditions with assistance from locals, “Jirga” was Australia’s submission for the 2018 best foreign language film Oscar.

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Delighting in Denis

French director Claire Denis will be at the Brattle Theatre April 1 for a Q&A following the 7 p.m. screening of her new film, “High Life.” A thriller set in outer space, it stars Robert Pattinson and Juliette Binoche. The free screening, presented by the IFFBoston screening series, is part of the Brattle’s ongoing series The Good Works of Claire Denis. The series continues April 9, at 8:30 p.m., with “Trouble Every Day” (2001) about two Americans on a Paris honeymoon. Denis’s acclaimed father-daughter story “35 Shots of Rum” (2008) screens April 9, at 6 p.m., followed at 8 p.m. by “White Material” (2009), starring Isabelle Huppert as a French woman trying to hang onto her family’s coffee plantation in Africa.

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Loren King can be reached at