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TIGLFF extends ‘Shirley,’ adds ‘Pioneers of Queer Cinema’

Bill DeYoung



"Shirley" stars Elizabeth Moss, left, and Odessa Young. Photo: Neon.

Elisabeth Moss has been getting rave reviews for her performance in Shirley, director Josephine Decker’s claustrophic drama about 20th century horror writer Shirley Jackson (The Lottery, The Haunting of Hill House).

The Mad Men star portrays the boozy, temperamental scribe in a fictionalized scenario, in which Jackson and her husband, a Bennington College professor, take in a young married couple as temporary boarders.

What follows is a dark, tense, almost Gothic story that veers between psychological terror and real-world panic, with a lesbian subplot and an uncomfortable feeling throughout that things are not going to end well.

“Moss is so mercurial it’s impossible to predict what she will do at any given moment,” wrote critic Sheila O’Malley on rogerebert.com. “She’s often formidable, ferocious, frightening. With all her depression and drunkenness, Jackson is nobody’s fool, and Moss never lets us forget the will of iron inside this often-incapacitated woman.”

Shirley premiered in June, smack in the middle of the COVID-19 closures of movie theaters and pretty much everything else. One of the featuring venues that month was the Tampa Bay International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival (tgilff.com), which had a virtual screening window for Shirley open through July 5.

That’s been extended through July 31 – the virtual version of “held over due to popular demand.” Get your Shirley fix here (cost is $5.99 for a 72-hour window).

The TIGLFF schedule for July also includes “Pioneers of Queer Cinema,” a trio of restored, classic German films with LGBTQ plots, subplots or undercurrents. Also available through the end of the month, the series includes Victor and Victoria (the 1933 version, not the Technicolor Julie Andrews musical); Director Leontine Sagan’s groundbreaking Madchen in Uniform, (1931); and the silent Michael, from 1924.

More information and tickets here.

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