Through Aug 17, The NYC Fringe Festival presents See How Beautiful I Am: The Return of Jackie Susann, a wisecracking film about meteoric rise of best-selling Valley of the Dolls author Jacqueline Susann, from aspiring actress to rumored bisexual to the neo-literary icon who is known as one of the first women to write honestly and openly about sex.
Film noir brought us some of our favorite femme fatales, including screen sirens Simone Signoret, Jeanne Moreau, Catherine Deneuve and Brigitte Bardot. This summer through Sept 11, the Film Forum presents French Crime Wave, a five-week festival of genre classics from 1937–2000, including rarities by genre masters such as Jean-Pierre Melville, Georges Franju and Louis Malle. Highlights include Elevator to the Gallows starring Jeanne Moreau and Diabolique starring Vera Clouzot.
Hungry for a taste of classic Hollywood? This summer, Symphony Space presents Davis & Hepburn: Feisty and Fabulous, a series of screenings celebrating the films of legends Bette Davis and Katherine Hepburn. Highlights include Hepburn in a rare Aug 3 screening of A Long Day’s Journey into Night, director Sidney Lumet’s film about a dysfunctional family, based on the play by Eugene O’Neill.
Legendary rocker Patti Smith lit the way for many of today’s top female musicians by carving out her place among the hard-core rock gods of her day. Through Aug 19, the Film Forum presents the U.S. theatrical premiere of Patti Smith: Dream of Life, director Steven Sebring’s gritty documentary portrait of the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer who spawned a generation of hard-rocking women.
On Aug 20, Out Professionals presents a special free screening of award-winning gay filmmaker and journalist John Scagliotti’s landmark documentary After Stonewall, the sequel to Before Stonewall: The Making of the Gay and Lesbian Community. Narrated by Melissa Etheridge, After Stonewall is a must-see cinematic journey through important epochs in LGBT history, from “gay lib” and Womyn’s music festivals to the AIDS crisis, the Gay Games, and finally LGBT acceptance in popular culture through such mainstream icons as Ellen DeGeneres.