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Friday, November 4, 2011

Reeling Film Festival #8: (A)Sexual

What's better than sex?

Just a little asexual humor to start off this review. I will admit that I've never really understood asexuality, which is when a person is not sexually attracted to anyone. This has always been a bit of a mystery, so I was quite curious to check out Angela Tucker's documentary, (A)Sexual, which shines a fascinating light on this puzzling subject.

Apparently 1% of the US population is asexual - or over 3 million people. And Tucker interviews a few of them in her film, including Barbara from Austin, Texas, who hasn't had sex in over 20 years and hasn't missed it, and Swank Ivy, a 31-year-old woman who's been making YouTube videos about asexuality since 2008. Tucker also interviews gay author/journalist Dan Savage, who provides a somewhat opposing and humorous view about the topic ("If you're beating off, you're not asexual") - and he does make some valid points. However, the star of the film is David Jay, a cute guy in his 20s who has become the main spokesperson for asexuality. In 2001, Jay created AVEN, the Asexual Visibility and Education Network, which currently has over 26,000 members, and he then began showing up on TV's The View and MSNBC to discuss his asexuality. David Jay is a very charismatic and well-spoken young man, but by the end of the movie, I was left feeling that perhaps he just hasn't figured himself out yet (it took me almost 28 years).

Although (A)Sexual didn't answer all my questions, I found it to be an enlightening film and definitely one worth seeing. However, I still firmly believe that cake is better after sex.

Show time: 1 pm, Sunday, November 6, at Chicago Filmmakers (5243 N. Clark)
Running time: 75 minutes

Below you can watch David Jay's appearances on The View and The Situation with Tucker Carlson, which are both featured in A(Sexual), as well as Swank Ivy's introductory video about asexuality.

Other films I recommend seeing at Reeling 2011: The 30th Chicago Lesbian & Gay International Film Festival are (click on the title to read my review):

Wish Me Away at 7 pm, Saturday, November 5, at Landmark’s Century Centre Cinema

August at 9:15 pm, Saturday, November 5, at Landmark’s Century Centre Cinema

Blackmail Boys at 9:30 pm, Monday, November 7, at Landmark's Century Centre Cinema

Hollywood to Dollywood at 7 pm, Wednesday, November 9, at Landmark’s Century Centre Cinema

For a complete schedule of films at the festival (which runs through November 12), go to You can purchase tickets online (click here), in person at Chicago Filmmakers (5243 N. Clark), or at the theater box office, beginning 30 minutes prior to the first screening of the day (cash only). Reeling Members may also purchase tickets by phone (773-293-1447).

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