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Directed by Georden West2023USA92 mins

In the Combat Zone, what was once Boston’s red light district populated by porno theatres and sex workers, the Playland Cafe was a queer bar that survived six decades. With a compelling ensemble of queer performers including The Lady Bunny, Danielle Cooper (Pose), and Aidan Dick (When Men Were Men, Frameline46), Playland condenses time and queer experience into a single evening populated by a half century’s worth of the bar’s inhabitants, and all the multitudes they bring with them.

Rather than a traditional narrative tribute, the film brings to life the bar’s glory with a series of decadently shot vignettes blended with archival audio and footage, resulting in a film of uncompromised audacity and vision. Feature debut director Georden West (Exorcisms and Other Supplications, Frameline Fangs 2021) takes us on a journey through the past century of queer expression, delivering a fantasia of lived-in sights and sounds. As the number of queer bar closures continues to increase across the country, Playland becomes an enigmatic, abstract requiem for what we lose when we don’t have these spaces.

Short film screening before this feature (In-Person Only):

Under the Influence

20 mins

A trio of friends retreat to a luxurious and isolated home in the middle of the woods for a weekend of hallucinogens and pool-lounging. But a strange nighttime encounter upends their queer holiday.

Expected Guests

Georden West
Aidan Dick
Hannah McSwiggen
Russell Sheaffer

Playland is a recipient of a Frameline Completion Fund Grant.

Quick links
Georden West
Running Time
92 mins
English & German
Streaming, Narrative Features, Closed Captioned, Frameline Completion Fund
Program Note Writer
Chris Feil
Copyright 2022 Frameline. All rights reservedSite by ED.

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