Del Shores released his campy comedy Sordid Lives in 2000 to showcase three generations of a “trashy” Texas family and neighbors gathered to bury their matriarch amid secrets, shenanigans, and conflict over conservative religious values.

Sordid Lives is cult classic.

Seventeen years later, Shores revisits many of the same characters as they reunite for another family gathering in A Very Sordid Wedding.

Marriage equality and religious hypocrisy are themes that run through the film, and recent political events in America heighten the resonance of certain characters and situations.

As hard-won political rights for members of the LGBTQ community are threatened or even rolled back, I experienced a certain urgency watching A Very Sordid Wedding that I might not have otherwise felt.

Just today, as one example, the Pentagon has delayed an Obama-era rule that would have allowed transgender recruits to join the military. (The rule does not affect current members of the military who identify as transgender, only new recruits.)

And, the shift in balance between liberals and conservatives on the Supreme Court – with the possibility of more changes to come – is threatening.

Watching Latrelle (Bonnie Bedelia) take over the pulpit at a Baptist church’s “Anti-Equality Revival” in small-town Winters, Texas to support her son and his husband feels like a call to action (and her performance is terrific). If progressives thought the need for vigilance and action had passed with the legalization of gay marriage, that belief was more optimistic than realistic in the short-term.
Sordid Lives #2

Bonnie Bedelia as Latrelle Williamson

As fans of Sordid Lives will expect, the earnest moments are few compared to the funny ones.

Sordid Lives #1

Dale Dickey (left) as Sissy Hickey and Ann Walker (right) as LaVonda DuPree

Ann Walker reprises her role as Latrelle’s sister LaVonda along with other members of the original cast. Walker, Shores, and Emerson Collins (who plays serial killer Billy Joe Dobson) will join me on the stage after the 6:30 and 7:00 pm. screenings. I will ask a few questions then moderate questions from the audience.

Sordid Wedding #3

Leslie Jordan (above) as Earl “Brother Boy” Ingram and Emerson Collins as Billy Joe Dobson

What a treat!

Two screens are sold out for the Winston-Salem premiere screening of A Very Sordid Wedding at UNCSA tomorrow night. If there is sufficient demand, a third screen will show the film beginning at 7:15 p.m. July 2.

Interested? Text your name and the number of tickets needed to 336-918-0902. If tickets become available, you will be notified by 2:00 p.m. Sunday.

You can get details about these screenings and other upcoming events at the Out at the Movies website.


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