Larry Meistrich had a very selfish reason for starting Film Movement, which distributes first-run movies to DVD (via subscription) and art houses simultaneously. "I don't live in Manhattan anymore," he says. "I live in the suburbs, and I have three kids. I have to go significantly out of my way to see films I'm interested in. This is all about access and convenience to good films." (Meistrich, who produced Sling Blade and You Can Count on Me, will be at the Cinematheque Thursday to talk about and screen two of Film Movement's indie flicks, Manito and Marion Bridge.)
Film Movement -- which scours Cannes, Sundance, and other film festivals for its acquisitions -- has standards: "Our films have to have won something at one of the [major] festivals," Meistrich says. "We're bringing Sundance to your living room." He'll introduce both movies at the Cleveland Cinematheque (11141 East Boulevard). Manito (pictured) shows at 7; Marion Bridge is at 8:35 p.m. Tickets are $7, $4 for members, for each movie. Call 216-421-7450 for more information. -- Michael Gallucci
Finally, a pageant for plus-sized drag queens.
Wicked & Wild pits the state's flashiest plus-sized drag queens against one another in a competition to determine who will represent Ohio at next month's Miss Gay USofA at Large pageant in Dallas. Lip-syncing dance hits and show tunes is the main talent on display here. But there are qualifiers: Each competitor must weigh at least 225 pounds and have won a local pageant. The reigning Miss USofA at Large will co-host with the current Miss Ohio. The contest features two nights of preliminary talent, evening gown, and interview competitions that lead up to the Sunday-night crowning. Also, some of Cleveland's legendary drag divas will perform. It runs 8 p.m. Friday through Sunday at Bounce, 2814 Detroit Avenue. Tickets are $6 to $8; call 216-357-2997. -- Cris Glaser
If the key fits, ask her out. At least that's how it works at First Friday Hook-Up. The first 100 women who walk into Funky Buddha are handed padlocks; the first 100 men reach into a bag for keys. The guy whose key opens a woman's lock first wins the prize (which includes dinner for the two of them, a concert for them and six friends, and drinks on the house for a night at Liquid). "You don't have to come up with an opening line, really," says Derick Downie, one of the organizers. "It just makes everybody all part of the same party." The hooking-up starts at 10 p.m. Friday at Funky Buddha, 1360 West 9th Street. Admission is free. For more information, call 216-776-7777. -- Cris Glaser