One Night At Babes (2024, currently in production)
At Babes Bar Cribbage tournaments overlap with afternoons of karaoke and nights of raucous queer dance parties. When the aging rural townsfolk of Bethel, Vermont and the younger queer leftists begin sharing the same watering hole, delicate lines of communication open, but not without some drama.
In 2017 two trans men bought a bar in a long abandoned railway depot in Bethel, VT, population: 891. The young-ish queer proprietors transformed the bygone dive bar into a slightly cleaner dive bar called Babes. In no time Babes Bar was bustling and the consevrative townsfolk of Bethel didn’t seem to care who was serving them as long as there was beer to be had. Babes Bar is not a gay bar, as the local news sources read, “It’s a bar for everyone.
With humor and grace, ONE NIGHT AT BABE’S moves day to night tracing stories of the dynamic intersection of patrons that frequent Babes. By weaving character portraits, intimate conversations, dance sequences, oral histories, and geographic investigation, the film holds space for elders to reflect and young people to explore, as these divergent communities struggle through their differences to build networks of support and enduring friendships. The old regulars tell stories of the heydays of Bethel, and through casual conversation we learn about their lives and beliefs. The young folks talk of their studies and interests, and the bartenders, Jesse and Owen, navigate all of the subtle in-betweens that evolve in this shifting, tenuous communal landscape. There is a looming sadness in the air - of loss, poverty, addiction, aging, and time passed – yet communal joy is ever-present. Dance floor sequences visually trace the fleeting moments of shared exhilaration and connection. The joy of the physical act becomes an exorcism- a ritual to transform the sadness and reframe the haunting. Trains bustle by just behind the bar as dance floor lights flicker in and out of focus.
Total Run Time: 29 minutes
Color, Stereo, 1.90, 4k
Director/Writer/Editor: Angelo Madsen Minax
Director of Photography: Martin DiCicco
Line Prod: Sierra Urich
Executive Producer: Caitlin Mae Burke