It’s not too long now until the 26th BFI London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival opens on March 23rd (running until April 1st), and now the first element of what promises to be a very interesting programme has been announced, with the news the Opening Night movie will be Cloudburst.
The film stars a pair of Oscar winners – Olympia Dukakis (Moonstruck) and Brenda Fricker (My Left Foot) – as septuagenarian lesbian lovers Stella and Dottie. It’s an interesting subject, as the older generation of gay people has largely been ignored, with rare exceptions such as the recent Beginners. However as those who came of age after Stonewall start to reach pensionable age, it may well be a subject we see addressed more and more.
According to the BFI, ‘This very funny film shows older women in love and deals with some of the harsh realities of ageing with wit, humour and a great deal of affection. Following their nursing home break out, Stella (Dukakis) and Dottie (Fricker) flee their hometown in Maine and head to Canada to get married, picking up an ally along the way in this most unlikely of road movies.’
It marks the third time director Thom Fitzgerald has helmed a film that’s opened the festival, as The Hanging Garden did so in 1998 and The Event was the opener in 2004. It’s a triple whammy no other filmmaker has matched. He commented, “I’m thrilled and tickled that the BFI has chosen Cloudburst to open its 26th London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. To me, the BFI is more than a national treasure; it’s a cultural icon of worldwide significance. It represents the best in film exhibition and preservation. I deeply appreciate its programmes.”
We’ll find out the full programme for the LLGFF on February 23rd, but they’ve certainly picked an interesting opener.