5. The Case Against 8
Plot: This feature-length documentary looks at what happened in California after voters backed Proposition 8, which sought to ban same sex marriage in the state, despite the fact it had been legal there for several months. The film follows the court cases that ensued, which eventually led to the Supreme Court. This brought together an eclectic mix of people to fight for LGBT people to have the right to marry the person they love.
From Our Review: It’s a truly fascinating story, with the sorts of twists and oddities that if this were a Hollywood movie you would assume they were over-the-top film embellishments… It really does play out like a movie, to the point where I was wondering why Tinsel Town isn’t busy adapting it into a film. And of course that means there’s a big emotional ending that even the hard-hearted will find moving.
4. The Way He Looks
Plot: Leo is a blind teenager who spends most of his time with his best friend Giovanni. This is disrupted by the arrival of new boy Gabriel, who befriends both Leo and Giovanni. Leo soon starts to have feelings for Gabriel, but he can’t be sure whether his new friend feels the same way, or how Giovanni might react.
From Our Review: It’s nice to see how these characters have all been fleshed out from the original short film, as well as giving us more of the world around them than was originally shown; to the point where the viewer feels quite entranced by it and drawn into their existence. There’s some brilliant cinematography, with certain scenes shot from directly above, giving it an almost a comic book style which, while it’s interesting visually and very nice to see, doesn’t detract from the reality of the scenes shown – in fact it draws the viewer in further.
3. Getting Go: The Go Doc Project
Plot: Doc wants to be a filmmaker and he’s also somewhat obsessed with local go-go dancer, Go. He decides to merge his two desires by making a documentary about Go. Doc soon discovers there’s far more to Go than just a gyrating sex object, and as they grow closer Doc also has to realise that perhaps his artistic pretensions are a cover for something simpler.
From Our Review: It’s a really good film, which works well purely as a romantic drama, but also goes deeper to become a dissection of modern gay life. It seems particularly interested in the artificial split between sexuality as social/cultural construction, and the purely carnal. Doc is almost in denial that his project was predicated upon sex, while Go’s job means many are incapable of seeing him in anything but an erotic way… This is one of those films that seems fairly small and simple on the surface but reveals surprising depths as it unfolds, with interesting characters, some intriguing ideas and plenty of sexiness.
Plot: It’s the 1980s and the coal miners are on strike, battling Maggie Thatcher’s plans to decimate their industry. Far away in London, Mark decides to set up a gay and lesbian group to raise funds for the strikers. However he discovers that many of them don’t want cash from ‘queers’, until they stumble on a small Welsh village that agrees to take the money. This starts an unexpected bond between the big city gays and the rural mining community, which opens up both their horizons.
From Our Review: Although the subject matter may be sometimes distressing, the film has far more laughs than you’d ever expect, along with an abundance of tear-jerking moments. Those from the Welsh mining community provide some classic, hilarious lines while confronting and learning to understand gay culture. In my humble opinion, Pride is a must watch film for anyone who has felt that they are on the fringes of society – and even if you haven’t, there’s a lot of laugh. While the words ‘feel-good’ and massively overused, they’re 100% accurate in this case.
1. Stranger By The Lake
Plot: Franck spends much of his time cruising for sex close to a lake. He is immediately attracted to newcomer Michel, which takes a dangerous turn when he sees him murder his companion. Rather than turning Michel into the police, Franck’s obsession grows and they are soon having a passionate affair. However Franck may not be able to tame his lover’s violent tendencies.
From Our Review: It’s a film that’s great at creating tension. Many things happen that aren’t fully explained, and the direction the movie is heading is rarely 100% clear. That, coupled with the innate sense of danger that comes both from the murder and the men creeping about in the woods looking for sex, helps make the whole thing slightly unnerving – and when mixed in with its strong erotic charge, it’s a potent concoction. The final 10 minutes are likely to have you right on the edge of your seat, and that feeling will stay with you as the credits roll due to the unsettling and open way it ends.