The Iris Prize Festival has now drawn to a close, but its still worth seeking out some of the excellent short film that competed for the world’s largest short film prize, the Iris Prize. We’ve already posted our thoughts on the first 23 short films that screened across the festivals five days, and below you can find reviews of the final 12 (presented in screening order – opinions are mine and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts of the overall jury).
The Iris Prize Festival has now drawn to a close, but its still worth seeking out some of the excellent short film that competed for the world’s largest short film prize, the Iris Prize. We’ve already posted our thoughts on the first 11 short films, and below you can find 12 more (presented in screening order – opinions are mine and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts of the overall jury).
For the last few years Big Gay Picture Show has tried to cover the wonderful Iris Prize Festival in Cardiff as it happened, with reviews being posted while the fest was still happening. However, this year I had the honour of being part of the International Jury, so as a result we decided to wait until the festival was over before we posted our reviews of the 35 shorts that were in contention for the £30,000 prize.
So what did I think? Take a look below at my thoughts on the first 11 short films (presented in screening order – opinions are mine and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts of the overall jury).
The gay-male focussed Boys On Film series is the most successful short film collection in the world, and recently celebrated its 16th instalment. A couple of years ago, it was joined by a sister release, Girls On Film, which presented a selection of lesbian-themed shorts.
Although there’s been a bit of a delay between releases, Girls On Film is back with Before Dawn, which features 11 short films from around the world. It’s an eclectic and interesting selection, so take a look at what we thought below. [Read more…]
If there’s a stereotype about being gay in Japan, it’s that the subject is taboo and hidden. However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a large, vibrant LGBT community in the country. Boys For Sale looks at one aspect of that – the ‘Urizens’ – the equivalent of rent boys, who work in Tokyo’s main gay district, Shinjuku 2-chome.
The documentary mixes interviews with a variety of urizen with anime style representations of what they’re talking about. It’s a very effective way of presenting their words, as it helps bring it to life in ways just listening to their voices probably couldn’t. [Read more…]
It’s always a good day when a new Boys On Film gay short film collection is released. The most successful short film series in the world is now up to an impressive 16th instalment. You’d think by this point they’d be running out of decent gay-themed shorts to include, but thankfully across the world there are a lot of filmmakers producing great work, which has ensured a steady supply of new films to put on disc.
There’s an interesting and eclectic mix this time around. So what’s included amongst the 10 gay shorts on the discs? Take a look at what we thought below. And you can see what we think of other Boys On Film releases here. [Read more…]
Who knew that Columbus, Ohio was a hotbed of drag? Well, I expect a lot of the LGBT residents of the city knew, but it’ll come as a surprise to most of the rest of us. Director Gabrielle Burton delves deep into that world in her documentary, Kings, Queens & In-Betweens.
Across its 90-minutes the film attempts to highlight the diversity of the drag world, which isn’t just about gay men going on stage dressed as caricatured women. There are also drag kings, some identifying as women, some men and others living between the two genders. Likewise, while most of the drag queens are happy to pull off the costume and makeup, and live as men for the rest of their lives, the documentary introduces us to at least one for whom drag became an outlet until they transitioned to living as a woman full-time. [Read more…]
Does the world need a gay, reality dating show? Well, Love Is Blind thinks so, offering us seven episodes where guys in New York are set up on blind dates and sent off the see whether it will be love at first sight or total character clash.
The set-up is very simple. There’s a host, Mike Felton, in a studio who introduces the guys and comments on their date at various points. The daters themselves meet, go on an ‘activity’, head somewhere for drinks and food, and then go to a club – and cameras follow them all along the away. The result is that it does sometimes feel a little repetitious, with the main variety provided by what activity they send the guys on, which ranges from wrestling (in tight singlets) and boylesque (where they end up in thongs), to tantric yoga (in just underwear) – this is not a show hiding from the fact people will be watching Love Is Blind hoping it’s a little bit sexy. [Read more…]
Over the last few years Peccadillo Pictures has done a great job promoting gay short films with its Boys On Film DVD collection. Now though we’ve got something slightly different, a ‘Boys On Film Presents’ release, which rather than bringing together the works of multiple different directors, focuses on the work of one filmmaker, Belgium’s Bavo Defurne.
Defurne got lots of praise for his 2011 movie, North Sea Texas, a coming of age tale about a young gay man. However, before he made his feature debut with that movie, he’d gained an impressive reputation with his short films, which were lauded at film festivals and championed by the likes of the BFI. That is perhaps because of the way he manages to link the past of gay cinema with the present, such as the short Sailor (aka Matroos) being reminiscent of Fassbinder’s Querelle or the way Particularly Now, In Spring and Saint evoke the look and feel of Un Chant d’Amour (both of which are not coincidentally linked to Jean Genet). [Read more…]
Israel is a complicated country – and that’s a bit of an understatement. Looking at it from the outside, it’s difficult not to see the divisions and intractable conflicts, the secular butting up against very conservative religion, and also that against that backdrop, Tel Aviv holds one of the biggest gay pride parades on the planet.
British filmmaker Lisa Morgenthau’s documentary, A Queer Country, looks at Israel from an LGBT perspective. Initially it feels like it’s going to be an advert for the Tel Aviv Tourist Board, much like Michael Lucas’ Undressing Israel a couple of years ago. However, thankfully it then starts engaging with some of the more interesting and thought-provoking issues queer people in Israel face. For example, the film contrasts the largely secular and open Tel Aviv with the more buttoned down Jerusalem, where gay issues are far more political and difference less tolerated. [Read more…]