A trans woman, Deusimar (Yuri Yamamoto), runs a bar in what looks like a storage room, where her clients are a bunch of misfits including a man painted completely silver, a bearded Wonder Woman and a hoary old Spider-man, and her staff includes a man dressed as a rabbit. A stranger, Jarbas (Demick Lopes), comes into the bar, and soon starts an affair with Deusimar. She falls deeply for the sailor but in his wake the influences of the outside world come into this safe but unusual world, which increasingly threatens its existence. [Read more…]
Sometimes when you watch a film, one of the key things that exudes from the screen is how much love it was made with. That’s certainly true of the LGBTQ musical, Saturday Church, which has just hit US screens, following a successful, award-winning run at film festival.
Ulysses (Luka Kain) is a 14-year-old, African-America living in the Bronx. His father has just died, leaving him with his largely absent mother and domineering Aunt Rose (Regina Taylor). He’s also starting to explore his sexuality and gender expression – however both his mother and most particularly his aunt are determined that he shouldn’t ever wear women’s clothes – something they’ve discovered him doing more than once. While looking after Ulysses and his younger brother, Rose believes it’s her job to ensure Ulysses becomes a proper ‘man’. [Read more…]
Against the Law was the opening night film of this year’s BFI Flare London LGBT Film Festival and one of the centrepieces of the BBC’s Gay Britannia series. It’s easy to see why a film about Peter Wildeblood seemed apt this year. He was one of the key figures in what happened in the run up to the Wolfenden Report, which recommenced that gay male sex in England and Wales should be decriminalised. Although it took 10 years for the government to act, eventually gay sex was partly made legal 50 years ago in 1967.
The events were previously turned into a very good 2007 docudrama by Channel 4 in the form of A Very British Sex Scandal (the 50th Anniversary of the Wolfenden report). However, while A Very British Sex Scandal was mostly interested in the beginning of the story, Against The Law focuses its thematic energies on what happened next. It also includes documentary elements, with a collection of older gentlemen offering their remembrances of what life was like when being gay was illegal. It’s a style reminiscent of Switzerland’s excellent gay movie, The Circle (Der Kreis), which was also a proper film, but included contributions from real people involved in the world it was talking about. [Read more…]
Four 20-somethings – two men and two women – arrive at a house in the country with a plan to create a new community, where they will shut themselves off from the outside world. There are a few rules, such as that a couple – a different combination each time – will be locked into the master bedroom every night and not allowed out until the morning. They all also gather each evening to play games, talk and watch performances. They have no external contact, don’t pay attention to the news and try to create something carefree and almost childlike.
The bonds between the quartet start to deepen as they share each other’s lives, which includes various combinations of sexual sharing, initially between boy-girl couplings before becoming more bisexual and polyamorous. However, when someone from one of their pasts comes to visit, it threatens to disrupt their carefully created world. [Read more…]
Antek Liebmann leaves his home in Germany and rents a cottage in an idyllic French town. While he seems to have a few problems, he begins build a new life for himself, befriending a local woman, starting a relationship with a cute local guy and getting a job at an antique/second-hand shop. However, he has trouble sleeping and freaks out when he hears a hunter’s gunshot in the woods. Then a visit from a friend from Germany reveals why he left his old life behind and why he’s so troubled.
In cinema, there’s a fine line between someone seeming intriguingly troubled, and someone who just comes across as boring. And that’s where Liebmann’s problems lie. While there are periodic hints as to the fact there’s mystery around why Antek is the way he is, for much of the time it could just as easily be the problem that he’s slightly rude and dull. Too often the films tips from broodingly attempting to keep to us hooked to find out more about the main character, and just making him seem pretty tedious. Add in some slightly jarring moments of pretentious artsiness and a sequence of whimsy that seems to fall out of nowhere, and it’s a film that definitely tries hard, but will test many people’s patience. [Read more…]
Living in the UK, it can’t be said we have much of a ‘problem’ with immigrants from South/Central America, although as Brexit has shown – which was largely fuelled by a fear of mass immigration from Eastern Europe – issues with ugly xenophobia pretending it isn’t xenophobia is a problem across the First World (in fact across pretty much the whole world).
Forbidden: Undocumented & Queer In Rural America opens with Donald Trump’s hideous rhetoric about Mexican rapists and calls to build a border wall that Mexico is apparently going to pay for, before introducing us to Moises Serrano, who was born in Mexico but was brought to the US when he was a toddler, and now lives in rural North Carolina. Now in his 20s and despite the fact he was so small when he came to the United States, he is undocumented. That means he’s not just barred from many basic benefits naturalised citizens get, but when the documentary opens he’s potentially at risk of being deported to a country he hasn’t been in since he was two-years-old. [Read more…]
Fulboy is a sports documentary that I’d be willing to bet is unlike any other you’ve ever seen. For a start it’s about a group of professional soccer players but you never actually see them on the pitch, and there’s also the fact that nearly every write-up of the movie mentions the word ‘voyeurism’.
Director Martín Farina goes on the road with an Argentinian football team, getting access because his brother, Tomas, plays for them. Initially the players are suspicious of him and how he’s going to portray them – afraid that the film will play into the image of players being lazy, spending more time smoking and playing poker than honing their sport skills. [Read more…]
While the title is enough to make any discerning person cringe and its unusual concept could have gone horribly wrong, Unfriended is actually quite an effective slice of teen horror – as long as you beef up your ability to suspend disbelief (or you already think teenagers are total morons).
The whole thing takes place in real time and for the entire movie you are watching the computer screen of a teenage girl called Blaire. It’s a year after her friend, Laura, killed herself, but Blaire, her boyfriend Mitch, and three of their friends are more interested in video chatting than mourning the loss. [Read more…]
What is it with female sexuality and horses? Of Girls And Horses is far from the first movie to thematically link the two, and indeed in lesbian-themed movies it’s almost a mini sub-genre of its own.
Alex is a 16-year-old whose life in on a fast track to nowhere. She’s dropped out of school and has little time for authority. In the hope of setting her straight, her mother signs her up for an internship where she will help to look after horses, deep in the countryside. Riding instructor Nina attempts to rein in Alex’s indolence, something that isn’t easy, especially when she discovers the teenager has been stealing from her. Things don’t initially improve after the posh Kathy arrives, who seems Alex’s polar opposite. [Read more…]
As the $200 million+ gross of Fifty Shades Of Grey has proven this weekend, all women secretly want to be punched. Well, no, hopefully it doesn’t prove that at all – but it does show that a lot of people are interested in a story that infuses BDSM with a shiny glow that makes the whole thing seem rather romantic. However is this the reality for most people involved in submission and domination? And what about gay people, are they all secretly hoping they’ll be dominated by a handsome billionaire?
Lawrence Ferrara’s documentary, Power Erotic, is an interesting counterpoint to Fifty Shades, taking us right into the bedroom of gay men who relinquish control, are told what to do, and are dominated in a way that in any other circumstances would seem shocking. [Read more…]