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Kill the Monsters

Gay Essential Review: Kill the Monsters at Raindance Film Festival

This offbeat independent film is subtitled “An American Allegory”, and indeed it’s seriously on-the-nose. With Kill the Monsters, writer-director Ryan Lonergan makes every scene mean something. The film is skilfully shot in black and white, and inventively edited and performed.

José

Essential Opinion: José

Winner of the Queer Lion at the Venice Film Festival, the Guatemalan drama José is an astute look at male sexuality in a culture that’s infused with machismo. This is an earthy, honest story using observational filmmaking to touch on big themes without ever being preachy. Chinese-born American filmmaker Li Cheng cleverly lets the plot unfold in such a subtle way that the movie has a documentary feel to it.

Bohemian Rhapsody

Opinión Esencial: Bohemian Rhapsody

“Tu vida va a ser muy difícil”, Mary Austin, la mejor amiga, y se pudiera decir la compañera de vida de Freddie Mercury, interpretada por Lucy Boynton, le dice al enterarse que Freddie es gay. Durante las casi dos horas y media de “Bohemian Rhapsody”, vemos el arco de un joven queriendo ser libre mediante el único medio que sabe, la música.

The Favourite

Gay Essential Review: The Favourite at BFI London Film Festival

The Favourite is something of a change of pace for Lanthimos. Not only is it the first time he’s adapted a screenplay he didn’t pen himself, with a comparatively muted surrealism compared to his previous films, it’s also the closest he’s got to crafting something that could be described as emotionally sincere.

Three Dancing Slaves

Gay Essential Films To Watch, Three Dancing Slaves (Le clan)

This French film focuses on the aftermath of a mother’s death and the life of the family after her tragic demise. Released in 2004, Three Dancing Slaves (Le clan) stars Nicolas Cazalé, Stéphane Rideau and Salim Kechiouche. It was co-written by Christophe Honoré and Gaël Morel and it was directed by the latter.

Colette

Gay Essential Review: Colette at BFI London Film Festival

Outside of its documentation of gender fluidity and same sex relationships during a period where they were scorned by society, Colette still remains a breath of fresh air amongst a field of stuffy costume dramas. The film is often hysterically funny (Westmoreland co-wrote the screenplay with his late partner Jonathan Glatzer), with Dominic West giving an entertainingly histrionic performance in the lead.

Zen in the Ice Rift

Essential Opinion: Zen in the Ice Rift (Zen sul ghiaccio sottile)

A coming-of-age film with a twist, Zen in the Ice Rift takes you into the mind of a trans adolescent, but in a slightly different way than your average teen flick. Using overwhelming visuals and impeccable cinematography, Margherita Ferri’s motion picture successfully distances itself from other projects of its genre, and brings a whole new mode of storytelling to the table.

Consequences

Gay Essential Review: Consequences (Posledice) at BFI London Film Festival

The feature debut of director Darko Stante manages to find a new angle on a familiar staple of LGBT storytelling, throwing its protagonist into a world of hyper-masculinity that seems beyond parody. It feels contemporary due to, for the most part, the lack of overt homophobia – here, even the name calling is embedded with a bizarre homoeroticism, so comfortable with their sexuality the (presumably) straight characters appear to be.

From Beginning to End

Gay Essential Films To Watch, From Beginning to End (Do Começo ao Fim)

Released in 2009, From Beginning to End is a Portuguese drama film dealing with the topics of homosexuality and incest. Filmed mostly in Rio de Janeiro and partly in Buenos Aires, the film was directed by Aluizio Abranches and starred Júlia Lemmertz, Fábio Assunção and Jean Pierre Noher.

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