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The Naked Civil Servant

Essential Opinion: The Naked Civil Servant

The Naked Civil Servant is camp and unabashedly so- but it has far more going on beneath the surface, and helped usher in more nuanced portrayals of LGBT people and culture in the years to come. It may be dated, but time hasn’t made it feel embarrassing in retrospect. It is still one of the most pivotal works in the LGBT pop culture canon that helped further mainstream awareness and acceptance.

Handsome Devil

Film Review: Handsome Devil at BFI Flare

With Handsome Devil, writer/director John Butler, reprises the poignant reflection on the meaning of masculinity he had explored in his fun 2013 debut The Stag (aka The Bachelor Party) but this time he takes the diatribe back to high school – a rugby-obsessed, all-boys boarding school to be precise – and by his own admission infuses the story with inevitable autobiographical references.

The Lair

Essential Feature: The Lair 10th Anniversary

The Lair is a campy fun soap opera that ran for three seasons mainly centered around a coven of gay vampires operating a sex club to lure their prey. Each season is full of subplots with a Dorian Gray-like portrait, an abusive boyfriend, a werewolf, a mad scientist, a killer plant, a Gorgon, a killer head, a magic ring and a disgruntled Vampiress. Oh yeah… and there’s a lot of hot guys and sex!

Center Of My World

Film Review: Center Of My World (Die Mitte der Welt) at BFI Flare

There’s nothing quite as enticing as this year’s BFI Festival selection – Center Of My World, along with its fascinating cinematography, remains one of my personal favorites due to its candid and refreshing approach to gay relationships, as well as its memorable and enveloping performances. Despite using a teenagey framework, which could have easily diverted the film into a bland kitsch romance, Erwa sets the bar high and proves that any type of setting can be molded into a masterpiece with the right tools and sensibility.

This Side of Heaven

Essential Opinion: This Side of Heaven

Shot entirely in black and white, Verow’s film carries an interesting film noir feel to it.  V is the unfortunate victim of circumstance, locked in an ever-present battle with the villainous Shawnith.  A string of sexually motivated young men float in and out of V’s life until Christian arrives – the unexpected femme fatale, or male fatale as it were.

Seat In Shadow

Film Review: Seat In Shadow at BFI Flare

Life is one hallucinatory experience after another for psychotherapist and avant-garde artist Albert (David Sillars). Creating dubious art pieces by day and sporadically working as a psychotherapist to help a friend in need, the man forms an odd, but intriguing relationship with his newest patient.

Heartland

Film Review: Heartland at BFI Flare

When an opinionated lesbian artist moves back home with her conservative homophobic mother, it’s bound to spell trouble. Add in the turbulence of life lost, family dynamics, and matters of the heart and you’ve got yourself quite the rodeo (if we can borrow the Oklahoma cliché).

Tom of Finland

Film Review: Tom of Finland at Tribeca Film Festival

Upon the Centennial celebration of Finland, award-winning filmmaker Dome Karukoski presents a moving biopic of one of the country’s most beloved sons. Tom of Finland is a roughly 115 minute biographical dramatization that aims to reveal the creative genius behind the famous homoerotic illustrations. Shot across 3 different countries, the film presents nearly 50 years of Laaksonen’s life, from his time in the war until his death in 1991.

Ekaj

Essential Opinion: Ekaj

Ekaj is a gritty 2015 film about a young runaway who escapes a disadvantageous situation at home — for a disadvantageous situation on the streets of New York. Ekaj is a skinny, strikingly pretty young man with soft features who doesn’t necessarily dress as a female but is often mistaken for one and therefore presents himself more femininely than not.

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